Integrated assessment
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Integrated assessment

on

  • 459 views

Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment

Statistics

Views

Total Views
459
Views on SlideShare
458
Embed Views
1

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0

1 Embed 1

http://www.docshut.com 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Integrated assessment Integrated assessment Document Transcript

  • Integrated Assessment:An approach towardsSustainability Appraisal VINISHA PANWAR The document explains the role of integrated assessment in providing the future direction for basic EnvironmentalManagement Graduate environmental and social impact assessment methods as sustainability tools. Indian Institute of Forest Management
  • ContentsIntroduction................................................................................................................................3Need of Strategic Integrative Assessment approach..................................................................4Perspectives: For an integrated approach ..................................................................................5Future Directions: For generally followed assessment methods ...............................................6Approach: For integrated assessment ........................................................................................7Strategic Impact Assessment .....................................................................................................8Conclusion: Sustainability assurance.......................................................................................10References................................................................................................................................11 2
  • IntroductionA sustainable solution for any Social or Environmental problemneeds to incorporate cross-cutting, intangible and long termconsiderations. An integrated approach tries to make a solutionsustainable by incorporating such considerations.Integration of relevant perspectives into a generally appliedassessment methodology for assessing long term impacts of apolicy or project can be termed as an integrated approachtoward sustainability appraisal. Here, sustainability appraisalmeans an appraisal of likely social, environmental andeconomic effects of a policy or plan before they have beenformulated.Integration with respect to approach towards sustainabilityappraisal means integrating all sustainable development aspectsinto the assessment process which in fact means consideringboth short-term and long-term effects – what seems to bebeneficial in short term can be harmful in long term.In principle, integrated assessment calls for economic,environmental and social considerations to be placed on anequivalent footing and considered at the same time in theprocess of development decision-making.The key characteristics of this approach are –  Systematic analysis of all impacts and costs in order to optimise the choice to be made;  All approved proposals must meet economic, environmental and social objectives at some threshold level. 3
  • Need of Strategic Integrative AssessmentapproachCurrently followed impact assessment methodologies likeEnvironment Impact Assessment (EIA) provide minimal levelof sustainability assurance and there is limited consideration oflarge scale changes in these methods. Many developed nationslike Netherland, USA have started using new strategicassessment approaches and in many parts of Europe, integrativeassessment approaches are in primary stage of implementationprocess. On the other hand, developing nations are stillstruggling to strengthen the basic impact assessment processeslike EIA.Need of a Strategic Integrative Assessment process is justifiedby following emerging challenges –  Social and environmental impacts are becoming complex day by day.  Increase in difficulty level of prediction and mitigation.  New challenges imposed by globalisation in the path of sustainable development.  Shift toward adaptive methods and processes.  Shift toward precautionary rather than predictive approaches.  Need of identification of appropriate safety margins and continual monitoring.Two future situations which can be identified afterunderstanding upcoming future challenges in the area ofEnvironmental and Social Impact Assessment are –  Ideal situation: Identification of needed changes as per information of national sustainability agenda and incorporation of suggested changes.  Realistic situation: Incorporation of development aims and trends that apply locally into newly defined policies and plans. 4
  • Perspectives: For an integrated approachThere are some important perspectives which need to beconsidered for better adaptive and integrated approach. Forusing a basic impact assessment tool as a real sustainabilitytool, it is important to consider these perspectives –  First, sustainability agenda can provide an appropriate context or reference point to identify needed changes in the basic impact assessment methodologies to make them more adaptive.  Second, use can be made of local information on the policy to develop conclusions on what could be the possible approach in the way of capacity building to improve the basic impact assessment methods like Regulatory Impact Analysis etc.Poor nations are not fully capable of using typical assessmentmethods like Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Auseful framework can be provided for consideration of futuredirections for generally applied social and environmentalimpact assessment methods.For example, the World’s Bank’s Africa Region EnvironmentalStrategy includes broad priorities for action and sub-regionalobjectives. Overall, Environmental strategy of World Bank inAfrica region tries to improve the application of environmentalassessment and provide the essential institutional and technicaltools for environmental management. 5
  • Future Directions: For generally followedassessment methodsSome themes can be identified that will bear upon futuredirections for EIA and other generally applied impactassessment methods as sustainability tools.Themes would be capable of reflecting impacts, drivers,response and efficiency.  Impacts: Environmental and social changes need to be taken into account for creating an integrated assessment process.  Drivers: Underlying trends need to be factored into analysis and mitigation of adverse impacts.  Response: Improvements to be made in normally followed EIA and other impact assessment methods for effective functioning of these processes as sustainability tools.  Efficiency: Integration of existing environmental and social auditing tools to increase the efficiency of impact assessment process.For example, Environmental audits are used for differentpurposes but if they are properly integrated with a typical EIAprocess, then Environmental audits can be carried out as a partof the environmental management plan for projects subject toEIA. These audits will try to check that impacts are as predictedand mitigation measures are working as intended.Need of improvement in typical assessment process has beenrecognised by World level agencies.The World Commission on Dams had suggested improvementof EIA process by incorporation of certain values like equity,efficiency, participatory decision making, sustainability andaccountability.United Nations Environmental Programme suggested use of thepolluter pays principle to provide compensation for residualimpacts that cannot be mitigated or avoided. 6
