Case studies on Environmental Assessment in landscape management
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment can be a useful tool to enhance multi-stakeholder dialogues and inclusive decision-making. IUCN NL, WWF NL and the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) present an overview of experiences in ten countries across three continents.
‘ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment) is a potentially powerful tool for making fact-based, inclusive, transparent, and accountable decisions at project level,’ says Edy Blom, Senior Expert at IUCN NL. ‘The SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) instrument complements ESIA and brings various stakeholders together around strategic-level decisions on plans, policies, or programmes.’
Tools towards sustainable landscape management
That is why IUCN NL and WWF NL partnered with the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) to create more awareness on these tools within the landscapes where local civil society partners in the programme Shared Resources Joint Solutions (SRJS) aimed to engage the public and private sector towards sustainable landscape management.
‘Both ESIA and SEA aim to incorporate social and environmental considerations into decision making,’ Blom explains. ‘Both also aim to make the assessment and planning processes more transparent. This transparency stimulates authorities to work together, in coalition with private sector and civil society, in a formalised manner.’
But how did this work out for SRJS partners? Blom: ‘The ten cases in this publication show various approaches, depending on the priorities in the landscape. In some cases, concrete infrastructure investments asked for active participation of CSOs in ESIA and permitting for those projects. In other case, land use planning in the landscape called for integrated SEA and planning processes.’
Overview of experiences
Looking back at these experiences, the publication sets out what the various approaches brought the SRJS partners. How did ESIA and SEA work for them: what went well, which challenges remained? With ten cases from ten countries across three continents, this booklet presents an overview of experiences with ESIA and SEA drawn from the strategic partnership Shared Resources Joint Solutions.
‘During a webinar in October 2020, we discussed the cases presented in the publication with 15 civil society partners and drew lessons from the various experiences,’ Edy Blom says.
In May 2021, the full papers on these experiences will be presented at the conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) in May 2021.