BOKU - Universität für Bodenkultur Wien - Forschungsinformationssystem

Logo BOKU-Forschungsportal

Gewählte Publikation:

Rehhausen, A; Koppel, J; Scholles, F; Stemmer, B; Syrbe, RU; Magel, I; Geissler, G; Wende, W.
(2018): Quality of federal level strategic environmental assessment - A case study analysis for transport, transmission grid and maritime spatial planning in Germany
ENVIRON IMPACT ASSES. 2018; 73: 41-59. FullText FullText_BOKU

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) emerged from Environmental Impact Assessment (ETA) and was developed based on the procedural steps and understanding thereof, but with the goal to fulfil a more 'strategic' function. Federal level plans and programmes constitute the highest planning levels in Germany subject to SEA, as SEA for policies is not compulsory. In this article, we analyse the quality and procedural effectiveness of federal level SEA in Germany with the underlying hypothesis that federal level SEA might be more strategic than SEA at other planning levels, as it represents the highest tier. Therefore, we analysed three federal level SEA case studies in Germany according to a set of criteria and indicators based on international research outcomes, including SEA integration into decision making, tiering, scoping, selection and assessment of alternatives, cumulative effects assessment, public participation, and monitoring. Results demonstrate that the procedural effectiveness of SEA practice at the federal level is limited in Germany, and the making of SEAs proved not to be as 'strategic' as its important role prior to subsequent planning processes and outcomes would suggest. Reasons include an alternatives assessment restricted to macro siting instead of assessing scenarios of demand or system alternatives, tiering limited to general advice without specific guidance for subsequent planning levels, cumulative effects assessment limited to intra-plan effects, a lack of monitoring, and public participation limited to consultation on the environmental report. These findings support results from a variety of international studies. Reasons for limitations have been identified in current SEA regulations, prior policy-making, institutional settings, the institutions' willingness to learn and limited quality management by the German Federal Environmental Agency. Thus, our recommendations aim to improve quality management and learning by initiating a federal level SEA forum to discuss federal level planning and SEA practice and related issues, expanding the federal EIA portal to SEAs, quality management by the German Federal Environmental Agency in every federal level SEA scoping process and for every federal level environmental report, and further research and development to improve SEA practice. However, the general question for SEA research might be whether SEA contributes to long-term institutional learning processes beyond individual SEA processes, and how those learning processes can be supported, for instance by quality management and capacity building.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Geißler Gesa

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Case study analysis
Strategic environmental assessment
Impact assessment
Procedural effectiveness

© BOKU Wien Impressum