Strategic Environmental Assessment to Improve Infrastructure Impact Assessments in Brazil

DOI: 10.4236/jep.2013.410136   PDF   HTML     5,553 Downloads   7,934 Views   Citations


The wider consideration of environmental effects and alternatives in early stages of decision-making has been pointed as one of the major benefits of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Adopted by virtually all of developed countries and sprawling around emergent and developing ones, it is recognized that SEA effectiveness is attached to its systematic application in development plans and programmes. Brazil and many developing countries have different experiences with this instrument and lacks of definition of a procedural framework to promote the use of SEA in strategic levels of decision. As a consequence development projects are frequently threatened” by impact assessment outcomes, especially when a mandatory project-EIA has to inform decisions. In order to contribute to the implementation of SEA in developing countries, the present paper discusses the potential benefits of using SEA in transport infrastructure plans and programmes, through a case study applied to transport plans in the state of Sao Paulo (south-eastern Brazil). The outcomes indicate that SEA could contribute to improve infrastructure impact assessments, minimizing social and environmental conflicts, augmenting the acceptability of projects and decisions, reinforcing the need for SEA to be systematically implemented in Brazil.

Share and Cite:

I. Oliveira, M. Montaño and M. Souza, "Strategic Environmental Assessment to Improve Infrastructure Impact Assessments in Brazil," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 10, 2013, pp. 1189-1196. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.410136.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] A. L. Brown and R. Therivel, “Principles to Guide the Development of Strategic Environmental Assessment Methodology,” Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2000, pp. 183-189.
[2] M. R. Partidario, “Elements of an SEA Framework— Improving the Added-Value of SEA,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2000 pp. 647-663.
[3] T. B. Fischer, “Benefits Arising from SEA Application— A Comparative Review of North West England, Noord-Holland, and Brandenburg-Berlin,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1999, pp. 143-173.
[4] T. B. Fischer, “The Theory and Practice of Strategic Environmental Assessment: Towards a More Systematic Approach,” Earthscan, Londres, 2007.
[5] M. F. Tetlow and M. Hanush, “Strategic Environmental Assessment: The State of the Art,” Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2012, pp. 15-24.
[6] H. Runhaar and P. P. J. Driessen, “What Makes Strategic Environmental Assessment Successful Environmental Assessment? The Role of Context in the Contribution of SEA to Decision-Making,” Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2007, pp. 2-14.
[7] R. Therivel, “Strategic Environmental Assessment in Action,” 2nd Edition, Earthscan, Abingdon, 2010.
[8] M. R. Partidário, “Strategic Environmental Assessment Good Practice Guidance—Methodological Guidance,” Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente, Lisbon, 2007.,426033&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL¬_c_qry=boui=15473913
[9] S. Kidd, T. B.Fischer and U. Jha-Thakur, “Developing the Learning Potential of Strategic Environmental Assessment in Spatial Planning,” In: R. Rogerson, et al., Eds., Sustainable Communities—Skills and Learning for Place-Making, University of Hertfordshire Press, Hatfield, 2011.
[10] N. Lee, “Integrated Approaches to Impact Assessment: Substance or Make Believe?” Environmental Assessment Yearbook 2002: The EA Agenda for Johannesburg and Beyond, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment/EIA Centre, Manchester, 2002, pp. 14-20.
[11] J. Glasson, R. Thérivel and A. Chadwick, “Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment,” 4th Edition, Routledge, London, 2012.
[12] L. H. Lima and A. Magrini, “The Brazilian Audit Tribunal’s Role in Improving the Federal Environmental Licensing Process,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2010, pp. 108-115.
[13] J. Glasson and N. N. B. Salvador, “EIA in Brazil: A Procedures-Practice Gap. A Comparative Study with Reference to the European Union, and Especially the UK,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 20, 2000, pp. 191-225.
[14] D. Kirchhoff, M. Montano, V. E. L. Ranieri, I. S. D. de Oliveira, B. Dorberstein and M. P. Souza, “Limitations and Drawbacks of Using Preliminary Environmental Reports (PREs) as an Input to Environmental Licensing in Sao Paulo State: A Case Study on Natural Gas Pipeline Routing,” Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2007, pp. 301-318.
[15] A. C. Malvestio and M. Montano, “Effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment Applied to Renewable Energy in Brazil,” Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2013, 21 p.
[16] D. Kirchhoff, “Capacity Building for EIA in Brazil: Preliminary Considerations and Problems to Be Overcome,” Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp. 1-18.
[17] A. Pellin, C. C. Lemos, A. Tachard, I. S. D. Oliveira and M. P. Souza, “Avaliacao Ambiental Estratégica no Brasil: Consideracoes a Respeito do Papel Das agências Multilaterais de Desenvolvimento [SEA in Brazil: Considerations about the Role of Multilateral Development Agencies],” Engenharia Sanitária e Ambiental, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2011, pp. 1-10.
[18] L. E. Sánchez and S. S. Silva-Sánchez, “Tiering Strategic Environmental Assessment and Project Environmental Impact Assessment in Highway Planning in Sao Paulo, Brazil,” Environment Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 28, No. 7, 2008, pp. 515-522.
[19] International Association for Impact Assessment, “Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment Best Practices,” Fargo, 1999.
[20] DAESP, “Estudo de Impacto Ambiental: Aeroporto Leite Lopes,” Planway Engenharia e Consultoria Ltda, Figueiredo Ferraz Consultoria e Engenharia de Projetos Ltda, 2005.
[21] J. Tomkins, N. Topham, J. Twomey and R. Ward, “Noise versus Access: The Impact of an Airport in an Urban Property Market,” Urban Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2, 1998, pp. 243-258.
[22] M. El-Fadel, M. Chahine, H. Baaj and T. Mezher, “Assessment of Noise Impacts at Airports,” International Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 59, No. 4, 2002, pp. 447-467.
[23] P. Upham, “A Comparison of Sustainability Theory with UK and European Airports Policy and Practice,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 63, No. 3, 2001, pp. 237-248.
[24] B. J. M. Ale and M. Piers, “The Assessment and Management of Third Party Risk around a Major Airport,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 71, No. 1-3, 2000, pp. 1-16.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.