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The wider consideration of environmental effects and alternatives in early stages of decision-making has been pointed as one of the major benefits of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Adopted by virtually all of developed countries and sprawling around emergent and developing ones, it is recognized that SEA effectiveness is attached to its systematic application in development plans and programmes. Brazil and many developing countries have different experiences with this instrument and lacks of definition of a procedural framework to promote the use of SEA in strategic levels of decision. As a consequence development projects are frequently “threatened” by impact assessment outcomes, especially when a mandatory project-EIA has to inform decisions. In order to contribute to the implementation of SEA in developing countries, the present paper discusses the potential benefits of using SEA in transport infrastructure plans and programmes, through a case study applied to transport plans in the state of Sao Paulo (south-eastern Brazil). The outcomes indicate that SEA could contribute to improve infrastructure impact assessments, minimizing social and environmental conflicts, augmenting the acceptability of projects and decisions, reinforcing the need for SEA to be systematically implemented in Brazil.
The White Paper published in 2011,
Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area , urges on a 30% modal shift of
road freight over 300 km to
other modes (rail, maritime and inland waterways) by 2030, and more than 50% by
2050. However the environmentally friendly performance of maritime transport
regarding air pollutant emissions in comparison with road transport is in
doubt. This paper presents a three dimension simulation model, in which
performed transport work, arisen emissions and produced impact are estimated
and inter-related for the assessment of the environmental performance of both
road and maritime transport. The simulation model will be a valuable decision
making tool for policymakers as it enables the precise assessment of considered
transport alternatives in the EU27 until 2020, and hence supports the design of
future intervening actions.
Advanced biological information such as computational biology, in vitro transformation assays, genome pathway analysis, genotoxicity assays, proteomics, gene expression, cell signaling disruption and hormone receptors offer the poten- tial for significant improvements in the ability of regulatory agencies to consider the risks of the thousands of compounds—and mixtures of compounds—currently unexamined. While the science for performing the assays underlying such information is developing rapidly, there is significantly less understanding of the rationality of using these data in specific decision problems. This paper explores these issues of rationality, identifying the issues of rationality that remain to be developed for applications in regulatory risk assessment, and providing a draft decision framework for these applications. The conclusion is that these rapid, high throughput methods hold the potential to significantly improve the protection of public health through better understanding of risks from compounds and mixtures, but incorporating them into existing risk assessment methodologies requires improvements in understanding the reliability and rates of Type I and Type II errors for specific applications.