The SEA context-setting/baseline stages have helped to identify the policy context that affects the strategic action; the baseline environment; existing environmental problems; and possibly an SEA framework for use in the assessment stage. This information should help the competent authority to develop a range of alternatives for the strategic action.
In this section you will learn what the SEA Assessment stage involves. You will learn how to predict and evaluate the environmental and sustainability impacts of a strategic action, and to mitigate significant impacts.
- Prediction involves determining the scale, duration, likelihood etc. of the impact.
- Evaluation involves determining whether the predicted impact is significant or not: this requires an element of judgement.
- Mitigation involves trying to ameliorate any significant negative impacts or enhance positive impacts.
The assessment stage may need to be carried out several times during the development of a strategic action, for instance for the strategic action's objectives, various alternatives, and a detailed draft version of the strategic action: these terms/concepts were discussed in the section on SEA practice.