Striking a balance between the need to achieve socio-economic growth and to conserve and sustainably use natural resources has become a pressing requirement globally, especially in developing nations. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) that recognises and integrates environmental, social and economic considerations into policies, plans and programmes is a recognised and effective planning tool in more than 90 countries across the globe.
The paper reflects on changing trends in SEA uptake and increasing momentum for its application in South Asia. Evidence suggests that various drivers including voluntary practice and donor driven impact assessments are favouring the uptake of SEA as a robust and futuristic planning support tool for sustainable growth in multiple economic sectors.The paper draws on numerous examples of SEA and ‘SEA-like’ instruments applied in different sectors in South Asia and identifies growth sectors where SEA has a significant potential to synchronise conservation and sustainable development objectives.
Dr. Akanksha Saxena Pandit, Rajvanshi, A., and Mathur, V. B., “Progressive Trends in the Uptake of SEA in South Asia”, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, vol. 18, p. 1650018, 2016.