Comparative SWOT analysis of strategic environmental assessment systems in the Middle East and North Africa region
ABSTRACT This paper presents a SWOT analysis of SEA systems in the Middle East North Africa region through a comparative examination of the status, application and structure of existing systems based on country-specific legal, institutional and procedural frameworks. The analysis is coupled with the multi-attribute decision making method (MADM) within an analytical framework that involves both performance analysis based on predefined evaluation criteria and countries' self-assessment of their SEA system through open-ended surveys. The results show heterogenous status with a general delayed progress characterized by varied levels of weaknesses embedded in the legal and administrative frameworks and poor integration with the decision making process. Capitalizing on available opportunities, the paper highlights measures to enhance the development and enactment of SEA in the region.
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ABSTRACT: This paper examines the policy trends of electronic waste (e-waste) management in Asia. E-waste is a rapidly growing waste stream in the world today and is estimated to be growing at 3-5 % per annum. Fast paced obsolescence in the electronic sector has resulted in the generation of e-waste. There are concerns that e-waste generated in developed countries is ending up in developing countries especially in Asia resulting in adverse environmental and health impacts. Consequently, a number of countries in Asia are developing policy instruments to ensure the proper management of e-waste. These include e-waste regulatory frameworks, data and inventories, and infrastructure and capacity building. These trends indicate a positive development path towards sustainable e-waste management in Asia. Nevertheless, potential limiting obstacles for e-waste management in Asia may also include an over-reliance on legislation to drive e-waste management or the simplistic adoption of policies from developed countries without taking into context the local political, cultural and socio-economic waste management issues. Consequently, this paper suggest that e-waste policy development may require a more customized approach where, instead of addressing e-waste in isolation, it should be addressed as part of the national development agenda that integrates green economy assessment and strategic environmental assessment as part of national policy planning. In conclusion, policy trends of e-waste management in Asia appear promising provided there is a paradigm shift from an e-waste perception of an environment problem to a e-waste perception of a potential opportunity as sustainable national green growth strategy in Asia. © 2013 Springer Japan.Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management 10/2013; 15(4):1-9. DOI:10.1007/s10163-013-0136-7 · 0.83 Impact Factor
- Biodiversity - The Dynamic Balance of the Planet, Edited by Oscar Grillo, 05/2014: chapter Marine Ecosystem Diversity in the Arabian Gulf: Threats and Conservation: pages 297-328; InTech.
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ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview on the policy trends of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in Asia. SEA is promoted as a system of incorporating environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes (PPP). SEA has evolved from an alternative of environmental impact assessments (EIA) to a potential environmental policy integration (EPI) tool in national policy planning. Nevertheless, SEA trends in Asia require a re-examination on its role and effectiveness to avoid SEA implementation in Asia mimicking SEA developments in Europe without customizing its application to local conditions in Asia. Policy trends of SEA in Asia indicate that it is currently an important environmental policy consideration for countries in the region with the formulation of SEA legislations in Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia. Nevertheless, SEA implementation also has been impeded by challenges in realizing practical SEA public participation especially in countries with traditionally high cultural power distance dynamics such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Meanwhile, countries such as Japan and Pakistan have voluntarily implemented SEA elements such as public participation without legislative provisions while countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are resisting the adoption of SEA. The primary problem of SEA implementation in Asia has been its limited integration in strategic decision making due to the highly political nature of policy planning framed within the cultural context of Asian countries. Notable progress of SEA implementation in Asia has been the emerging awareness on the need for SEA. Interestingly, SEA prospects in Asia seem to be in the development of international regional cooperation on SEA capacity building. Meanwhile, SEA implementation range from the use of structured policy instruments such as legislative frameworks to non-structured policy instruments such as stakeholder engagement. Consequently, the SEA paradigm analysis suggests that SEA integration in Asia requires a paradigm shift to address the primary strategic gap of over-reliance on structured policy instruments such as legislation. This fundamentally means an adaptation towards a hybrid of structured and non-structured policy instruments to super-stream the benefits of SEA. In conclusion, SEA trends in Asia indicate a sagacious realization that SEA in theory may be a strategic and rationale approach to integrating environmental considerations. However, SEA in practice is a complex, dynamic and challenging process that requires political will, legislative framework and a transparent stakeholder engagement process framed within the cultural context of Asian countries.Environmental Science & Policy 08/2014; 41. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.03.005 · 3.51 Impact Factor