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SEA profile

Updated to: 27 June 2011

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SEA background

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Country contact on SEA

Contact details for the country contact on SEA.

Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment
100 m south of the National Stadium
P.O. Box 1389
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Central America.
Tel: (504) 239-4296
Fax: (504) 232-6250
E-mail: oss@serna.gob.hn, webmaster@serna.gob.hn

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 principle of the SEA in Honduras, was not introduced in the General Environment Law (Decree No. 104-93) nor in the Regulation of the SINEIA (published in La Gaceta No. 27.291 on March 5, 1994), which was the first time that the EIA procedure was developed. It was not until 2009, that Honduras adopted legislation regarding the SEA, when a new regulation of SINEIA was enacted (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official journal on 31 December 2009).

Legal framework for SEA

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Framework/Enabling law

Name of first enabling legislation that sets the framework for SEA.

The legal framework of SEA in Honduras is the SINEIA Regulation (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official newspaper on 31 December 2009).

Approving authority of enabling law

The authority that approved the enabling law for SEA.

The authority which adopted SINEIA Regulation (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official journal on 31 December 2009) with legislation related to SEA was the constitutional President of the Republic.

First national detailed SEA regulation

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

General SEA procedures are described in the SINEIA Regulation (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official newspaper on 31 December 2009).
Article 94 (Decree 189-2009), shows methodological guidelines defined by the SERNA for integrating the environmental variable in the plans and programs of land use planning with the Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control of SINEIA.
Also, article 93 (Decree 189-2009), points out guidelines on the drafting and review of the SEA procedure laid down in the same Handbook mentioned (Manual of Environmental Assessment and Control).

Recent updates and additions to the SEA legislation

Revisions of the SEA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed SEA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional relevant SEA-related legislation that has been published since the first legislation is listed.

It has not been reformed, as it is a very recent regulation.

Sector specific procedures/regulations

Any existing sectoral procedure/regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.

Specific sectorial regulations do not exist yet.


Any government issued guidelines on SEA (general or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describes the legal status of the guidelines.

Guidelines on Strategic Environmental Assessment for Central America. (CCAD-UICN, 2007.)

Objective SEA

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

To introduce the environmental dimension in strategic planning and decision-making for the development of a region or country. As well as to facilitate decision-making, within a framework of transparency, participation and information, to be used as a adjuvant planning instrument (article 4.17 Decreto 189-2009).
To systematize and expedite the resolution and the environmental authorization of projects that make up an SEA (article 92 of the Decreto 189-2009).

Scope of SEA application

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

SEA is a process that applies to strategic decision and policy making used for the planning and programming of land use development in the different sectors as well as for megaprojects qualified by the SERNA as strategic for the country
According to article 97 of Decree 189-2009, the SEA has precedence for project execution, in hydrographic basins or sub-basins, or in geographical areas where development has been poorly organized and planned without taking into account human activities and those that are not yet using SEA as a way to assess its environmental situation and the corrective plan and environmental mitigation that may arise from it. SERNA, with the support of institutions that they deem necessary, may establish a national prioritization plan or program for carrying out such assessments.

Exemptions from SEA application

Are any specific types of plans explicitly excluded from SEA application?

It does not indicate exemptions.

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?

The methodology of EAE is different from the EIA.

SEA tiering with EIA

Are there any provisions for tiering of EIA and SEA?

Article 92 (Decreto 189-2009), points out that an SEA can serve as a mechanism to systematize and expedite the resolution and the environmental authorization of projects that are located in areas where the SEA was developed. Article 94 (Decreto 189-2009) also mentions that the land-use plans and programs that are developed, must integrate the environmental variable into these processes. The SERNA, once revising the land use planning already done can make adjustments to their Categorization Table in order to simplify and expedite the processing of EIA in projects, construction work or activities only if they are located in territories which have already undergone such land use planning. These adjustments to the Categorization Table should be published as part of a document which formalizes the land use plan or program in question, with the participation of the SERNA.

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)?

As described in the SINEIA Regulation (Decree 189-2009), the DECA of SERNA is the competent authority in SEA. This is also the case for the Environmental Management Units (EMU) in the public administration institutions which also can deal with SEA issues (4.46 article of Decree 189-2009).

Mandate for exemption of SEA obligation

Is there a legal mandate for a competent authority to make exemptions of SEA obligation? If yes, under which conditions (e.g. national security, disasters or no conditions/when deemed necessary)?

Not specified.

(De)centralisation of SEA mandates

Are SEA mandates (de)centralised? Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for SEA processes is delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decentralization refers to the reassignment of decision-making authority on SEA to government units on a sectoral basis.

Not specified.

Initiator of the SEA

Who initiates the SEA? Should the plan owner initiate and undertake the SEA or is an environmental authority responsible for undertaking the SEA. If an authority is responsible, which authority and at which level?

Not specified.

SEA procedure

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Establishing context

Screening requirement and authority

Is a formal screening decision required? And if so, which authority is responsible for this decision? Is the decision published?

Not specified.

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?

Not specified.

Timeline Screening

Maximum number of (working) days between submission of the screening request and the screening decision.

Not specified.

Identification of stakeholders

Are stakeholders identified early on in the SEA? Who is responsible for identifying the stakeholders? Is a communication plan developed (addressing public and government engagement, disclosure, etc?).

Not specified.

Setting SEA objectives

Is there an early discussion on the objectives for the SEA (i.e. How it will support planning, how it will be integrated into the planning process)? Which stakeholders are involved? Are the outcomes of this discussion documented?

  • Establishing SEA objectives is considered part of the first main step in conducting an SEA (article 93, Decree 189-2009), as stated in the following first step: Context to realize an SEA, objectives and scope definition.


Implementing the SEA

Scoping process

Is there a distinct scoping process? Who is responsible? Who is involved? What methods (if any) are prescribed (overlays, matrices, etc)?

  • The scope of an SEA is considered a part of the first main step in conducting an SEA (article 93, Decree 189-2009), being the first step the following: Context of the realization of an SEA, objectives and scope definition.
  • In addition, to help to define the scope, as an input, is the second main step in the realization of an SEA, which is: Identifying the links between related plans and programs, consistency analysis.
  • As fourth main step in conducting an SEA is: Environmental scope of the assessment object. 
Participation in scoping

If here is distinct scoping, is participation part of this process? Who is involved and how?

  • According to article 93 (Decree 189-2009), the procedure for preparation of an SEA will be carried out within a framework of transparency, participation and information. In addition, as part of the seventh and last main step in conducting an SEA, participation and information is a transversal element (93 article, Decree 189-2009).
Outcome of scoping

What are the expected outcomes of the scoping? e.g. decision criteria and suitable indicators of desired outcomes identified? If a ToR/scoping document is produced, what are the content requirements if any? Is the ToR reviewed? Is the outcome widely available?

The results of scoping are the following: consistency analysis, evaluation and comparison of alternatives and the definition of monitoring indicators

Baseline data

Are there any specific requirements for data collection (for example, on protected areas)?

Not specified.


Are there any requirements for the alternatives to be considered in the SEA? How should alternatives be selected, ranked, compared?

  • The alternatives are a part of the third main step in the realization of an SEA (article 93, Decree 189-2009), stated as follows: Recognition of alternatives, assessment and comparison, including the no implementation of the proposed assessment object.
Assessment/mitigation of effects

What are the specific requirements for assessment and mitigation of impacts as part of SEA? Any specific methods prescribed?

  • Assessment and mitigation of impacts is taken into account in the fifth main step in conducting an SEA (article 93, Decree 189-2009), as the fifth step states the following: Definition of strategic environmental actions to implement and of the monitoring indicators.
Institutional analysis

Is the institutional setting for implementation of the plan analysed? Is there explicit attention for the identification of opportunities to strengthen environmental constituencies?

Not specified.

Content of SEA report

If documentation is required, what should be contained in the SEA report?

  • The SEA is documented in a final report as the sixth main step in conducting an SEA (93 article, Decree 189-2009).
SEA review

Describes the requirements for SEA review. Specifically: Who reviews the SEA? An independent body? Environmental Authority? Is the review approach similar to EIA review in the country?

DECA of SERNA is the competent authority on SEA, it is the one that has the mandate to review the SEA report with the support of the Environmental Management Units (EMU) in public administration institutions (article 4.46 Decree 189 - 2009).

Participation in review

Are there any arrangements for participation in review? Who is involved? How is their involvement arranged?

For the revision of the final report of an SEA, DECA has the support of the Environmental Management Units (EMU) in the public administration institutions (article 4.46 Decree 189 - 2009).

Timeline review

What is the timeline given for the review of the SEA, in (working) days?

Not specified.

Informing and influencing decision-making

SEA and planning decision-making

What is the formal role of SEA in decision-making on the plan? Is SEA approval needed before a planning decision can be made?

Article 92 (Decreto 189-2009), suggests that findings of an SEA can be used in decision-making strategy, policies, plans and programs for super sectors and sector development and land use planning, as well as for mega projects.
Article 94 (Decreto 189-2009) also indicates that land-use plans and programs that are developed, must integrate the environmental variable as a way to ensure a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.

Recommendations for decision-making

How are the results of the SEA and participation translated into recommendations for decision-making on the plan?

Not specified.

Justification of decision

Does policy/programme/plan adoption decision-making have to be justified on the basis of the SEA?

Not specified.


Monitoring requirement

Is there a requirement for implementation of decisions to be monitored? What is the role of SEA outcomes in this monitoring? What provisions exits for action to be undertaken if environmental problems occur?

  • As a fifth main step in conducting anSEA the monitoring indicators must be defined (article 93, Decree 189-2009).
Evaluation requirement

Is there a formal requirement to evaluate the SEA? Similarly, to evaluate plan implementation before the next round of plan development? Are the two connected in this SEA system?

Not specified.

SEA practice

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Annual no. of SEAs

Gives an estimation for the number of SEAs that are produced annually in this country.

No information

Central SEA database

Is there a central database or library where information on SEAs is kept (i.e. where all SEAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information publicly accessible?

SEA information is not accessible to the public, since it is not on the website of the SERNA.

Practice reviews

Any SEA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental agencies or others) are listed here. Where relevant, links to studies are included, and the main conclusions of the studies are summarised.

GTZ and IUCN provided technical support in the period from 2008 to 2010 for a pilot SEA of 10 strategic plans for Municipal Development.

Case studies

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

A pilot SEA of 10 Strategic plans for Municipal Development.

Professional bodies

Professional bodies relevant to SEA practice, such as SEA Associations, Planning Associations, etc are listed here.

Staff of the EIA project for Central America, a tool for sustainable development from IUCN and CCAD.

Capacity development

Sets out any ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events).

From 2006 onwards officials have been receiving training through the EIA Project in Central America provided by IUCN.

Non-governmental SEA guidance

Lists any SEA manuals and good practice publications (including checklists, case studies) that have been published by parties other than government.

Guidelines on Strategic Environmental Assessment for Central America. (CCAD-UICN, 2007)

SEA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Links to relevant SEA laws or regulations.

Not found.

Other relevant links on SEA

Other relevant links on SEA in the country are given here.

  • EIA project for Central America, a tool for sustainable development from IUCN and CCAD:
  • Guidelines on Strategic Environmental Assessment for Central America. (CCAD-UICN, 2007):