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SEA Scoping Report, 2016

Scoping Report on Strategic Environmental Assessment on “Strategic Development Plan, Road Map and Long Term Investment Plan for the Solid Waste Management Sector in Armenia”

About the Project

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) effectively promotes sustainable development by mainstreaming environment into economic development at the national, regional and local levels. SEA is a well-established, practical and efficient planning and environmental governance tool/system set out in the UNECE Protocol on SEA to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention). It ensures that strategic policy and legal frameworks and development plans in key sectors, including energy, water, waste management with likely significant adverse environmental effects are developed taking into account potential environmental and health effects and considerations. SEA ensures the identification of the most sustainable and cost-effective strategic development alternatives for attracting new investments and improving its environment. SEA also helps strengthening environmental governance through fostering transparency and consultation with relevant stakeholders and the public prior to the approval of plans and programmes which significantly improves public awareness and participation to the environmental decision making at national and local levels. SEA in a transboundary context can also greatly facilitate regional cooperation on environmental matters.

“SEA for Strategic Development Plan, Road Map and Long Term Investment Plan for the Solid Waste Management Sector in Armenia” /hereafter referred to as the “waste management plan” or the Plan/ was selected as a SEA pilot project in Armenia, as the Law stipulates that founding documents related to the waste management sector are subject to strategic assessment and expertise. The assessment and expertise processes should also include the organization of public discussions in the processes of SEA and expertise from the very start of the assessment process and until the decision-making stage / provision of the expertise conclusion/. The pilot SEA should be implemented in accordance with the provisions of the RA Law on “Environmental Impact Assessment and Expertise”, and the Protocol on SEA.

The aim of Scoping

The Scoping (or according to the Law ‘preliminary assessment’) is the initial stage of the SEA process. The aim of the Scoping stage is to identify environmental and health issues related to the plan or programme, which should be further analyzed within the SEA.

The Scoping is important for the efficiency of the SEA process, since it ensures that SEA focuses only on the likely significant effects which are relevant for the proposed plan or program.

The Scoping in SEA for the Waste Management Plan shall entail the following activities and analyses. According to guidelines of the scoping report that has been provided as support within the framework of the program, the definition of the waste management plan SEA scoping implies:

  • Preliminary analysis of the environmental and health baseline,
  • Identification of key environmental and health issues relevant to the Waste Management Plan,
  • Identification of environmental and health policy objectives relevant for the Waste Management Plan,
  • Identification of stakeholders and consultations with stakeholders.

The pilot project will reveal the opportunities via the practical application of legislation, will allow proposing recommendations as to how to improve the SEA process in Armenia, and will raise the overall awareness on the benefits of SEA. It will also inform the legal recommendations that will help to bring the national SEA legislation in line with the requirements of the Protocol.