European Practice and Experience
Evaluating Sustainable Development series
Edited by Clive George and Colin Kirkpatrick
Chapter 15: Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Assessment in the Netherlands
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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