The GMS Core Environment Program hosted a session on strategic environmental assessment (SEA) at the 36th Annual Conference of International Association of Impact Assessment.
The session, titled "Best practice in adopting a strategic approach to sustainable development,' was designed to share insights from country uptake of SEA in the Greater Mekong Subregion and wider Asia-Pacific region, including best practice and future needs. Specifically, the session aimed to:
- Identify best practice at global, regional and national levels in establishing SEA systems and integrating SEA into policy and planning processes;
- Assess the effectiveness of SEA in the GMS, including the extent to which SEA outcomes have benefited policy and investment decisions.
- Build understanding of the challenges and opportunities countries face in applying SEA to policies and plans and the enabling conditions required to further its uptake in the GMS countries.
- Provide an overview of recent technical and analytical developments of SEA approaches and tools and the potential for their adoption in the GMS.
- The session included a panel discussion and presentations on the following three topics:
Strategic environmental assessment and AECEN
Use of SEA as an upstream environmental planning tool in the Mekong region as a useful compliance strategy for the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network.
Best practice SEA in the GMS
Strengthening of the SEA system in the GMS will require an enabling legal environment, overcoming negative perceptions, effective communication strategies, technical capacity development, and monitoring and evaluation systems.
SEA of power development plan in Viet Nam
Application of SEA resulted in a better national power development plan in Viet Nam. It incorporated measures for better energy security, lower investment costs, and improved environmental and social safeguards. GMS experience was also presented during an ADB-hosted session called 'New Approaches for Planning and Designing Ecosystem and Climate-friendly Smart Green Infrastructure.' The presentations can be downloaded below.