Essay about SEA in New Zealand

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Assessments of potential environmental consequences are being a major concern of many states to be incorporated in policy, planning, and programmatic levels. The reasons behind the growth of interest in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are mainly focused on the limitations of project-level environmental assessment and requirements of assessment in strategic level (Lee and Walsh, 1992). Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) refers to a systematic process of analyzing environmental effects of policies, plans and programmes (Dalal-Clayton and Sadler, 2005). SEA is rising as an attempt of systematically assess environmental impacts of decisions made at strategic level. The requirement of SEA have been identified
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SEA in New Zealand
The experience of Environmental Assessment (EA) could be traced in 1970s in New Zealand which was primarily focused on project level. Key principles and component of EA in strategic level has been first integrated in Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) which is the key environmental legislation of the country. One main aim of RMA was to integrate aspects of EA and statutory planning process (Wilson and Ward, 2011). To date, there is no legal requirement or authorization for SEA in New Zealand and the term SEA could not be found in any legislation of this country. The acts refers to general obligations to consider potential environmental impacts of policy and plans which are being developed but it does not set down any specific process for SEA. Then the components of ES have been integrated subsequently in other environmental and planning laws of New Zealand like transport sector and local government legislation (McGimpsey and Morgan, 2013). RMA doesn’t require a separate assessment process of environmental issues, it aims of including environmental assessment issues as a part of policy making and planning which refers to an integrated approach of SEA (Chaker et al., 2006).
The context of environment assessment in higher level of decision making process has been strengthened in New Zealand with the introduction of The New Zealand Transport Strategy (NZTS) and The Land Transport Management Act 2003 (LTMA). This made an obligation on local

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