Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Argyll and Bute Woodland and Forestry Strategy
What is a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)?
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required under the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004. It is a systematic method for assessing the environmental effects of plans and programmes during their preparation allowing for the mitigation of any adverse effects before plan implementation.
SEA is a key component of sustainable development establishing methods for protecting the environment and extending opportunities for participation in public policy decision making.
SEA achieves this by:- systematically assessing and monitoring the significant environmental effects of public sector strategies, plans and programmes; ensuring that expertise and views are sought at various points in the process from Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Historic Scotland (the consultation authorities) and the public; and requiring a public statement as to how opinions have been taken into account.
Where are we in the process now?
An assessment was made as to the requirement for screening. Argyll and Bute is a public sector organisation whose plans, programmes and strategies (PPS's) must be considered under the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 and therefore whether a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA is required. It is considered that the Argyll and Bute Woodland and Forestry Strategy falls within the terms of Sections 5(3) of the 2005 Act and as such is automatically deemed to have significant environmental effects due to the nature of their likely environmental effects. Any strategy which falls within Section 5(3) can proceed straight to scoping and does not require screening.
A scoping report was prepared and comments were received from the consultation authorities. Consideration was given to the consultation authorities comments and the Environmental Report was published for consultation.
A post adoption statement is in the process of being prepared, taking into account the comments received on the Environmental Statement.