Strategic Environmental Assessment- A Review of its Effectiveness in Ireland

Strategic Environmental Assessment in Ireland (SEA) is the process by which environmental considerations are integrated into Plans and Programmes across a broad range of sectors including energy, fisheries, industry, telecommunications, water and land use.

A review of SEA, commissioned by the EPA, has found that:

  • SEA is providing a vital tool for environmental protection in Ireland.
  • SEA has ensured that environmental considerations are being taken into account in national, regional and local policy development across a broad range of sectors.
  • There are challenges and barriers to effective, consistent implementation across all sectors, similar to those experienced in other EU Member States.

The five designated statutory environmental authorities for SEA in Ireland are the:

  • Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
  • Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
  • Environmental Protection Agency.

An Action Plan for the years 2012-2016 has been drawn up by the five SEA statutory environmental authorities to address the priority challenges identified in the Review.

  • These priorities range from strengthening governance arrangements through to providing new guidance, training, awareness raising and data management.

The SEA Action Plan and SEA Review Report are available on the EPA website and on each of the websites of the five SEA statutory environmental authorities.

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