Strategic environmental assessment as a tool to contribute to high-level policy objectives

Elsa Joao, Anna Mclauchlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has often been identified as a key tool to contribute to sustainable development. This special issue of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management focuses on European SEA practice between 2003 and 2010 to critically evaluate SEA links to sustainable development and similar, difficult to define, high-level policy objectives: democratisation, good governance, agri-environmental objectives, and environmental justice. The papers centre upon the three main topics covered by the different research: SEA outcomes being directly related to policy goals; an analysis of the absence of SEA applied to "positive" policy objectives; and the realism of associating SEA with high-level policy objectives. In particular, this paper calls for greater critical engagement with this latter topic, identifying a need to examine why associations are made between SEA and policy goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • SEA
  • high-level policy objectives
  • sustainable development
  • European Union

Cite this