UNEP together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) modified a tool used in sustainable development planning - the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) approach - by integrating disaster sensitivities into the analytical framework. The approach was pilot tested in 2010-2011 in Sri Lanka to establish a development framework for the Northern Province. Through the engagement of national and local government agencies, universities, private sector and the general public, the Integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment (ISEA) mapped out the distribution of space and resources available for development with minimum environment and disaster constraints (the so-called “Opportunity Map”). This led to a number of infrastructure plans and proposed developments being improved, and the approach being endorsed politically at the highest level as a primary regional area development tool.
The case of Sri Lanka illustrated how an ISEA approach can enable countries in other post-crisis contexts to promote integrated area development that is both sustainable and disaster-resilient. UNEP is planning to build on the Sri Lanka experience and work together with UNDP in replicating the ISEA approach in other countries in 2014.
Integrated Strategic Environment Assessment (ISEA) - Sri Lanka