A strategic environmental assessment guide drawn up by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean defines it as "an instrument of support for the incorporation of the environmental dimension in strategic decision-making, for decisions usually identified with policies, strategies, plans or programmes, and as such is a procedure for improvement of these planning instruments" (1). It proposes advancing the complete development of environmental and sustainability policies from the first phases of decision-making.
In this area, Ecuador has a framework for establishing public policies and development priorities through analysis of the political, economic, social, technological, cultural and environmental context, and has regulations for carrying out impact assessments which measure the level that the objectives of a certain activity should achieve. The framework for drawing up sectoral public policies is based on the National Plan for Well-Being and specifies that these policies are complemented with inter-sectoral policies contained in the Sectoral Agendas of the policy sectoral councils and with the sectoral policies of the ministries and State secretariats carrying them out.
The National Planning Secretariat (SENPLADES) has a document specifying the procedures for carrying out impact studies for projects and programmes, another which provides information and facilitates understanding of the methodology for prioritisation of public investment projects, and recently published a guide for the formulation of sectoral public policies.
On a practical level, it is important to emphasise that the Ministry of Environment has made some progress in articulating a national agreement for economic and environmental sustainability by generating, for example, a Manual of Best Environmental Practices which has been extended to 36 ministries, and which has been used to initiate agreements with the Private Sector. It has also formed an inter-institutional committee for the calculation of the Green GDP and the Ecological Footprint, and a tool has been designed allowing companies to calculate and reduce their ecological footprint.
However, the existence of regulations does not necessarily mean that they are applied systematically in decision-making. Consequently, a more in-depth study is required, to corroborate how these policies are put into practice.
(1) Rodrigo Jiliberto Herrera and Marcela Bonilla Madriñán (2009) Guía de evaluación environmental estratégica (Guide for strategic environmental assessment). Published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean: United Nations. Available at http://www.eclac.org/publicaciones/xml/7/37977/Guia_EAE.pdf
|Title||a. Methodologies for Prioritisation of Public Investment Projects
b. Methodology for Follow-Up and Impact Assessment
c. Conceptual Definitions of the Sub-System for Follow-Up and Assessment
d. National System of Investment Projects (SINAPRO)
e. Guide for the Formulation of Sectoral Public Policies
|Date||a. June 2009
b. No record of document publication date