Edited by Thomas B. Fischer and Ainhoa González
Chapter 19: Strategic environmental assessment in Canada
Decisions taken, or not taken, at the policy and planning stage can have significant implications for how land is used, how resources are allocated, and whether and how development projects proceed. The most important actions that determine environment and sustainability outcomes thus occur before projects are implemented, at the strategic level of policy and planning. Canada has a long history of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) under its national, directive-based requirements but the performance and influence of SEA on development decisions has been limited. The more promising applications of SEA appear to have emerged regionally, and often informally, external to directive-based requirements. This chapter explores the requirements and diversity of SEA practice in Canada, and some of the enduring challenges and opportunities for improvement.
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