2 The Strategic Environmental Assessment Process
2.1.1 The 2005 Act requires public bodies in Scotland to carry out SEA on their plans, programmes and strategies. SEA is a way of examining plans, programmes and strategies as they develop, to identify any significant effects they may have on the environment. It ensures that environmental considerations are taken into account. SEA also aims to build in mitigation measures, to avoid or minimise any potentially significant adverse effects on the environment and look for opportunities to enhance a strategy's environmental performance.
2.1.2 This SEA process began with the production of a combined Screening and Scoping Report which was published in March 2018, setting out the proposed approach to the SEA, including the proposed scope and level of detail. Representations received from the SEA Consultation Authorities at the scoping stage helped to inform the following stages of the SEA process.
2.1.3 The assessment stage of the SEA was progressed, and the production of the 2018 Environmental Report was published for consultation on 9 November 2018, together with a number of documents, including the following:
- Consultation paper on proposals to classify 15 pSPAs in Scottish Waters;
- General policy and Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments (BRIAs);
- Scottish marine SPA Network Assessment: Species Assessments; and
- Scottish marine SPA Network Assessment.
2.1.4 In light of the comments received, the Scottish Government undertook a supplementary consultation to clarify and update its position on a number of points, including a revised and expanded set of SEA Reasonable Alternatives. These were subject to further assessment in the 2019 Updated Environmental Report which was published for consultation on 17 June 2019, together with a number of documents, including the following:
- Supplementary consultation paper on SEA and site classification of pSPAs for Scottish marine birds;
- Comments log presenting individual responses to comments received during the consultation on the 2018 Environmental Report; and
- Final Advice from NatureScot and JNCC on a network of marine pSPAs.
2.1.5 Following consultation, the views expressed in the consultation helped to inform the plan to classify SPAs.
2.1.6 This Post Adoption Statement concludes the SEA process and sets out those ways in which the findings of the 2019 Updated Environmental Report, and the views expressed by consultees have been taken into account.
2.1.7 Section 18(3) of the 2005 Act sets out the information that should be included in the Post Adoption Statement. This can be summarised as:
- how the environmental considerations have been integrated into the plan, programme, or strategy (Section 3);
- how the Environmental Report has been taken into account (Section 4);
- how the opinions of consultees have been taken into account (Section 5);
- the reasons for choosing the plan, programme or strategy as adopted, in light of the other reasonable alternatives considered (Section 6); and
- the measures to be taken to monitor the significant environmental effects of the implementation of the plan, programme or strategy (Section 7).
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