Palestinian Territories

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SEA profile

Updated to: 26 September 2013

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SEA background

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Country contact on SEA

Contact details for the country contact on SEA.

Environmental Quality Authority


Country's planning system

Brief description of planning practice, specifically whether it take place more often at centralised or decentralised level, what kind of national level planning and sectoral planning takes place, etc.

Following up on the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Planning Ministry has been established in 2003.  It is part of the Palestinian National Authority and is the branch of the Palestinian government that is responsible for cross-sector planning, coordination of sector planning in specific ministries and the development of comprehensive development policies. Any plan has to be approved by the Palestinian National Authority and then ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

History of SEA

Brief description of the history of SEA in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.

The Policy on Environmental Assessment (1999) does firstly mention plans and programs as development activities that are subject to the policy. Hence, it introduces SEA into the legal framework and gives some legal provisions for it. However, with respect to EA procedures the Policy mostly focuses on EIA for projects and provides very limited information about the EA procedures for plans and programs.

Legal framework for SEA

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First national detailed SEA regulation

First national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) for SEA, through which SEA was operationalized.

The Environmental Assessment Policy partly applies to proposed plans and programs and gives some general provisions for SEA, especially in its Annex 4.

Approving authority of first detailed SEA regulation

The authority that approved the first detailed SEA regulation (procedural requirements)

The Palestinian Environmental Assessment Policy was approved by the Ministerial Council.

Objective SEA

The objective of SEA as stated in the above described legal basis.

No objective is specified for SEA. However, the purpose of the Environmental Assessment Policy is to assist in the following goals: (1) Ensuring and adequate standard of life in all its aspects, and not negatively affecting the basic needs, and the social, cultural and historical values of people as a result of development activities. (2) Preserving the capacity of the natural environment to claen and sustain itself. (3) Conserving biodiversity, landscapes and the sustainable use of natural resources. (3) Avoiding irreversible environmental damage, and minimizing reversible environmental damage, from development activities. (Art. 2)

Scope of SEA application

Describes for which planning processes (at policy, programme and plan level) SEA is required.

The Environmental Assessment Policy stipulates that it applies to proposed plans and programs.

SEA approach

Describes the current overall SEA approach. Specifically: Has the country's SEA procedure been modeled on the existing EIA approach? Or has a separate SEA approach been developed?

As the EIA Policy also refers to plans and programs, an EIA-based approach is indicated for the Palestinian Territoires. It is, however, not (yet) very detailed.

Institutional setting for SEA

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Central SEA authority

Is there a central authority in charge of the SEA system as a whole, responsible for issuing guidelines etc? If so, is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g. ministry)?

The central EA authority in the Palestine Territoires is the Environmental Quality Authority. It was established in 2002 as the successor of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs (MENA). During this institutional change, all the functions, responsibilities and authorities of the former ministry were transferred to the Enviornmental Quality Authority. As the Environmental Law (1999) and the Policy on Environmental Assessment (2000) were formulated previously to the change in central EA authority, they refer to the ministry.

SEA procedure

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Establishing context

Overview SEA procedure

Short text characterizing the overall SEA procedure. If relevant, interesting aspects of the SEA procedure are mentioned such as: which procedural steps are part of the SEA procedure and are they based on procedures defined for EIA (screening, scoping ect)? How are they related to each other? Does the legal text provide specifications regarding the timing of the start of the SEA procedure within t

Even though the EIA Policy generally also accounts for plans and programs, the EIA procedures described in its Annex 3 are determined for projects only. Thus more detailed SEA procedures are generally not defined, with the exemption of the Screening process for which in Annex 4 of the Policy some information is given.

Screening process

Describes the screening process for SEA (if any), who is involved and who is responsible. What kind documentation on the SEA needs to be submitted for screening?

Annex 4 of the policy lists types of plans and programs for which SEA may be used:

  • Power generation and supply
  • Solid waste management
  • Transportation infrastructure development
  • Tourism infrastructure development
  • Parks and natural reserves development and management
  • Development and management of industrial policy and estates
  • Master plans
  • Agricultural development programs

The list, however, does not suggest that only these types of plans and programs can be subjected to SEA.

Implementing the SEA

Informing and influencing decision-making


SEA practice

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Case studies

SEA case studies on which information is available are listed here, including a link to case documentation, if available.

Ahmed K. and Fiadjoe Y, 2006. A selective review of SEA legislation. Results of a
Nine-Country Review. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, Washington.

SEA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Links to relevant SEA laws or regulations.

Environmental Law 1999: