FE534 Transport Planning: Does the Influence of Strategic Environmental Assessment/Integrated Assessment Reach Decision-making
Final Report of a Workshop
Eeva Furman and Mikael Hildén (eds.)
The Finnish Environment 534, Land Use, p. 82. ISBN 952-11-1064-3 (PDF). Also available in print (ISBN 952-11-1063-5).
During the 1997 UNECE Vienna Transport and Environment Conference, Finland took the responsibility for the work plan item on strategic environmental impact assessment (SEA). A study on cases was carried out and a workshop on environmental assessment as
a tool in transport planning was organised. The scope of the assessments studied was widened from strict SEA to integrated assessment (IA) when the process was linked with the interests of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT). In
Finland, the Ministries of Transport and Communications and of the Environment contracted the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) to take charge of the work.
Fourteen cases were submitted from ten different UN/ECE countries. A workshop was held on May 14-15, 2001, in Espoo, Finland. The workshop had 38 participants from 17 countries and 4 international organizations. Apart from a presentation of the
outcomes of the case study and short descriptions of specific issues found in the studied cases, the programme was built around discussions in working groups.
This report describes the issues that were brought up in the study on cases and in the workshop presentations and discussions. Chapter 2 outlines what effectiveness is, Chapter 3 discusses different factors that appear to determine whether influence is
achieved or not: They are divided into indispensable factors, i.e. those that every assessment should include, and into facilitating features, which are more assessment specific. Chapter 4 gives the views of the participants of this process on how the
UN/ECE could in the future support the development of SEA in the transport sector. The appendices include syntheses of cases, papers of the presentations, information on the workshop and its participants and a list of further reading.
The findings indicate that the will of the decision-makers to use the outcomes of the assessment is crucial. By linking the assessment closely with the planning process and other assessments close communication and the right timing can be ensured. The
will can be increased by involving decision-makers in the early phases of assessment. This helps in focussing on issues relevant to decision-makers and thus their will to use the outcomes may increase.
Counsellor Ulla-Riitta Soveri, Ministry of the Environment,
tel. +358 9 1603 9442, email@example.com