Strategic Environment Assessment of Catchment Water Management: A Comparative Analysis of the Adequacy of SEA Reports using Case Studies from Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Ireland and Vietnam


  • Pius Kahangirwe Environmental Assessments and Natural Resources Management Specialist, WSS Services Uganda



Strategic environmental assessment, Basin/Catchment based integrated water resources management


This paper reflects on the adequacy of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) reports based on a comparative analysis of SEA reports from five country contexts randomly selected. It briefly examines the role of SEA in basin or catchment planning and management. An overview on institutional and organizational context of SEA in Uganda is discussed. Although, SEA has been described as being a tool to improve strategic decision-making by integrating environmental issues into plans, policies and programmes, there is a growing concern on the adequacy of the SEA reports being prepared and how these reports come about. To be able to determine the adequacy of these SEA reports, the analysis focused on the stages of SEA that guide the SEA process. The results of the study show some examples of effective SEA practice, but still some of the case studies never dug deep but rather scratched the surface in terms of SEA process effectiveness. Based on key findings of the study, some recommendations for improving SEA practice for catchment planning are provided. SEA reports should be presenting key issues, providing clear proposals and conclusive results to facilitate the integration of SEA findings in decision-making. As that’s what SEA is about.


Download data is not yet available.


<p>Barry. D. (2013). <em>The role of strategic environmental assessment in promoting a green economy</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>Bina, O. (2008). <em>A Context-specific interpretation of SEA in China’</em>, in Au, E., Lam, K. C., Zhu, T. and M. Partidario (eds), International Experience on Strategic Environmental Assessment.</p>
<p>Dalal. C., and Sadler. B. (2017). <em>A methodology for reviewing the quality of strategic environmental assessments in development cooperation</em>.</p>
<p>Do Ó, A., and del Moral. L. (2013). <em>Transboundary river basins planning - a challenge to the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive</em>. In Transboundary Water Management across Borders and Interfaces: Present and Future Challenges of the Proceedings: TWAM 2013 International Conference and Workshops, Aveiro, Portugal, 16–20 March 2013. Aveiro, Portugal: University of Aveiro.</p>
<p>DWRM. (2014). <em>Uganda Catchment Management Planning Guidelines</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>Fernando, V., &amp; Gonzalo, M. (2015). <em>Strategic Environment Assessment of River Basin Management Plans: Proposal for an Integrated Assessment</em>. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management.</p>
<p>Fischer, TB (2010). <em>Reviewing the quality of strategic environmental assessment reports for English spatial core strategies</em>. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 30, 62–69.</p>
<p>Fischer, T. B. &amp; Seaton, K. (2002). <em>Strategic environmental assessment — Planning instrument or “lost” concept? </em>Planning Practice and Research</p>
<p>Fischer, T. B. Wood, C. and Jones, C. (2002). <em>Improving the practice of policy, plan and programme environmental assessment</em>. Environment and Planning B</p>
<p>Fischer. T.B (2002). <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment in Transport and Land Use Planning</em>, Earth scan, London.</p>
<p>Folkeson, L, H Antonson and JO Helldin (2013). <em>Planners’ views on cumulative effects: A focus-group study concerning transport infrastructure planning in Sweden</em>. Land Use Policy, 30(1), 243–253.</p>
<p>Fundingsland Tetlow, M and M Hanusch (2012). <em>Strategic environmental assessment: The state of the art</em>. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 30(1), 15–24.</p>
<p>Hirji, R., R. Davis, K. Mfalilia, M. Wishart, F. Loayza, and., B. Livernash. (2007). <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment and Integrated Water Resources Management and Development</em>. Washington, DC: World Bank.</p>
<p>Hüesker, F and T Moss (2015). <em>The politics of multi-scalar action in river basin management: Implementing the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)</em>. Land Use Policy, 42, 38–47.</p>
<p>Iyer, V.G. (2017) <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Process for Sustainable Mining and Mineral Management Development</em>.</p>
<p>JICA. (2017). <em>Project for master plan on logistics in northern economic corridor</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>Justin. E., NEMA, (2004). <em>A review of the application of the environmental impact assessment (EIA)in Uganda a report prepared for the united nations economic commission for Africa</em>.</p>
<p>Lobos, V and M Partidário (2014). <em>Theory versus practice in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)</em>. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 48, 34–46.</p>
<p>Lopes, PD, (2012). <em>Governing Iberian rivers: From bilateral management to common basin governance?</em> International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 12(3), 251–268.</p>
<p>MEMD. (2013). <em>Strategic environment assessment (SEA) of oil and gas activities in Albertine Graben</em>, <em>Uganda</em>.</p>
<p>Nielsen, HØ, P Frederiksen, H Saarikoski, AM Rytkönen and AB Pedersen (2013). <em>How different institutional arrangements promote integrated river basin management: Evidence from the Baltic SeaRegion</em>.LandUsePolicy,30(1),437–445.</p>
<p>OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2006). <em>Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment Good Practice Guidance for Development Co-operation</em>. ISBN 92-64-02657-6.</p>
<p>Partidario., and Monteiro. (2019). <em>Strategic environmental assessment effectiveness in Portugal</em>.</p>
<p>Partidário.M.R. (2012). <em>Strategic environmental assessment –better practice guide –methodological guidance for strategic thinking in SEA</em>. Lisbon: The Environmental Ministry of Portugal.</p>
<p>Riki Therivel. (2010). <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment in Action</em>. Second Edition, Earth scan published by Taylor and Francis.</p>
<p>Roel. S. (2018). <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Wetlands.</em></p>
<p>Sadler. B. and., Verheem. R. (1996). <em>Strategic Environmental Assessment, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands, The Hague</em>.</p>
<p>Sereno, A (2013). <em>The idea of environmental governance applied to watersheds</em>. Revisit Aranzadide Derecho Ambiental, 24,129–165.</p>
<p>Silva, AWL, PM Selig, AA Lerípio and CV Viegas (2014). <em>Strategic environmental assessment: One concept, multiple definitions</em>. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 8(1), 53–76. Vol. 17, No. 3 (September 2015).</p>
<p>Stoeglehner G. (2010). <em>Enhancing SEA, effectiveness: lessons learnt from Austrian experiences in spatial planning</em>.</p>
<p>The United Nations World Water Development Report. (2015). <em>Water for a sustainable world</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>Vicente, F., T Fidélis and G Méndez (2015). <em>Public participation in environmental impact assessments between Spain and Portugal</em>. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management,17,1550022.</p>
<p>World Bank. (2012). <em>Strategic environmental assessment in the World Bank: learning from recent experience and challenges (English)</em>. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>World Economic and., Social Survey. (2013). <em>Sustainable development Challenges</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a></p>
<p>Zhang, J., Christensen, P., &amp; Kørnøv, L. (2013). <em>Review of critical factors for SEA implementation</em>. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 38, pp. 88-98.</p>
<p>Zhou, K.-Y., &amp; Sheate, W. R. (2011). <em>Case studies: Application of SEA in provincial level expressway infrastructure network planning in China - Current existing problems</em>. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31pp.521-537.</p>




How to Cite

Kahangirwe, P. (2019). Strategic Environment Assessment of Catchment Water Management: A Comparative Analysis of the Adequacy of SEA Reports using Case Studies from Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Ireland and Vietnam. Advanced Journal of Social Science, 6(1), 48-56.



Review Article