Comparative SWOT analysis of strategic environmental assessment systems in the Middle East and North Africa region

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut, Bliss Str., PO Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon. Electronic address: .
Journal of Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 2.72). 05/2013; 125C:85-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.053
Source: PubMed


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.


Available from: Mutasem El-Fadel, Jan 28, 2016
    • "As noted by Montaño et al. (2014) the number of studies assessing SEA systems is increasing, allowing inferences about the importance of the context in SEA. The common items between the different approaches are (i) legal basis for SEA application and guidance tools; (ii) existing process and procedural framework (including stages of the SEA (e.g., screening, scoping, environmental assessment, public participation, follow-up) and assessment methodologies and components (assessment techniques and issues )); (iii) SEA review and influence to the decision-making (Chaker et al., 2006; Rachid and El Fadel, 2013; Therivel, 1993; Zhou and Sheate, 2009). These items reflect issues required by good SEA practices and depend on the type of analysis planned (Zhou and Sheate, 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The literature concerning Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) often refers to the importance of context-specific approaches. However, there is a lack of systematised and consistent studies that enhance tailor-made SEA practices and procedures. Small islands are bounded units of study which may help explore SEA theory and practice in special territories. Small islands present particular features and unique values, such as, small size and population, geographic isolation, limited resources and vulnerable ecosystems. Hence, the main goal of this research was to profile SEA practices and procedures in European small islands and provide a background for future research aiming to improve context-specific SEA applications. To achieve this goal, an exploratory case study was developed using Azores (Portugal) and Orkney (Scotland) archipelagos. An analysis of the corresponding mainland was also carried out to contextualise both case studies. The data collection was achieved through a qualitative content analysis of 43 Environmental Reports. The research found that there is not an SEA context-specific approach used within these European small islands, including guidelines, assessment topics, assessment techniques, follow-up and stakeholders engagement. The debate concerning specific approaches to small islands must be re-focused on the enhancement of SEA capacity-building amongst different stakeholders (including decision-makers), on the development and implementation of collaborative approaches, and on the exchange of knowledge and experiences between small islands networks.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Environmental Impact Assessment Review
    • "The SWOT analysis was applied widely to business and market analysis, and recently has been applied to energy and environmental studies (Paliwal, 2006; Rachid and Fadel, 2013; Chen et al., 2014). In the field of MSW and construction waste management, SWOT analysis has been applied to formulate practicable strategies for multi-stakeholders (Srivastava et al., 2005; Liu and Matsumoto, 2009; Yuan, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a comparatively low-cost technology for waste treatment and disposal, landfilling has been adopted worldwide, particularly in developing countries. After one landfill is fully filled, the aftercare management turns into an important issue for municipalities, while the deposited waste is highly complex and condensed. Recent literature has indicated that landfill management plays an important role on critical issues of contemporary solid waste management, including biodiversity preservation, global warming mitigation, landfill mining and land reclamation. This study firstly made a comprehensive literature review on the existing studies in several Asia-Pacific economies, secondly conducted field surveys for the several illustrations of the aftercare management of closed landfills in Japan and Taiwan. Afterward, the findings from the literature and illustrations from the Asia-Pacific region were qualitatively summarized. Based on the results, concrete management strategies were discussed for the aftercare management of closed landfills in the context of land reclamation from important perspectives. For promoting the closed landfill management and seeking for adequate reclamation methods, the ex-post monitoring, impact assessments, and the essential cost-benefit analysis should be implemented with regard to respective reclamation type and local conditions. Using the outcomes of this study, municipalities can formulate concrete strategies to mitigate the risks and negative impacts, and to increase the benefits of landfills from a life-cycle perspective, considering the multi-stakeholders.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Cleaner Production
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    • "The current proliferation of SEA legislation around the world emphasizes the role of SEA as an essential environmental policy planning tool to integrate environmental considerations as well as to complement EIA in environmental protection. SEA potentially can satisfy the emerging need for environmental policy integration (EPI) at a more strategic level than the project level (Dusik and Xie, 2009; Rachid and El Fadel, 2013; Thé rivel, 1997). This enables governments to integrate environmental and sectoral policy objectives in national policy planning (Lafferty and Hovden, 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] 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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management
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