Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has introduced the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) planning program to help with the evaluation of environmental impacts.
The new program will aid in the investigation of alternatives and monitoring efforts associated with the implementation of strategic projects, plans, and development programs. It will also ensure sustainable development and promote a healthy and resilient environment for future generations, as well as support meeting UAE Net Zero by 2050 goals.
“The assessment allows for the study of alternative project designs and implementation approaches. This, in turn, guides the development of proper mitigation measures and environmental management plans that will prevent or reduce any associated environmental impacts. It is a proactive approach that focuses on elimination and protection instead of just rehabilitation. The SEA applies to all sectors that are in charge of developing master plans, strategic projects, and development programs. Therefore, it mainly applies to government and semi-government entities, but it may also apply to other key strategic projects,” Mr. Al Hammadi continued.
EAD launched SEA in accordance with Law 24 of 1999, which says EAD has the right to request an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for projects or facilities, and the SEA planning program is a form of an impact assessment study. The SEA decree signed by the Board of Directors in 2022 provides EAD with the authority to request an SEA not just for projects and facilities but also for master plans, development programs, and the implementation of strategies.
The SEA is further aimed at requiring environmental assessments to be conducted for all strategic projects, plans, and programs. These include but are not exclusive to sectors such as agriculture, animal wealth, forestry, fisheries, energy and desalination, industry, and the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.