STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT
STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT ASSESSMENT (SEA) is relatively a new area in impact analysis and evaluation of proposed plans, programs and policies (PPPs) on the environment. As such, there is need to develop the capacity of staff and the public to create awareness in this field so that it can be conducted for our PPPs within the organization.
KCCA’s jurisdiction has a resident population of 1,516,210 million which doubles during the day as many people are flocking into the city to look for jobs and better standards of living. So many factors have resulted into increased population pressure on the natural environment, infrastructure and social services like education, transport and health care.
SEA is particularly important for the following reasons;
- SEA is a process for analyzing and addressing the environmental and health effects of proposed policies, plans, and programs or other strategic initiatives (e.g. legislation or regulations). It can be applied at all stages and tiers of decision-making. When carried out systematically, SEA will help decision-making in KCCA to achieve a number of important environmental objectives and sustainable development aims which is in line with the KCCA vision.
- SEA will lead to better environmental protection and management and will promote sustainable development. It will also strengthen the KCCA policies, plans and programs, thereby providing a number of immediate and longer-term benefits for KCCA. The procedural benefits of SEA in KCCA will include efficiency of the planning processes and improved governance in the organization.
- SEA will help to inform and warn the KCCA decision-makers at an early stage about unsustainable development options. Ultimately, this will save time and money as problematic options are disregarded at a point in time when only few resources have been spent on their development.
- SEA helps to preserve a healthy environment. Sound application of SEA reduces the need for costly remediation of environmental problems that occur in implementing environmentally problematic strategic decisions. SEA thus provides economic, social and environmental benefits to current and future generations.
- It increases overall transparency of strategic decision making, which will help planners and decision-makers to create public trust and accountability in the planning process.
- SEA allows decision-makers to consider opinions of key stakeholders early in the planning process. This reduces the risk of deadlock during decision-making on individual projects such as locally-unwanted-land-use (LULU) and not in-my-backyard (NIMBY) situations. Finally, properly undertaken and accountable SEA will enhance KCCA credibility of policies, plans and programs.