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Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development

Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development

European Practice and Experience

Evaluating Sustainable Development series

Edited by Clive George and Colin Kirkpatrick

Translation of the principle of sustainable development into policy and practice, and the evaluation of the outcomes of these strategic interventions, are some of the most pressing challenges facing policymakers in Europe and beyond. The chapters in this book contribute to the debate surrounding these challenges. By exploring the conceptual and methodological issues relating to the evaluation of sustainable development and analysing European practice and experience, this work provides a coherent and integrated contribution to our understanding of these issues.

Chapter 15: Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Assessment in the Netherlands

Geert P.J. Draaijers and Rob Verheem

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, public sector economics, valuation, environment, environmental economics, valuation, politics and public policy, public policy


Geert P.J. Draaijers and Rob Verheem I. INTRODUCTION The EU Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which came into force in July 2000, makes environmental assessment mandatory for certain plans prepared by governmental authorities. Such an assessment should be performed for plans which set the framework for future projects that require an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and for those which require an ‘appropriate assessment’ of their implications for sites with nature development objectives. This is not a new requirement in the Netherlands. During the last 20 years, already a lot of experience has been gained on SEA. In this paper some key elements for effective SEA are discussed as well as the implementation of the EU Directive on SEA into Dutch legislation. Sustainable development becomes increasingly important as an objective for both government and the business community in the Netherlands, as part of a wider international trend. In the National Strategy for Sustainable Development (Ministry VROM 2002) it is stated that a method should be developed to assess the impact of governmental plans on sustainable development. Several experiments with sustainability assessment (SA) were conducted, and learning experiences were published. At the same time experience with SA was gained from SEAs in which sustainability issues were raised. Based on the aforementioned experiences, the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) defined some key elements for effective SA (Working Group on Sustainability Assessment 2006). Some of these elements are discussed in this chapter. 273 274 European perspectives II. STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL...

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