Biodiversity is a core issue in the quest to achieve sustainable development. Although Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) includes biodiversity as an environmental component to consider in decision-making, its inclusion remains a challenge. Since the beginning of SEA practice, several guides have been proposed to address this challenge, but evaluating their success remains problematic. This paper, therefore, aims to develop an easily applied, criteria-based approach for evaluating the biodiversity assessment that takes place within SEA. A test application of the evaluation framework, based on the International Best Practice Principles on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in SEA, demonstrates its success in identifying whether the main elements of biodiversity were considered in a SEA report. However, the criteria focus on inclusion or exclusion of specific details, rather than the substance of the biodiversity consideration, and so further studies need to develop evaluative approaches for the substantive inclusion of biodiversity in SEA practice.
- Strategic Environmental Assessment
- Best Practice Principles
- Ecosystem services