Environmental and Social Impact Assessment at Project and Strategic Levels

This course is about the role of Strategic Environmental Assessment in guiding sectoral and regional planning towards sustainability, supporting strategic decision, and its links with the Environmental Impact Assessment practice. Participants are trained in integrating systems thinking, cumulative effects, and strategic thinking.

Apply now for

2023

For whom?

The course is designed for professionals in the civic, public, or private water sector who wish to acquire or update their knowledge of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and how these assessments can support decision-making processes and sustainable development.

Prerequisites

Bachelor's degree in environmental or social sciences, engineering, or management of natural resources.

Interest in understanding, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, how human interventions affect the interactions among socio-ecological and bio-physical processes.

Basic skills in using computer software for spreadsheets, drawing and word processing (e.g. Microsoft Office, Libre Office or Free Office).

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 05 June 2023
End: 16 June 2023
ECTS credit points: 3
Deadline IHE application: 04 May 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3500

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Develop the capacity to conduct and environmental and social impact assessment or strategic environmental assessment
  2. Compare the EIA and SEA processes (methods, similarities, differences, limitations and complementarity) and their role in helping achieve SDGs by addressing social, economic and/or environmental issues at different scales
  3. Apply selected methods for impact assessment with a system thinking approach to differentiate how it increases its contribution to sustainable development, compared to the conventional disciplinary approach
  4. Discuss how the involvement of stakeholders in impact assessments contributes to the effectiveness and sustainability of projects and strategic interventions

Course content

The course first introduces impact assessment as an integrated and interdisciplinary process. It discusses how it supports sustainable development by informing stakeholders about the trade-offs among (negative) impacts and benefits expected from human interventions on the environment and their consequences on people.

Participant’s case studies and experiences are used to discuss and experience how the conventional disciplinary approach for conducting the assessments contributes to externalities that affect the environment and society, and how a system thinking approach can reduce externalities to increase sustainable outcomes.

Skills are developed use cumulative effects and ecosystem services as key methodological tools for EIA and SEA, to identify trade-offs among environmental and socio-economic impacts and benefits for stakeholders at different scales. Main concerns to be integrated (methods to apply, depending on the case study) include climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem services and water quality/environmental flows. Conceptual models are used to analyse linkages to wellbeing and livelihood, human rights, vulnerability, and other cultural and socio-economic aspects.

Participants are trained to use a qualitative and quantitative methods to determine the significance of impacts and discuss how the methods influence the determination.

The last topic focuses on monitoring and follow-up: Environmental and social management systems are used to outline a plan to implement and monitor mitigations and/or recommendations, and evaluate their effectiveness.

Participant will use the system approach for EIA and SEA, developed by the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment, to identify barriers and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the IA process in their country or case study. 

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