Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
29 November – 10 December 2021
The training course
The course is a 15-hour online training that includes theoretical and practical training sessions on key themes, concepts, and methodologies applied in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). SEA is a systematic, decision aiding procedure for evaluating the likely significant environmental effects of a policy, plan, or program (PPP) through their development process and beginning at the earliest opportunity. In other words, it is an environmental assessment done at a high strategic level of decision-making (i.e., at the PPP level). It aims mainly at 1) integrating environmental considerations into the PPP and evaluating the interlinkages with economic and social considerations, and 2) predicting coherences and contradictions with other national and local PPPs. SEA involves evaluation and analysis processes, reporting and recommendation of sustainable measures to mitigate adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts of the PPP, and consideration of the findings in the decision-making processes.
Date 29 November – 10 December 2021 (Monday-Friday), , time 01:30-03:00 pm (GMT+2:00)
platform via Zoom language english number of participants 15-20 participants registration until 18 November 2021 fees Thanks to the financial support of the Centers for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) no registration fees are requested!
What is Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)?
SEA is a systematic, decision aiding procedure for evaluating the likely significant environmental effects of a policy, plan, or program (PPP) through their development process and beginning at the earliest opportunity. In other words, it is an environmental assessment done at a high strategic level of decision- making (i.e., at the PPP level). It aims mainly at 1) integrating environmental considerations into the PPP and evaluating the interlinkages with economic and social considerations, and 2) predicting coherences and contradictions with other national and local PPPs. SEA involves evaluation and analysis processes, reporting and recommendation of sustainable measures to mitigate adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts of the PPP, and consideration of the findings in the decision-making processes (i.e., adjustment). While SEA is considered a crucial tool promoting education on environmental politics, it cannot be applied without the fundamental involvement of the stakeholders and the public, including the participation of women, the youth, and other vulnerable groups) from the very beginning and throughout the whole SEA process to promote their role in decision-making.
What is the motivation and rational behind this training course?
SEA is acknowledged as an important decision support tool. Despite the emphasis on the significance of this tool in the international arena and its application in some parts of the world like the USA, Sweden, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, SEA is still rarely applied (if any) to policy- and decision-making processes related to environmental initiatives in other parts of the world, such as Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Hence, there is a need to spread the knowledge and practice of SEA among planners and policy-makers in these regions.
Whom is this training course for?
1. Policy and decision-makers, planners, and technical staff who participate directly or indirectly in developing environmental policies, strategies, and programs at the national and local levels from governmental and non-governmental organizations, private sector, academic institutions, community-based and civil society organizations.
2. Post-graduate students at universities or academic institutions who are enrolled in environmental studies, ecological studies, political and law studies, environmental and civil engineering, urban planning, rural development, social and sustainability studies.
What are we offering? And How?
The online training course comprises the following five modules:
− Module 1: Introduction and Background to SEA
− Module 2: Applied SEA – Screening & Scoping
− Module 3: Applied SEA – Assessment (Tools and Methods)
− Module 4: Stakeholders’ Involvement and Public Participation
− Module 5: SEA Report and Quality Assurance & Monitoring
The modules summarize state of the art knowledge and practice of SEA. The online course uses a blended learning method that includes a combination of recorded lecture videos, virtual (online) lectures, hands-on learning sessions, and self-study. The recorded and virtual lectures provide theoretical and conceptual explanations of different aspects related to approaches, models, applications, legal frameworks, and limitations of SEA. In the hands-on learning sessions, we analyze and assess case studies of country national or local PPPs considering context-specificity of the country. In these sessions, we use mainly learning-by-doing individual and group exercises, group discussions and presentations, questions and answers (Q&A), and quizzes. These methods are used to apply various aspects associated with performing/applying SEA analytical and assessment processes. The case study can be a PPP that is drafted recently or is to be renewed in the near future to be submitted to SEA for drawing conclusions and recommendations. Self-study entails reviewing recommended readings and case studies assigned by the trainer. Some of the readings will be sent to the participants a week ahead of the training course.
