In Scotland, public bodies and some private companies operating in a public character are required to assess, consult and monitor the likely impacts of their plans, programmes and strategies on the environment. This process is known as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
SEA is a key component of sustainable development, establishing important methods for protecting the environment and extending opportunities for public participation in decision making. SEA achieves this by:
- Systematically assessing and monitoring the significant environmental effects of public sector strategies, plans and programmes
- Ensuring that expertise and views are sought at various points in the process from SNH, SEPA, Historic Scotland and the public
- Requiring a public statement as to how opinions have been taken into account.