The future of SA and SEA

Photo credit: London December 1 2014 001 Bloomberg Place by David Hold on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Practitioners respond to the LPEG's report TO PROVE THE VALUE OF SA AND SEA

CEP’s Ric Eales and Bill Sheate have co-authored a paper, prepared by a group of sustainability appraisal (SA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) practitioners from eight consultancies (AECOM, Amec Foster Wheeler, CEP, Levett-Therivel, LUC, Ramboll Environ, Steve Lees Planning and TRL) and Oxford Brookes University, in response to the Local Plans Expert Group’s (LPEG) 2016 Report on Local Plans to the Communities Secretary and to the Minister of Housing and Planning.

The paper - ‘Sustainability appraisal: from LPEG’s “little genuine assistance” to making a real sustainable difference’ – challenges the LPEG report’s overall dismissive tone regarding SA/SEA, whilst acknowledging some areas of improvement are needed.  It focusses on developing a ‘next generation’ approach to SA/SEA, within the context of Brexit, which improves plan making and stakeholder engagement and contributes to more sustainable development.

The authors welcome LPEG’s interest in improving the process, but conclude that they believe that SA/SEA is a robust, insightful tool, informative to plan makers and those affected by plans and, if done well, can help plug a key local democratic deficit.

The paper is available here.

Webinar taster for ecosystem services and environmental assessment training

Photo: Bill Sheate - managed realignment, Fingringhoe, Essex.

Incorporating ecosystem services into environmental assessment training course - taster webinar recording NOW available

Ecosystem services are becoming increasingly prominent as a framework for linking the environment and people’s well-being. There is strong interest in what ecosystem services mean for processes such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal. One key difference is the framing of the natural environment as an opportunity or benefit as opposed to a constraint or backdrop to absorb impacts.

This webinar by CEP's Dr Bill Sheate for the Ecosystems Knowledge Network and the Irish Forum on Natural Capital introduces the topic, pointing to some of the resources and examples available. It was recorded on Friday, October 7, 2016 10:00 am and lasts for 30 minutes.

CEP providing environmental assessment training for EKN

One-day training courses in environmental assessment and ecosystem services being provided by CEP for the EcosystemS Knowledge Network 

CEP is providing two one-day training courses on Incorporating ecosystem services into environmental assessment in the UK on behalf of the Ecosystems Knowledge Network (EKN). The training days, which count for IEMA CPD, will be run in London (24 May 2016) and Manchester (29 June 2016).

The course is being offered for those who commission or undertake formal environmental assessments of all types in the UK, as well as those who use them, and will cover:

  • Why might the ecosystem service concept be useful in environmental assessment?
  • How can the concept be used in SA, SEA and EIA?
  • How might you use the concept? (theoretically and practically)
  • How is the concept actually being used?
  • Challenges and opportunities (data requirements; legal compliance; guidance).

The trainers will be Dr Bill Sheate (Technical Director, CEP) and Dr Peter Phillips (Senior Consultant, CEP)

Further details and booking are available here