  • Approach: For Integrated AssessmentFacilitation of balanced decision making in support ofsustainable development is the main aim of an integratedassessment process and this could be achieved by bringingfollowing changes in an impact assessment process.Identification of scopeIt is important to identify the boundaries of potentialenvironmental as well as social impacts and respectiverelationships to other policy areas. Necessary changes should beadopted to incorporate redefined boundaries of potentialimpacts.Preparing an integrated assessment designImportant considerations need to be taken while designing anintegrated assessment process are – timing of assessment,stakeholder and public consultation, data availability,methodology, consultation source and sustainability indicatorsidentification.Change in methods and techniquesNecessary changes should be brought in generally followedmethods to provide specific attention for an appropriatevaluation of environmental and social impacts, example to useImpact Analysis and Social Impact Assessment in anappropriate manner.Continual monitoringAn impact tracking system can be based on a set of properlyidentified sustainability indicators.Apart from these necessary areas of the impact assessmentprocess, there is one more important area which needs anadequate attention, that is, assessment of stake-holders strengthin influencing the decision making process. 7
  • Strategic Impact AssessmentStrategic Impact Assessment (SIA) is an integrative approachtowards sustainability assessment which can serve as animportant entry point for closer integration of social,economical and environmental considerations in evaluation ofproposed policies and plans.Core regional impact assessment methodologies need to bereformed into strategic impact assessment methodologies whichwould be capable of providing sustainable solutions forenvironmental and social issues.SIA is basically a tool which helps in creating a system toincorporate environmental, social and economicalconsiderations into policies, plans and programmes.This tool is applied when major alternatives are open andsystematic consideration can be given to environmental, socialimpacts and implications.Potential of SIA as a Sustainability tool –  It adds value to the basic impact assessment methodologies and complements them.  It is more adaptive approach than basically followed assessment strategies.  It is a step towards comprehensive option assessment.For example, a strategic environmental impact assessmentmethod can be developed for evaluating impacts associated witha construction project after proper integration of constructionmanagement methods of value engineering with typicalenvironmental impact assessment process.The possible advantages of such integration will be asfollowing –  Instead of looking at only one field at a time, this method will review all impacts and it would be easier to draw clear conclusions based on all information.  The method can depict links between the different impact fields.  Recognition of links will help in negating adverse impacts more effectively and efficiently. 8
  • SIA follows a more proactive approach than generally appliedassessment processes like EIA. SIA is a multi-disciplinary toolwhich is applied at the strategic level and considers widereconomical, social and environmental impacts.SIA provide many advantages like -  It is applied at the decision stage – policy, planning or program level (PPP) and helps in more informed decision making.  It results in improved project planning, improved project design and better coordination.  It incorporates more comprehensive use of sustainability principles from the start.  Cumulative impacts can be detected in earlier stage with the help of SIA.The most important benefit of SIA is that it helps in creation ofan environmental assessment framework throughout the project.Although key steps for conduction of SIA are defined but thereis no one method for conducting SIA, as a result each SIAprocess will be different and will more adaptable to the regionalneeds.Different forms of SIA result fundamentally from institutionaldevelopment of evaluation tools in accordance with policymaking processes and needs.These different forms of SIA try to cover areas like Policyimpact assessment (environmental and social assessment ofpolicy proposals), Regional or Spatial impact assessment (basedon community involvement in developing nations andimplications of multi-sectoral developments in a selectedgeographical area), Sector planning and evaluation (evaluationof sector investment programmes).Various agencies and world level organizations have startedproposing use of SIA. Dutch Aid agency successfully used SIAfor regional assessment based on community involvement. UKgovernment is currently using SIA in regional sustainabilityappraisal. In USA, programmatic environmental assessment isused to evaluate groups of actions related geographically. 9
  • Conclusion: Sustainability assuranceGenerally applied core environmental and social impactassessment methods can be successfully transformed intosuitable mechanisms for sustainability assurance.Following ways can help in achieving sustainability assurance –  Establishing an excellent coordination of core impact assessment processes, upstream with economic and social appraisal and downstream with environment management system tools. (Upstream integration should incorporate specific issues related to sustainability appraisal like full cost analysis of development proposals equated with integrated impact assessment, incorporation of sustainability aims, criteria and meeting minimum level of triple bottom line. On the other hand, downstream integration deals with incorporation of broad range of impacts; attention is given to all impacts on the environment, not only those associated with proposed development activity. For systematic assessment, the linkage and interaction among various social and environmental impacts needs to be placed in larger scale)  Developing operational frameworks of environmental sustainability against which development proposals can be tested for consistency is one of the very important steps in introducing sustainability assurance in assessment processes. 10
  • ReferencesLiteratureOECD (2008b), Conducting Sustainability Assessments, OECD, Paris.OECD (2006a), Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment: Good Practice Guidance forDevelopment Co-operation, OECD, Paris available at www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/21/37353858.pdfIAPA (Impact assessment and Project Appraisal) (2000), Strategic Environmental Assessment –special issue, edited by Wil Thissen.IAIA (International Association for Impact Assessment) (1998), Principles of EIA and SEA, IAIA.IAIA (International Association for Impact Assessment) (2001), SEA Performance Criteria, IAIA.Web siteshttp://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/indicators/http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/http://www.info.gov.hk/epd/http://www.iaia.orgMain journals on impact assessment issuesIAPA (Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal)EIA Review (Environmental Impact Assessment Review)Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 11