SEA profile

Updated to: 26 September 2013

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Contact & history

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Country contact on SEA

Environmental Quality Authority


Country's planning system

Following up on the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Planning Ministry has been established in 2003.  It is part of the Palestinian National Authority and is the branch of the Palestinian government that is responsible for cross-sector planning, coordination of sector planning in specific ministries and the development of comprehensive development policies. Any plan has to be approved by the Palestinian National Authority and then ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

History of SEA

The Policy on Environmental Assessment (1999) does firstly mention plans and programs as development activities that are subject to the policy. Hence, it introduces SEA into the legal framework and gives some legal provisions for it. However, with respect to EA procedures the Policy mostly focuses on EIA for projects and provides very limited information about the EA procedures for plans and programs.

Legal framework for SEA

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First national detailed SEA regulation

The Environmental Assessment Policy partly applies to proposed plans and programs and gives some general provisions for SEA, especially in its Annex 4.

Approving authority of first detailed SEA regulation

The Palestinian Environmental Assessment Policy was approved by the Ministerial Council.

Objective SEA

No objective is specified for SEA. However, the purpose of the Environmental Assessment Policy is to assist in the following goals: (1) Ensuring and adequate standard of life in all its aspects, and not negatively affecting the basic needs, and the social, cultural and historical values of people as a result of development activities. (2) Preserving the capacity of the natural environment to claen and sustain itself. (3) Conserving biodiversity, landscapes and the sustainable use of natural resources. (3) Avoiding irreversible environmental damage, and minimizing reversible environmental damage, from development activities. (Art. 2)

Scope of SEA application

The Environmental Assessment Policy stipulates that it applies to proposed plans and programs.

SEA approach

As the EIA Policy also refers to plans and programs, an EIA-based approach is indicated for the Palestinian Territoires. It is, however, not (yet) very detailed.

Institutional setting for SEA

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Central SEA authority

The central EA authority in the Palestine Territoires is the Environmental Quality Authority. It was established in 2002 as the successor of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs (MENA). During this institutional change, all the functions, responsibilities and authorities of the former ministry were transferred to the Enviornmental Quality Authority. As the Environmental Law (1999) and the Policy on Environmental Assessment (2000) were formulated previously to the change in central EA authority, they refer to the ministry.

SEA procedure

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Establishing context

Overview SEA procedure

Even though the EIA Policy generally also accounts for plans and programs, the EIA procedures described in its Annex 3 are determined for projects only. Thus more detailed SEA procedures are generally not defined, with the exemption of the Screening process for which in Annex 4 of the Policy some information is given.

Screening process

Annex 4 of the policy lists types of plans and programs for which SEA may be used:

  • Power generation and supply
  • Solid waste management
  • Transportation infrastructure development
  • Tourism infrastructure development
  • Parks and natural reserves development and management
  • Development and management of industrial policy and estates
  • Master plans
  • Agricultural development programs

The list, however, does not suggest that only these types of plans and programs can be subjected to SEA.

Implementing the SEA

Informing and influencing decision-making


SEA practice

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Case studies

Ahmed K. and Fiadjoe Y, 2006. A selective review of SEA legislation. Results of a
Nine-Country Review. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, Washington.

SEA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Environmental Law 1999: