S and programmes on the environment. These are plans or programmes which are prepared and/or adopted by authorities and which are likely to have a significant I icon

S and programmes on the environment. These are plans or programmes which are prepared and/or adopted by authorities and which are likely to have a significant I


Aims of the Conference

Directive 2001/42/EC, known as the SEA Directive requires member states to develop a legally enforced assessment procedure to assess the effects of various plans and programmes on the environment. These are plans or programmes which are prepared and/or adopted by authorities and which are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. The Directive will affect regional and local development, waste and transport plans (finance, budget and civil defence plans are exempt). However, the Directive only applies to plans required by law, which tends to exclude national government programmes and plans as these are classified as ‘voluntary’ unlike those of local and regional government.

At this conference we would like to highlight similar experiences in the process of SEA throughout Europe.

For example, within the UK differences in Regulations, guidance and practice between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England has complicated the process of SEA. In the UK prior to the SEA many types of plan were required to carry out a ‘sustainability appraisal’ (SA) which included social and economic aspects as well as environmental. Thus the SEA will now be synonymous with SA’s in the UK whereas in Scotland the SEA applies to strategies as well as plans and programmes!

Do other member states have similar experiences?

With respect to marine and freshwater projects and plans the current Defra advice for the UK is thus: “Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs), Catchment Flood Management Plans (CFMPs) and Strategies, by which they mean any documented plan for medium to long-term river or coastal management, are not required by administrative provisions, as defined by ODPM. There is, therefore, no legal requirement to apply the Directive to these plans. However Defra strongly encourage their production to allow a strategic approach. However, Defra does not recommend an SEA approach be followed for Coastal Habitat Management Plans (CHaMPs) or Water Level Management Plans (WLMPs).”

Are there other examples from Europe that we can learn from?

This conference sets out to answer some of the pertinent questions throughout the EU surrounding Strategic Environmental Assessment including:

  • How do we deal with in-combination and cumulative impacts?

  • What is SEA and what does, or can, it achieve? Is it a truly holistic approach?

  • Does SEA provide better environmental performance?

  • Does SEA have a role to play in providing more integrated planning in marine and coastal regions?

  • Is SEA enough, or is a more centralised planning process required, such as holistic spatial plans for the coastal zone?

  • Do we have the information and tools required to properly undertake SEA in coastal regions? From experience to date what difficulties have been encountered, and what are future needs?

  • Is there or should there be cross border cooperation in SEA in marine regions, for example in the North Sea, Irish Sea or English Channel?

  • Do we have anything to learn from approaches elsewhere?

Conference Programme

9.30 – 10.00 Registration and refreshments

10.00 – 10.05 Introduction and Welcome

10.05 – 10.25 A Review of the development of Offshore SEA in the UK and Comparison with European experience.

Beverley Walker, Nick Brockie, I.Gatward, (Royal Haskoning) UK

Session 1 The influence of SEA on environmental performance (Chair: Alex Midlen Strategic Director), CoastNet

10.25 – 10.45 Can SEA improve plan environmental performance? A practical perspective.

Tom Matthewson, Louise McAbendroth, Matt Clegg, (Black and Veatch Ltd.), UK


10.45 - 11.05 Developing the learning potential of Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Sue Kidd and Urmila Jha-Thakur, (Dept. Civic Design, University of Liverpool), UK

11.05 –11.15 Questions and discussion

11.15 – 11.35 REFRESHMENT BREAK (20 minutes)

Session 2 Institutional Frameworks for SEA (Chair: Tom Matthewson)

11.35 – 11.55 The legal design of Belgian impact assessment systems: fit for good marine governance?

Jan De Mulder, (Maritime Institute, University of Gent), Belgium

11.55 – 12.15 The Environment Agency’s role in SEA of Coastal Management Plans.

Lucia Susani, (Environment Agency), UK

12.15 – 12.25 Questions and discussion

12.25 – 13.30 LUNCH (1 hour)

Session 3 Methodologies for SEA (Chair: L Susani)

13.30 – 13.50 Learning from aquatic environmental assessments.

Jo Foden, Andrew Jones, (University of East Anglia), and Stuart Rogers, (Cefas), UK

13.50 – 14.10 North East Sea Fisheries Committee Pilot Fisheries Strategic Environmental Assessment.

David McCandless, (Chief Fishery Officer, NESFC, Bridlington), UK

14.10 – 14.20 Questions and discussion

14.20 – 14.40 REFRESHMENT BREAK (20 minutes)

Session 4 Case Studies (Chair: Alex Midlen)

14.40 - 15.00 1. Marine: Sediment budgets as a tool for assessing environmental impact of the port industry on estuaries under the SEA Directive: A case study of Southampton Water

Liz Williams, Dept. (Civil Engineering and Environment, University Southampton), UK

15.00 – 15.20 2. Terrestrial: Planning and environmental assessments, limitations and potentials. The example of the transport system in a coastal urban agglomeration: Bahía de Cádiz (Andalucía, Spain)
Gustavo Alés Villarán, Agustin Antúnez Corrales, Salvador Espada Hinojosa, Carolina López Heras, Antonio Luna del Barco (Universities of Málaga and Cádiz), Spain

15.20 – 15.40 3. Implementation: Case study on SEA and ICZM, Emilia Romagna Region, Italy

Eng. Maria Romani (DG spatial Planning) and Eng. Katia Raffaelli (DG Environment).

15.40 – 16.00 Summary and Close - Alex Milden


A Review of the development of Offshore SEA in the UK and Comparison with European experience

Beverley Walker, Nick Brockie, I.Gatward, Royal Haskoning, 126 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 2BH

^ Beverley Walker

Beverley is a senior environmental professional with over 25 years environmental experience, specialising in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Her EIA experience was gained over a wide diversity of sectors, with particular emphasis on hydro-ecology and the protection and management of catchments, wetlands, ports and harbours, biodiversity and water resources in Western Australia, Ireland and the UK (including Northern Ireland). Beverley has worked with government bodies in the Republic of Ireland, particularly in regard to public consultation mechanisms, and the implications of the SEA Directive on planning authorities. In the UK, Beverley has gained experience working with infrastructure, planning and Windfarm EIA’s, and in housing and regeneration SEA’s


This paper will present a review of current offshore Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) projects in the United Kingdom with respect to the energy industry. The paper will review the approach taken in the UK and compare this with that of other European countries in a similar offshore energy context.

In UK waters the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), formerly the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) is the principal regulator of the offshore oil and gas industry. Although the SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) was not incorporated into UK law until 2004, BERR has been proactive in utilising and developing the SEA process in relation to Oil and Gas licensing rounds since 1999/2000. Recently the Offshore SEA has expanded in scope to include all aspects of Offshore Energy, including renewables and, most recently, carbon capture and gas storage. The SEA process followed by BERR has evolved and improved through the sequence of SEAs that have been undertaken and this will continue with future SEAs. The scoping report for the current UK Offshore Energy SEA was published in December 2007 (www.offshore-sea.org.uk). This will consider a Draft Plan for further rounds of offshore wind leasing, oil and gas licensing and gas storage licensing in UK waters.

The Scottish Executive also commissioned an SEA for Marine Renewables in 2005. Specifically this was intended to assess the potential effects from development of wave and tidal energy devices off the west and north coasts of Scotland. While meeting the requirements of the SEA Directive and to assist in informing decisions at the project level, the SEA was also intended to inform the Scottish Executive in the development and implementation of its future marine renewable energy strategy and future planning guidance for marine energy development.

A number of European countries have similar strategic level, pre-selection guidelines as the offshore SEA process followed in the UK, but most do not have a formal method in place as yet. For example, Denmark has developed a process that can be likened to SEA. Strategic mapping of the Danish coast commenced in 1995, 6 years before the SEA Directive was introduced. The mapping process has been used and is currently being used to assess the possibilities for the location of future offshore wind farms in Danish waters. In Germany the SEA Directive came into force in 2005. Prior to this a pre-selection process was already in place to assist in the optimal placement of offshore wind farms in German waters. The SEA process is now used to to identify strategically attractive locations, then assess potential impacts to define preferred areas for development.

In Ireland SEAs have been undertaken for two deep water areas off the West coast, focused primarily on oil and gas exploration and development of Ireland. However, the process adopted has the potential for application to the renewables industry, with the first offshore windfarm being completed in Ireland in 2003. In Belgium a process similar to SEA for pre-qualification and selection of preferred sites for construction of offshore wind farms is in development. To date one offshore wind farm, out of eight original applications, has passed the screening process.

The paper will present in further detail a comparison of the use of the SEA process developed for offshore energy in the UK and in other European states in response to the adoption of the SEA directive in 2001.

^ Can SEA improve plan environmental performance? A practical perspective.

Tom Matthewson, Louise McAbendroth, Matt Clegg, (Black and Veatch Ltd.), UK

^ Tom Matthewson

Tom has led the environmental assessment group at Black & Veatch since 2001, and manages major strategic environmental assessments, EIAs and audit project work. He has 14-years experience in impact assessment, specialising in the aquatic environment, gained in both the consultancy and public sectors. Tom’s SEA experience includes water resources and river & coastal management, and related impact studies have included maritime infrastructure developments, and major power & desalination projects, including renewable energy proposals.

He will be joining ENVIRON in March 2008; and can then be contacted on Tel. 020 7939 7010, email: tmatthewson@uk.environcorp.com


This paper will review the effectiveness of SEA at influencing plan development. It will draw on the authors’ practical experiences of the application of statutory and non-statutory SEA in the water utilities and flood risk management sectors; supplemented by reference to other SEAs in the public domain.

Particular issues to be explored will include:

  • The role of SEA in plan-making; for example

    • finding a balance within the SEA process between plan option development and appraisal, and assessment of the preferred plan;

    • how the SEA findings can best be integrated within the overall plan decision-making;

    • interactions with other requirements, e.g. In-combination effects and Appropriate Assessments;

  • Assessment methods and their influence on plan development; for example

    • focussing of objectives and assessment criteria to inform option choice and plan development;

    • exploring the role quantitative assessment and MCA could play in improving integration;

    • defining ‘significance’ at the strategic level;

  • Effectiveness of SEA at ‘leveraging’ the involvement of stakeholders in plan-making, for example

    • utilising assessment methods that achieve transparency;

    • communication methods to achieve stakeholder input to plan-making;

    • addressing expectations over the level of stakeholder influence that can be achieved.

  • How can we make sure we learn lessons for the future?

Developing the learning potential of Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Sue Kidd and Urmila Thakur, (Dept. Civic Design, University of Liverpool), UK (suekidd@liverpool.ac.uk)

Sue Kidd

A chartered town planner and senior lecturer in the Department of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests include strategic environmental assessment, sustainability appraisal and coastal and marine planning. She has been involved for many years in sustainability appraisal activities and this work has included acting as an independent advisor on development plan appraisals and assisting the development of the North West Integrated Appraisal Toolkit. Sue is currently engaged in two research council funded projects. The first is funded under the ESRC/Academy for Sustainable Communities targeted initiative and is titled ' Developing the Learning Potential of Appraisal in Spatial Planning'. The second is an ESRC/NERC funded Trans-disciplinary Seminar Series titled 'Managing Ecosystem Services in the Marine Environment'. Sue's interest in coastal and marine planning is reflected in her current position as Chair of the North West Coastal Forum.

^ Urmila Jha-Thakur

A post-doctoral researcher in Environmental Assessment at the University of Liverpool, Department of Civic Design. She graduated in Geography in 2000 from University of North Bengal, India. Her interest in environmental management started during her undergraduate degree when she conducted a grass-root level survey of a rehabilitated village located within a coal mining area in India.  To pursue her interest further in the field of environmental management, Urmila studied MBA (Environmental Management) in University of Liverpool. Supported by Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS) and University of Liverpool International scholarship, she continued with her Ph.D. in the field of EIA. During her Ph.D. she was also invited for work placement in Wildlife Institute of India (Dehradun). Urmila has been associated with the European Council funded project PENTA (Promotion of European Education on Environmental Assessment for Third Country Audience). She is currently engaged in a research council funded project titled ' Developing the Learning Potential of Appraisal in Spatial Planning'.


Strategic Environmental Assessment for plans and programmes became a formal requirement in the European Union through Directive 42/2001/EC (the SEA Directive). As a result it had to be transposed into national legislation of the then 15 (later 25, now 27) member states by the 21st July 2004. This process has led to the adaptation of SEA practice in various forms and shapes in Europe. SEA aims to ensure that due consideration is given to environmental and other sustainability aspects in policy, plan and programme making above the project level. Implicit in the concept therefore is that some form of learning should take place through the SEA process. Most fundamentally it is envisaged that this will result in some modification to the policy, plan or programme which is the subject of the SEA. However, over a period of time it is possible that this learning may also influence and modify the beliefs and behaviour of both individuals and organisations more generally to the benefit of the environment. To date though the learning dimension of SEA is not well understood.

This paper relates to key questions set out in the call for papers. In particular it addresses questions about the nature of SEA and what it does, or can achieve? Similarly it provides some insight into the issue of whether SEA does in fact lead to better environmental performance. It does this by discussing the preliminary findings of an Academy for Sustainable Communities and ESRC funded research project which aims to develop a deeper understanding of learning in SEA. The assumption underlying the study is that learning is a necessary aspect of SEA but this learning potential is currently not being fully realised because associated knowledge and skills are currently ill-developed. The research approach adopted is comparative in nature exploring learning in SEA in three countries within Europe, namely UK, Germany and Italy each of which have developed quite distinctly different approaches to SEA.

The purpose of the paper is to set out a framework for understanding the learning dimension of SEA. This has been developed through an international literature review and considers the ways in which SEA relates to individual, organisational and societal learning and how different SEA methodologies and contextual factors may interact to affect learning outcomes. In developing this analytical framework the paper has drawn in particular on Kolb’s theory of experiential learning and Argyris and Schon’s theory of organisational learning. It is anticipated that the framework can be used to develop a much finer-grained insight into the dynamics of learning in SEA and how SEA, individual and organisational practices may be adjusted to improve the learning potential of SEA. The timing of the conference may enable initial findings from the three case studies to be reported. These are designed to test out and refine the analytical framework and identify factors promoting or detracting from learning in SEA.

^ The legal design of Belgian impact assessment systems: fit for good marine governance?

Jan De Mulder, (Maritime Institute, University of Gent), Belgium

Jan De Mulder

He has a degree in Law (1984, University of Ghent) a postgraduate degrees in Development Studies (1988, University of Ghent) and Human Ecology and Environmental Impact Assessment (1995, Free University of Brussels). Employed by the Government of Hong Kong (investment promotion advisor, 1989) and the Government of the Republic of Surinam (legal advisor, 1990-1992).  From 1994 to 2006 he was a legal counsel / assistant to the director with the Environment Administration of the region of Flanders (Belgium). In that period he chaired the Belgian co-ordination committee on international EIA-issues and was member of the EIA-SEA-experts network of the European Union. From 2004 to 2006 he was also chairman of the Meeting of the Signatories of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Protocol to the UNECE Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context and as such member of the Bureau of this Convention. IN 2000-2001 he spent six months with DG ENV of the European Commission to support the final negotiation phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive. From February 2002 until October 2006 he was a part-time researcher with the Maritime Institute of the Department of Public International Law at the University of Ghent. His research was focused on the legal aspects of emissions trading as a climate policy tool.. Since 2006 he works as a policy advisor on international and research issues with the Public Governance Department of the Flemish government. He is still engaged with the Maritime Institute as a voluntary collaborator. He is also co-chair of the Law Section of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). He publishes regularly on environmental law and sustainable development


Due to its constitutional structure, Belgium is a federal state. The societal evolution and the historical devolution of competencies have resulted in a multi-actor policy approach at different policy levels: municipal, provincial, regional and national (federal). Competencies regarding particular policy fields like e.g. environment are often not attributed to one policy level. The application of policy instruments in such a framework leads to complex processes and regulatory frameworks for decision making within Belgium.

The transposition of the consecutive EU Directives has resulted in a growing environmental impact assessment practice. (E)IA approaches/requirements are found in horizontal as well as in specific legislation.

Most EIA legislation however is to be found at the regional level, except for the projects in the Belgian Marine Environment which has remained a federal issue (also nuclear installations). For certain projects on the North Sea coastline in Flanders - the only coastal region in Belgium – the decision making process requires the application of both the federal and regional legislations.

Later on the transposition of the strategic environmental assessment Directive of 2001 revealed a more profound “impact” on decision making processes. The final adoption of federal and regional SEA legislation happened in the course of 2006-2007.

The application of the impact assessment frameworks has showed overlaps, omissions and loopholes and both proponents and authorities have to deal with these institutional features.

The paper will focus on an analysis of the legal frameworks regarding EIA and SEA as applicable for developments (plans, projects) in or related to the Belgian part of the North Sea

  • The (federal) "MMM" act (act of 20 January 1999 on the protection of the marine environment in sea areas under Belgian jurisdiction, changed by the act of 17 September 2005) and its implementing royal orders

  • The (federal) “SEA” act (act of 13 February 2006) and its implementing royal order of 5 June 2007

  • The Flemish EIA / SEA decree (part of the framework decree on general provisions regarding environmental policy, changed by the decree of 27 April 2007) and its implementing orders of 10 December 2004 and 12 October 2007

Both “sets” of legal frameworks will be compared.

Furthermore an internal inter-regional co-operation agreement on EIA is into force since 1994. However the federal level is no party to this agreement and its implementation has been very weak.

Given the particular institutional setting framework, the (dis)advantages of an (updated) co-operation agreement (including SEA) will be discussed.

Also cross border co-operation issues will be explored from the perspectives of the UNECE instruments (the Espoo Convention and Kiev Protocol but also others, e.g. bilateral agreements, EGTC etc.)

The Environment Agency’s role in SEA of Coastal Management Plans.

Lucia Susani, (Environment Agency), UK


Lucia Susani

Environmental Assessment Policy and Process Manager at the Environment Agency. She is responsible for setting policy and procedures for the Environmental Assessment of internal projects; for developing processes to respond to external consultation requests on Environmental Assessments; and for liaising with Government agencies and other statutory consultees on Environmental Assessment issues. Lucia has been with the Environment Agency for approximately four years. Previously she worked extensively in the private sector, as a consultant focusing on Environmental Impact Assessment of industrial and commercial developments.


As of April 2008, the Environment Agency will be responsible for overseeing management of all flood and coastal erosion risk in England. This will increase accountability and clarity for the public, and help ensure that work is properly prioritised and managed. The new overview will also enable us to ensure that all management of the coast is done in a more sustainable way.

Under the new arrangements we will:

  • take the lead in managing all sea flooding risk in England, and fund and oversee coastal erosion works undertaken by local authorities;

  • ensure that proper and sustainable long-term Shoreline Management Plans are in place for the English coastline;

  • work with Local Authorities and Internal Drainage Boards to ensure that the resulting flood and coastal erosion works are properly planned, prioritised, procured, completed and maintained to get maximum value for taxpayers’ money;

  • ensure that third party defences are sustainable.

Local Authorities and Internal Drainage Boards are competent authorities under the Land Drainage Act 1991 and /or the Coast protection Act 1949, and will therefore be responsible for preparing coastal management plans, strategies and projects. In our reviews under the new arrangements, we will expect these to be to the same standards as ours, as we all work to common Defra Guidance.

Defra guidance also requires Coastal Management plans to be supported by a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) (http://www.defra.gov.uk/environ/fcd/policy/sea.htm). The Environment Agency will have a dual role in both (i) reviewing SEAs done by Internal Drainage Boards and Local Authorities, and (ii) setting the standard through the SEA of its own Coastal Management Plans. We will expect SEAs and the resulting Environmental Reports to comply with existing government guidance on SEA, namely the 2005 ODPM Practical Guide to the SEA Directive.

Local Authorities of course have well established experience in SEA and Sustainability Appraisal, through the activities required of their own Planning departments for SA of Local Development Documents. This experience needs to be garnered and accessed to support SEA development for Coastal Management Plans.

We look forward to working with Local Authorities and Internal Drainage Boards to support the SEA process for Coastal Management Plans, by:

  • Presenting our internal approach to SEA;

  • Pointing to and highlighting existing guidance on SEA, and discussing with interested parties what/whether additional guidance may be required;

  • Acting as an effective statutory consultee during the early Scoping stage, and in our review of the full Environmental Report

  • Considering the value of and the need for training on SEA specifically for the coastal departments of Local Authorities

  • Encouraging stronger links between Local Authority staff involved in the SEA/SA of Local Development Plans, and those undertaking Coastal management plans;

  • Providing good examples of SEAs for SMPs prepared internally.

Our presentation will cover these issues through appropriate discussion.

^ Learning from aquatic environmental assessments.

Jo Foden, Andrew Jones, (University of East Anglia), and Stuart Rogers, (Cefas), UK

Jo Foden

Postgraduate PhD student (1st year) at the University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences: Assessing combined effects of human activities for marine planning and integrated management in UK seas


Professional experience

: Marine ecosystem scientist: OSPAR eutrophication assessment – conducting the comprehensive procedure assessment for English and Welsh marine waters, and report writing : In previous position: responsible for developing ecological monitoring and assessment indices for angiosperms and macroalgae under the EU Water Framework Directive, for use by UK Government Agencies (e.g. Environment Agency) and conservation agencies (e.g. Countryside Council for Wales). : Also, provision of advice to UK Government on eutrophication in estuaries and coastal waters.


Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) are formalised, structured processes that assess the environmental impacts of a plan or programme before licensing decisions are made. Many other assessments in the marine environment have been generated by the need to understand and describe important marine ecosystem processes and anthropogenic impacts on them. These can relate to single or multiple sectors, include one or more components of the ecosystem and include varying amounts of interaction between them.

This paper reviewed a variety of assessments in the freshwater, estuarine and fully marine environment, at local, national, international and global scales, to categorise them according to the parameters considered, the number of trophic levels included, the presence and nature of the linkages between biotic and abiotic factors, and the inclusion of socio-economic factors. Single trophic level assessments were found to be the most common, being conducted frequently and regularly. Assessments giving consideration to increasing numbers of parameters and having greater quantitative rigour were fewer in number. Where this continuum reached the point of fully integrated ecosystem assessments, these were scarce; a probable reflection of their complexity, difficulty to conduct and greater resource requirement.

Whilst this not a surprising result, it was found that the terms ‘ecosystem’, ‘integrated’ and ‘assessment’ were frequently used, but often misrepresentative in their application. Some so-called ecosystem assessments actually gave no consideration to abiotic factors. Similarly the term integrated was applied to assessments that actually analysed parameters independently, with no attempt to make dynamic linkages between. In principle, all such assessments should be an estimation of the value, magnitude, quality, state of health, or capacity to function within a norm. These are relative terms, so to conduct any type of assessment requires pre-definition of such terms, along with the methods to be used, and the standards against which parameters are judged. However, many attempts at marine environmental assessments fail in one or more of these three respects resulting in subjective outcomes.

The diversification of assessments and lack of a coherent terminology to differentiate the various types is more than a mere limitation or irritation to an audience, since it can lead to unnecessary misunderstanding. Lessons learnt from this review are briefly described, with an emphasis on their implication for the future conduct of SEA.

^ North East Sea Fisheries Committee Pilot Fisheries Strategic Environmental Assessment.

David McCandless, (Chief Fishery Officer, Chief Fishery Officer, North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee, Town Hall, Bridlington, david.mccandless@eastriding.gov.uk

^ David McCandless

Born on 16th September 1969 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. Graduated from University College of North Wales, Bangor, in 1991 with a BSc Joint Honours degree in Marine Biology & Oceanography and an MSc in Fisheries Biology & Management in 1992. Between 1992 and 1995, employed as a British Sea Fishery Officer with the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency, based on the Shetland Islands. Since 1996 employed by North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee, taking over the role of Chief Fishery Officer in 2001.



North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee (NESFC) was established on the 9th July 1890. It is one of twelve similar organisations surrounding the coastlines of England and Wales. Its primary statutory functions relate to the management and conservation marine resources within its District. The NESFC District stretches from the River Tyne, to the Humber Estuary and seaward to six nautical miles. In 2006 the local fishing industry comprised of 294 licensed vessels providing employment for over 774 men. During 2006 over 6,900 tonnes of whitefish and 4,500 tonnes of shellfish were landed at the major ports for a total first sale value of £6.2 million and £9.9 million respectively (MFA 2007).


In July 2007 NESFC, in partnership with Mott MacDonald, commenced a one-year project to pilot a fisheries strategic environmental assessment process. The project is supported by a national steering group comprising of key organisations and has two main aims:

  1. To deliver a generic framework for undertaking a fisheries specific SEA in the U.K

  2. To utilise the generic model to pilot a fisheries specific SEA within the NESFC District providing a point of reference and guidance for other organisations wishing to undertake a fisheries related SEA in the future.

The SEA process has not yet been utilised within a marine fisheries context. Given the novel and pioneering nature of the project, the steering group approved the following definition of an SEA for a fishery:-

“A Strategic Environmental Assessment for a fishery is a method of examining and mitigating the effects, both current and future, on the marine environment of a fisheries management plan or programme. Such effects might include depletion of fish or shellfish stocks, seabed damage and impacts on other species, for example, seabirds, dolphins or porpoises. The assessment process derives recommendations, designed to reduce the impacts of the environmental effects. The type of fisheries management plan or programme which might be subject to an SEA could include, for example, local or national shellfish regulations or more complex national or European plans such as the future introduction of the Marine Bill or the new European Fisheries Fund”.


The project has three key stages:-

  1. Scoping & terms of reference.

  2. Production of a generic fisheries focused SEA (including review of current legislation & guidelines, identifying commonalities in processes, stakeholder consultation, agreeing core components of the generic framework, provision of detailed guidance, mitigation measures, finalisation of framework).

  3. Development of a pilot SEA for shellfish management (including setting objectives, developing options & assessing effects, preparing the environmental report, stakeholder consultation, monitoring the effects and implementing the plan on the environment).

^ Outcomes & Objectives

- The project will deliver a documented generic process for undertaking a fisheries related SEA in the U.K and E.C.

- The project will deliver a pilot SEA relative to the shellfish sector operating within the North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee jurisdiction.

- This work will enable organisations such as DEFRA, Sea Fisheries Committee’s and the Environment Agency to further develop and utilise the SEA process as part of the regular management programme of U.K fisheries.

Sediment Budgets as a Tool for Assessing Environmental Impact of the Port Industry on Estuaries under the SEA Directive: A Case Study of Southampton Water

Elizabeth Williams, PhD Environmental Science, Department of Civil Engineering and the Environment,
University of Southampton

^ Elizabeth Williams

My MRes Coastal Engineering for Climate Change focused on quantifying the change in the distribution of salt marsh and mudflats on Southampton Water, UK and the possible reasons for this change. I am now studying towards a PhD in Environmental Science focusing on developing a sediment budget for Southampton Water to improve the understanding of the influences of the port on the eroding intertidal zone and working in collaboration with the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council to identify potential areas for recharge in Hampshire.


Approximately 80 of the 170 commercial ports in the UK are in or near areas protected under the European Habitats Directive [1]. Under the SEA Directive plans which are identified in Article 6 and 7 of the Habitats Directive to have a possible impact on the environment are required to complete an environmental assessment [2]. Port development is likely to have a significant impact on protected habitats through activities such as dredging and reclamation however is an activity likely to continue due to overriding public interest and so requires environmental assessment. By quantifying the historic changes in the inputs, outputs and storage changes of sediment in an estuary system and relating these to various activities associated with port development this study aimed to show that a sediment budget can be used as a tool to assess the environmental impact of ports on estuarine habitats.

Study Area- Southampton Water, Southern England (Adapted from [3])

Southampton Water, south east England, is sheltered from wave attack by its NW-SE orientation and the Isle of Wight which has encouraged the growth of salt marsh and mudflats over the past six millennia [4]. The intertidal zone is protected as both a SPA and SAC due to the wildfowl and waders and habitats it supports and provides a valuable natural sea defence to both industry and housing. The estuary also provides a major navigational route to both the major Port of Southampton and Prince Charles Container Terminal. The Port industry in Southampton supports 10,000 jobs directly and contributes £1.3 billion to the regional economy [5].

By quantifying the change in the intertidal zone and cliff input from aerial photography; channel change from hydrographical surveys and river input from Environment Agency data the sediment budget between 1783 and 2007 was calculated. By quantifying the changes in the estuary due to port development various reclamation schemes have removed 43% of the mudflat area and 34% of the salt marsh between 1889 and 2003. Dredging activities have seen the main shipping channel deepened from 7.5m below CD to 12.6m below CD in 1996/7. By investigating the intertidal change from aerial photographs and historic maps on the western shore of Southampton Water the intertidal zone declined in area by 234 ha between 1889 and 2003 indicating an overall loss of sediment from this valuable habitat over the past century. The largest supply of sediment to the estuary was found to be from marine sources with changes in storage from the intertidal also contributing. Preliminary results indicate that the removal of sediment from the estuary system through navigational dredging to a dumping ground off the Isle of Wight removes 1.5 times the natural input of sediment to the estuary. By sectioning the estuary into four zones and investigating the change in the sediment budget for each of these further analyses will identify where sediment removed from the estuary is derived from, what the impact of sediment changes have had on the hydrodynamics and of the system and whether the sediment removed from the estuary through dredging could potentially be recycled back in to the estuary system to sustain the estuary habitats.

Planning and environmental assessments, limitations and potentials. The example of the transport system in a coastal urban agglomeration: Bahía de Cádiz (Andalucía, Spain)

Gustavo Alés Villarán1 , Agustín Antúnez Corrales1,2 , Salvador Espada Hinojosa1* , Carolina López Heras1, Antonio Luna del Barco1,3

^ Salvador Espada Hinojosa


The 1995 environmental protection law already included the environmental impact assessment of Infrastructures Plans that could alter the environment. After this law, the three main urban agglomerations in Andalucía (Sevilla, Cádiz and Málaga) have experienced an important effort in their transport system planning. Our aim with this work is show our experience with regard to the planning and the environmental assessment of one of them: Bahia de Cadiz. Its coastal nature provides the originated environmental conflict of an especial intensity together with a great potential of improvement. In order to characterise and understand the overlapping between the human transport net and the environment, two methods have been applied in the study of the Inter-modal Transport System Plan for 2007 formulated in 1995: 1) The development of environmental quantitative indicators for different scenarios of public transport use/private transport use rate. 2) The formulation of a matrix of qualitative impacts. These methods have provided us with tools to assess impacts and produce and select alternatives in the frame of a proactive approach. The review of the processes of the planning and the assessment, once the final year considered in the plan 2007 has passed, together with the obtained achievements, are the main purposes of this communication. Part of the proposals of the plan, such as the creation of metropolitan bodies for transport management or the construction of infrastructures, has been implemented during this time. This represents obvious improvements related to the achievements of particular goals, although the limited use of the strategic planning has produced the lack of synergic options for improvements or even antagonistic effects that weakens the general goals. Under the lack of a holistic strategy, the pressure produced on the social and physical environment due to the transport system, leads to the reproduction of obsolete patterns aimed at the constructions of infrastructure mainly for cars, lacks the treatment of mobility management, creation of proximity, environmental sensibility, social participation in the decision making. In an area like the coastal zone of Andalucía, where “hyper-developmentalism” has dominated the political action for the last 20 years, both planning and environmental assessment are affected by the existing barrier between the public performances and the "public" as defined by S.E.A. Directive. The public, associations, organizations or groups have had difficulties to actually take part in the public decision making although all plans and policies consider social participation as the cue for the sustainability. The opening to prolific social contributions and the comparison of methods and points of view between managers and the rest of our society reveal a potential in order to solve the conflict between environment conservation and development in coastal areas. The empowerment of the people can be achieved by means of including them in the real processes of participation, in the design and surveillance of the planning. While the public does not take part in this constructive intellectual effort, at least not in our low latitudes, both planning and environmental assessment regulations will simply remain a decoratively filled paper.


