The practice of integrated environmental assessment (IEA) has evolved significantly since the last set of guidance which was developed by UNEP in 2007. Demands from governments have meant that IEA’s are more policy relevant, interactive and understandable by the general public. Moreover, there are additional demands for rapid and thematic assessments which may not typically undergo the same level of rigour as a full IEA.
Demands from IEA practitioners are also increasing in terms of the depth of state of the environment analysis, the expansiveness of the policy response review and the scope and accuracy of the environmental outlook. The IEA community also is pushing to compile indicators-based assessments in order to provide the ability of near-real-time tracking of environmental impacts and responses. In addition, the more traditional Demand-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) model for conducting IEA is being replaced by a more holistic and fluid assessment approach which recognizes that clear separation between these concepts is no longer possible.
Finally, environmental goals are now being more actively linked to social and economic goals within countries and regions. The recognition that the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development cannot be realistically separated from the environmental dimensions is permeating the political consciousness of many governments, be they from developed or developing countries. The recent adoption of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals is a clear indication of the drive towards greater integration of these three pillars of sustainable development.
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The review draft of the IEA guidelines is now open for review. You may access the files at:
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