Slow SEA directive application to affect EU biodiversity

A report published by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) denounces the slow application of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive and warns that this could harm the EU objective to stop the loss of its biodiversity by 2010.

At the end of 2005, the EEB carried out a survey in sixteen member states and one accession country in order to find out how the SEA Directive is actually implemented in the respective country. The SEA Directive, adopted in 2001, aims at ensuring that the environmental consequences of big plans and programmes are carefully assessed during their preparation.

The EEB report  shows that even if the SEA Directive is officially in place, its application in the countries questioned remains monotonous and inconsistent. Under those circumstances, the EU’s effort to stop its biodiversity loss by 2010 could be undermined. Therefore, the report calls on the member states to apply the SEA Directive efficiently at the earliest possible by, for instance, further development of stakeholder investment and by putting the SEA Directive results into their agenda at national level as soon as possible. 

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