What will you be able to achieve after completing the training course?
You will be able to plan and perform SEA by applying its standard methodological approaches and understand SEA reports submitted to support decision making processes in environmental management.
In specific, you will be able to
1. Have understanding of sound environmental management (i.e., integrating environmental sustainability considerations in strategic planning and decision-making).
2. Have understanding of different SEA definitions and objectives, various SEA approaches, applications, models and tools.
3. Define strategic actions – policies, plans and programs, and explain their role in relation to social objectives.
4. Explain role and benefits of SEA in the decision-making process.
5. Explain relationship and differences between SEA and EIA.
6. Identify and explain key SEA principles and performance criteria.
7. Applying different SEA analytical and assessment approaches.
8. Recognize strengths and limitations of different SEA case studies.
9. Be familiar with different legal contexts and frameworks of SEA (i.e., SEA laws in different countries)
1. Good proficiency in English.
2. Interested in the topic of the training course.
3. Participants’ background in one or more of the following fields is preferable for achieving the workshop learning outcome: Environmental studies, ecological studies, political and law studies, environmental and civil engineering, urban planning, rural development, social and sustainability studies.
4. Participants’ involvement in planning and policy-making in their professions will maximize their benefit from the training course.
How to register?
The only step you need to do to register for the training course is to send us an e mail at suha.al-madbouh[at]th-koeln.deuntil 18 November 2021 expressing your interest in joining our training course.
You will be receiving a participation confirmation e-mail between 20-22 November 2021.
5th Water Security and Climate Change conference sees surge in participants due to hybrid format
From 1-4 March 2021, the Water Security and Climate Change (WSCC) conference was held both at the Regional Research and Training Center of the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources and concurrently digitally. Around 100 delegates in Hanoi and 461 online participants joined 20 thematic sessions, four keynote speeches as well as round table discussions. With this high attendance, the WSCC 2021 not only increased its outreach in pure statistics but set new standards for the conference series in terms of interdisciplinary cooperation and networking. In different matchmaking formats, the participants were brought in contact with one another in order to identify joint interests and elaborate future cooperation. Despite the digital format, the WSCC is thus characterized by a high degree of interaction and met the goal of linking stakeholders and practitioners from science, policy and society.
The WSCC is an initiative of the ‘Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation – exceed’ program, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The conference has been implemented since 2016 under the auspices of the Centers for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD), the Sustainable Water Management in Developing Countries (SWINDON) network, the Food Security Center (FSC) as well as the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).
A continuation of the conference series in 2022 is currently being discussed, the decision will be announced on the WSCC website soon. Here you will also find a graphical summary of the conference key messages, the recorded sessions, keynotes and round tables as well as many pictures and impressions. Please visit https://watersecurity.info/.
In August 2020, the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San José is going to launch the new MSc program “Integrated Water Resources Management for Latin America and the Caribbean”.
The curriculum of the master program is framed after the MSc program: “Integrated Water Resources Management” currently offered at the Institute for Technology and Resources Management (ITT), TH Köln, Germany (MORE).
From 2th-5th of March 2020, lecturers from the ITT as well as from the National University of Colombia; University Javeriana, Colombia; Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, Mexico and University of La Frontera, Chile, met at the UCR in Costa Rica to adapt the curriculum to water management challenges and environmental conditions of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Furthermore, we designed IWRM related research projects in South American river basins and discussed the incorporation of our regional pilot case studies into the curriculum of the new master program. By confronting students with real life case studies in the pilot river basins, we aim at applying the praxis-oriented teaching method “Enquiry Based Learning” (EBL). The EBL didactic method is considered an effective way to educate students towards self-determined knowledge creation, lifelong learning and leadership.
The University of Costa Rica (UCR), School of Geography, is offering a new master program in Integrated Water Resources Management with focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.
The MSc program is implemented at the UCR in the scope of a DAAD funded project “Integrated Water Resources Management for Latin America and the Caribbean – IWRM LAC” in the program: “Transnational Education – Degree Programs offered abroad by German Institutions”. The project is coordinated by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT), TH Köln, Germany.
The study covers a period of four semesters. The internationally oriented program gives students from Latin America and the Caribbean the opportunity to start their studies in San José and to spend an exchange semester at TH Cologne, Germany.
Courses in Costa Rica are taught in Spanish and English. The teaching language at the ITT is English. The curriculum of the master program is framed after the MSc program: “Integrated Water Resources Management” currently offered at ITT, TH Köln (LINK).
The graduates will receive the final degree Master of Science in Integrated Water Resources Management issued by the University of Costa Rica.
Sharing of knowledge between universities Funding for Centers for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) at TH Köln
For more than ten years the Centers for Natural Resources and Development at TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) have been connecting universities worldwide with a focus on teaching and research on the management of natural resources. 34 scientific institutions are currently cooperating within the network. CNRD is now being funded for another three years through the exceed program of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in order to pass on its many years of experience to new exceed centers.
With the exceed program, the DAAD promotes cooperation with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) between German universities and universities in countries in the global south. In 2009 the funding started with five projects – including the CNRD, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Lars Ribbe from the Institute for Technology and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT). For a further funding phase, seven new projects have now been selected, which benefit from the experience of the preceding projects.
“The CNRD network has grown steadily since it was founded and today supports multilateral master -, doctoral – and online programs, conducts cooperative research projects and regularly organizes specialist conferences. In particular, it has designed a model for integrating teaching, research, transfer and application in the form of living laboratories, that are currently being implemented with numerous partners worldwide. We are pleased to pass on this management knowledge to the new exceed centers”, says Professor Ribbe, former head of the ITT and currently founding dean of the Faculty for Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems.
In addition to the transfer of expertise, the CNRD will also continue its previous activities.
In October 2019, the Water Security and Climate Change conference series was successfully continued at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. About 160 participants from around 30 nations participated in 15 thematic sessions. The WSCC is characterized by an interdisciplinary and multi-actor approach. Thus, on the one hand, the WSCC provides a platform for scientific exchange, and on the other hand, it serves as a forum for discourse between stakeholders from policy, society and academia regarding the most pressing issues related to climate change.
The WSCC 2019 followed the concept of the previous conferences in 2016-2018 by holding numerous technical sessions on e.g. groundwater, water quality, water and energy nexus, and the impacts of climate change. But also the role of Sustainable Development Goals, urban water management, nature-based solutions, food security and social science perspectives were discussed.
Particular pleasing was the high proportion of young scientists from Asia, South and Central America as well as Africa who were able to present their research in the WSCC funded through the German Academic Exchange Service’s Exceed program. CNRD, ITT and TH Köln as co-organizers of the conference series look forward to the next WSCC in 2020/21.
From October 31st to November 2nd 2019, the members of the CNRD gathered at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, in order to present the network to external stakeholders, reflect CNRD’s results of the past as well as promoting future activities. The meeting was attended by some 25 participants from 14 nations to foster the cooperation. Particular attention was paid to the following issues: (1) The expansion of the IWRMnet, an association of CNRD members that intends to join forces in Integrated Water Resources Management and develop joint teaching modules for this purpose; (2) the promotion of the interdisciplinary Master course on Resource Efficient Cities (IMaREC), which is to be established at various universities within the CNRD network; and (3) joint activities on Natural Resources Management for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.
Furthermore, two new partner institutions were welcomed to the CNRD at this year’s ANM. These are the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand) and the University of West Indies, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies – CERMES (Barbados). At this point it is also worth mentioning that immediately after the network meeting CNRD was confirmed a further financing phase (2020-2022) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in order to sustain the network activities and to support the development of new Exceed networks. We are thus looking forward to a fruitful cooperation in the future.
Scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from various sectors discuss the diverse facets of water security and its relation to climate variability and change.
The availability of water affects many of mankind’s social and economic actions and is an essential component of ecosystems. Hence, water security is one of the major challenges faced by society today, on both a global and local level. Additionally, impacts of climate change and water-related hazards are increasingly decisive for well-being, poverty, conflict or peace and have become a key component of social development.
Water security as well as climate change are cross-cutting elements of recent global agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Science should and can play an important role in contributing to the achievement of these goals.
The Water Security and Climate Change Conference (WSCC) strives to go beyond science and build bridges between various disciplines and sectors as well as different groups of stakeholders. Serving as a platform for discussions about water secure societies, by providing a stimulating environment with the intention of yielding innovative ideas and grounds for implementation, the WSCC is continuing a series of successful conferences in Bangkok, Cologne and Nairobi.
In 2019, WSCC is convened by the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí on behalf of the Exceed network, which consists of more than 90 universities worldwide. More information in www.watersecurity.info
Effectively contributing towards the achievement of the IWRM principles in the future, strengthening the relationship between partners from various countries and contexts by exchanging personal skills, knowledge and approaches as well as understanding the common challenges educators encounter, were the objectives of the “Training of Trainers Workshop on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)” at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) in October 2018 which was supported by CNRD.
The consultative workshop was co-organized by the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESM) at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and the ITT. In five days experts and faculty members from the ITT; the SESM IUB; the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; the University of Khartoum, Sudan; and the Vietnam Academy for Water Resources, Vietnam were trained on innovative learning methods including an e-learning tool as well as developing relevant learning outcomes and effective assessment for IWRM courses. With the help of several case studies the concepts, policies, tools and issues presented in the IWRM modules and problem and research-based learning in IWRM were illustrated. The participants presented some of the on-going IWRM capacity building initiatives undertaken in their respective countries, proposed follow-up plans for translating, customizing and disseminating the manuals at national level and had the chance to carry out a brief participatory discussion in a field situation on a boat trip from Ashulia to Sadarghat.
The workshop was inaugurated by Professor M. Omar Rahman (Honorable Vice Chancellor, Independent University, Bangladesh) and facilitated by Susanne Glaeser (Team Leader, Center for Teaching Development at TH Cologne, Germany) and Günther Straub (Coordinator, Center for Natural Resources and Development, Germany).
Additionally, opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Saleemul Huq (Director, International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at IUB) and Dr. Md. Abdul Khaleque (Dean, SESM, IUB) outlined the key components of the CNRD-IUB partnership and set emphasis on the importance of the training. A keynote speech was presented by Dr. Mashfiqus Salehin (Professor, Institute of Flood and Water Management at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)) in which he delineated the current IWRM practices and challenges in Bangladesh.
From 08 to 12 October this year’s CNRD Annual Network Meeting (ANM) took place in Cologne, Germany. Almost 60 CNRD members, the CNRD advisory board, cooperation partners, as well as ITT companions from 27 countries discussed the strategy and structure of the network as well as future perspectives. During the week the CNRD partners had many opportunities to identify and discuss common interests and strengthen future collaborations. In an interdisciplinary session, the CNRD members were joined by a group of ITT Alumni in order to create synergies and to intensify the rooting of CNRD.
We are especially happy about the confirmation of many new CNRD partners – such as the German Jordanian University (Jordan), National University of Sciences and Technology (Pakistan), Qatar University (Quatar), Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), University of Cuenca (Ecuador), Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile), University of Costa Rica (Costa Rica), State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Universidad de La Frontera (Chile), University of Zambia (Zambia), Yezin Agricultural University (Myanmar). This further expansion of the network corresponds to the open character of the CNRD, testifies the success of the cooperation and gives further impetus for the future.