Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a “systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of a
proposed policy, plan or programme initiatives in order to ensure they are fully included and appropriately addressed at
the earliest appropriate stage of decision-making on par with economic and social considerations” (Sadler and Verheem,
1996). The ultimate goal of SEA is to provide for a high level of environmental protection and contribute to promote
sustainability. SEA aims at improving the plan or programme, by suggesting new objectives or strategies, as well as revising
proposed strategies and suggesting those that appear to be better in terms of enhancing environmental opportunities and
minimising impacts and risks. Consequently, SEA needs to start early in the plan making process and be fully integrated
into it (see Section 1.2).