1 I.S.M.A. - Iniciativas de Sostenibilidad, Medioambiente y Autogestión.

2 Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad de Málaga.

3 Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales. Universidad de Cádiz.

*Adress for correspondence: Glorieta de la Cortadora Edificio Alfa 8ºB 11011Cádiz (España). Email: salvador.espada@gmail.com

^ Case study on SEA and ICZM, Emilia Romagna Region, Italy

Eng. Maria Romani (DG spatial Planning) and Eng. Katia Raffaelli (DG Environment).

Maria Romani

Engineer; from 2003 she works for spatial planning department of Emilia-Romagna Region. Her work involves in planning processes - following the application of regional law 20/2000 "Land use and land protection" - to analyse the interaction between environmental and territorial systems. She has been involved in activities for the different guidelines project: ICZM and seismic guidelines. From 2000 to 2003, she has collaborated with the transportation department

^ Katia Raffaelli

Engineer; from 2005 she works for Environment Department of Emilia-Romagna Region. Her work involves in plans and programmes for the protection of coastal and marine environments. She has been involved in activities for the ICZM regional strategy and maritime policy: guidelines, pilot projects, training and communication, international cooperation. From 2001 to 2005, she has collaborated with the Transportation Department. 


The purpose of our communication is to give some examples on environmental sustainability for the planning system in coastal areas, and highlight some initiatives carried out to improve and develop the regional Integrated Management of Coastal Zones (ICZM).

Emilia-Romagna Region approved in 2005 the program “Integrated Management of Coastal Zones” and the related guidelines. The Guidelines consider the “settlement system” as one of the strategic sectors upon which, action should be focused by administration bodies and agencies involved in spatial planning, They should also define a set of references to use to prepare an integrated cognitive picture between the different sectors which have an impact on coastal areas. The objective of ICZM is to establish a common criteria for the planning system and for all those who are involved in the development, management and use of the coastal area.

The Regional Law n. 20/2000 concerning “Land Use” anticipated the contents of Community Directive 2001/42/CE and it recognised a relationship based on interaction between planning competence and environmental, settlement, networked infrastructure, and mobility systems. This law identifies in the preventive evaluation for plan sustainability, the tool for the assessment of interactions and impacts of planning choice and mitigation of possible negative outcomes; it also establishes the mandatory monitoring of effects and the regular drafting of implementation reports.

The Law n. 152/2006, about “Environmental rules”, has introduced the Community Directive 2001/42/CE and in particular the second part of the law concerns procedures for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and for Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC). At the moment the national government is correcting the law to effectively translate the Community Directive.

Consequently the Emilia-Romagna Region has written a document to give some procedures to the administrations which are involved in drawing plans and programmes for Strategic Environmental Assessment in accordance with the national law.

For these reasons and for the experience that we have achieved, we would like to present some examples of preventive evaluation for spatial and local plans in coastal areas as well as the use of ICZM in the planning system: the common objective of sustainability for environmental system and for settlement systems, common indicators to use in planning monitoring.

Finally we’d like to present the first result of pilot project of INTERREG III B CADSES PlanCoast “Spatial Planning in Coastal Zones”. The aim of pilot project was to study:

  • cumulative impacts on coastal area,

  • interconnections between different uses and different systems (environmental, settlement, networked infrastructure, and mobility systems),

  • common indicators,

  • common GIS orientated, data

  • common models to simulate evaluation of impacts and real achievement of ICZM objectives.

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