‘AFTER THE SEA’ - USING MILITARY INTELLIGENCE PROTOCOLS TO TRANSLATE STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT RESULTS INTO OPERATIONAL DIRECTIVES
Foster, Serena Danatte 1978-
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The aim of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is to evaluate the environmental consequences of strategic initiatives to ensure consideration and integration at the earliest stages of decision-making. While contextual flexibility is important, the SEA process must be structured so that results can be effectively integrated into related decision-making processes and translated into action. This research explores whether SEA follow-up and implementation could be improved by incorporating a standard military strategic and operational intelligence (S/OI) framework. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to advance SEA practice by providing a structured framework and communication guide for practitioners to aid in the dissemination and follow-up of SEA results to enable resource management decision-makers to translate SEA results into mission-oriented operational actions. The research methodology adopts standard methods of qualitative inquiry including an in-depth literature content review of SEA process, tiering, and communication, and grey literature review on military S/OI processes. Based on these reviews, a proposed framework for SEA was developed and then tested for viability in a case investigation of Parks Canada (PC) SEA implementation. Data were gathered regarding the SEA process, tiering, communication and translation processes through open-ended, semi-structured interviews, examining process effectiveness and perspectives on outcomes of using the proposed intelligence-based framework. Significant findings include that deficiencies in the current SEA guidance can be augmented by the S/OI enhanced guidance to facilitate more successful tiering and it has the potential to bridge the gap to evolve SEA from an information provision exercise to an actionable mandate that leads to desired outcomes via measurable effects. Further, within PC the gap in guidance for SEA implementation and follow-up results in challenges for ‘after the SEA’ processes, including translation, implementation, monitoring and feedback, causing negative effects for both human and environmental aspects of PC. Effective SEA implementation and follow-up is fundamentally a communication challenge. The PC test results showed that the S/OI enhanced SEA framework is the missing element needed to operationalize SEA results and has the potential to be a valuable tool for government and industry. However, to be successful, SEA policy must gain legitimacy through legislative foundation, and political commitment.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentGeography and Planning
CommitteeBell, Colleen; Chutko, Krystopher; Clark, Douglas
Copyright DateAugust 2019
strategic environmental assessment
operational intelligence, SEA results
Parks Canada SEA
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