This year it is the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the SEA Directive in the European Union and the entry into force of the SEA Protocol to the Espoo Convention. That makes this years’ “Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment – International Association of Impact Assessment SEA Prague II 2011” a good opportunity to reflect on the overall performance of SEA systems, introduce the latest innovations in our profession and outline the next decade of environmental assessments.

Organizers formed core questions of interest that include the following:
• What needs to be done to accelerate environmental integration into strategic level decision making through the application of SEA? How can we take advantage and promote existing SEA good practice worldwide and influence the identification and choice of sustainable development alternatives and options?
• Does SEA address the tougher issues and threats of cumulative and large scale environmental effects such as the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, resource depletion and climate change? Does SEA facilitate a transition to a green economy and effectively addresses impacts on human wellbeing? How can SEA better address these concerns?
• Does SEA facilitate constructive public participation and stakeholder dialogue? How can the SEA process be made more interactive? What value is added, e.g., by mediated discussion among key stakeholders and the search for development options that are in their mutual interest?

Oikos is actively participating at the Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment. Mojca Hrabar is a member of International Advisory Committee and is involved in organisation of conference themes “Sector-Specific SEA: Are We Getting it Right?” and “SEA and EU Cohesion Policy: Coming Together or Still Far Apart?”. Matjaž Harmel is involved in conference session “Transposition and Implementation Issues for Spatial Planning” with paper presentation “The Case of SEA Process in Ljubljana Spatial Plans”. Klemen Strmšnik is presenting a poster that deals with lessons learned in the process of “SEA of “3rd Development Axis” in Slovenia”.

All details on Special Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment and contributes of Oikos can be found on official web site of IAIA.

Author: Klemen Strmšnik