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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): a tool for environmental decision-making

Margaret Desmond


The project level decision making context of Environmental Impact Assessment is often seen as being unable to deliver on sustainability. Sustainability will only be realized if consideration is given to the environment at higher decision making levels including those of policy, plan and programme (PPP). Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), the environmental assessment of PPPs and their alternatives, is gaining widespread recognition as a supporting tool for decision making orientated towards achieving sustainability. This review paper explores some key principles and characteristics that should underpin the SEA process if it is to contribute to the design of more sustainable policies and strategies. It also sets out the current state of the art of SEA in Ireland and makes some suggestions for the future directions of the process. Key index words: Strategic Environmental Assessment, sustainability, environmental decision making, Ireland.

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Copyright © Geographical Society of Ireland | Home | Contact us | ISSN: 0075-0778 (Print), 1939-4055 (Online) | Last Update: November 10, 2021