Greening growth through strategic environmental assessment of sector reforms

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2012

Climate change and escalating degradation of ecosystem services place the need for greening economic growth on the international policy agenda. To make growth greener and more inclusive, it is crucial to change the institutions and incentive structures in national sector reforms and to involve poor and vulnerable groups in decision making.

The article analyses the role that strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of sector reforms can play in greening growth in developing countries and discusses implications for public administrations.We suggest that SEA can contribute to greening growth if it draws attention to environmental priorities when the sector reform agenda is set, fosters policy learning processes through repeated and sustained stakeholder interaction and facilitates access to information and empowerment of environmental constituencies. The empirical basis for the article is drawn from a recent World Bank pilot programme involving SEAs of different sector reforms (mining, forestry, urban planning, infrastructure) in Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia) and Asia (China, Bangladesh and Pakistan).

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Publication | 18 June 2012