Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is internationally recognized as the key instrument for integrating environmental and health concerns into strategic planning and decision-making. It promotes sustainable development principles and thus supports efforts towards transition to a green economy. The SEA for the Strategy for the Socio-Economic Development of the Zabaikalsky Region (hereinafter also the ‘Strategy’) started in September 2015. In accordance with general role of SEA the main focus of this pilot application of SEA is to assess likely environmental and health effects related to the Strategy and propose measure to reduce or avoid potential risks and adverse impacts. The findings and conclusions of the assessment should be considered when amending the Strategy as well as within its implementation.
The pilot SEA was supported by the Secretariat to the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (Protocol on SEA) in order to build national capacities in practical implementation of SEA according to the provisions of the Protocol. Experience gained through pilot SEA shall provide a basis for drafting guidelines on SEA practical application in accordance with the Protocol on SEA.
The initial training and consultation event was organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Industrial Policy of Zabaikalsky Region and WWF Russia with the support of the UNECE within the framework of the SEA pilot application in Zabaikalsky Region.
The aims of the event was to:
· raise awareness of various stakeholders about SEA procedure as enshrined in the Protocol on SEA
· clarify role of the key stakeholders in the SEA process
· facilitate debate about practical steps and arrangements for application of SEA
· identify the key environmental and health issues to be further analyzed in SEA process.
The participants of the event were also get introduced to the international and Russian legal framework for SEA, approaches and methods for identification of the key environmental and health issues related to the Strategy (i.e. SEA scoping).
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Approaches to Assessment and Developing Recommendations: Policy Based Assessment. Examples of Good Practice
Ms. Marina Khotuleva, UNECE International Consultant on SEA
Approaches to Assessment and Developing Recommendations: Impact-Based Assessment. Examples of Good Practice
Mr. Martin Smutny, UNECE International Consultant on SEA
Approach and Methods Used to Analyse Consequences and Identify Alternatives in the Pilot SEA Project in the Zabaikalsky Krai. Indicators Used
Mr. Grigory Vilchek, Deputy head of management of industrial and environmental safety ZAO "SPF "DIEM"