14. Summary

The key points to be learnt from the Assessment section include:

  • There is a 'hierarchy' of alternatives: demand reduction, type/process, location, management.
  • The public (or their representatives) can suggest useful alternatives.
  • An SEA should not include 'fake' alternatives that are not really being considered as part of decision-making.
  • An SEA should give reasons for eliminating alternatives from further consideration.
  • Impact prediction is 'objective'. Impact evaluation takes the predictions and determines how important they are: this is primarily a subjective exercise.
  • An SEA should take particular care with cumulative impacts, since these are generally not covered adequately in project EIA.
  • Impact prediction should consider the impact's scale, temporal impacts, probability.
  • Impact prediction is uncertain, and uncertainty increases the more strategic, long-term and large-scale the strategic action is. Attempts should be made to reduce this uncertainty where appropriate.  However it will not be possible, or even necessarily advantageous, to eliminate uncertainty: SEA should cope with uncertainty.
  • Part of impact prediction involves clarifying what is being appraised, and possibly rephrasing the strategic action to make it clearer.
  • Impact evaluation should consider who wins and loses: equity issues between groups of people, but also between environmental, social and economic issues.
  • Mitigation should be considered for all negative impacts.  There is a 'hierarchy' of mitigation measures: avoid - reduce - remediate - compensate.
  • Mitigation measures themselves can have impacts.

This is the end of the Assessment section; If you are unsure about anything please revisit the pages, and when you are ready, please move onto the next section.

June 13, 2006 Uncategorized — brendan @ 2:30 pm

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