FSM SEA Consultation Group Photo

Strategic Environmental Assessment for Kosrae

The Federated State of Micronesia is set to update the Kosrae Land Use Please (LUP) after 20 years using a newly applied process of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The SEA is a systematic evaluation of the environmental and related socio-economic cumulative impacts of Policies, Plans and Programmes (PPP) to ensure that opportunities can be optimized, risks can be mitigated and alternatives can be considered during the early stages of PPP development.

The SEA process promotes stakeholder engagement and collaboration throughout the development cycle to ensure that effective outcomes are achieved.

Intensive consultation meetings and were held in August with the five key communities in Kosrae, including: Tafunsak, Lelu, Malem, Utwe and Walung, to collect information on key environmental and socioeconomic drivers and pressures and better understand the state and develop appropriate responses.

National Ridge to Reef (R2R) Project Coordinator Rosalinda Yatilman said that a State Expert Panel was established to provide critical inputs to the prioritization of key issues, assess the impact of the four different growth scenarios, and identify where changes of the LUP are needed.

She explained that a local consultant group, the Ethnographic Mile, was contracted to facilitate the SEA in Kosrae who completed the first two key outputs in July this year. This include preparation of a Kosrae State baseline (environmental/social) profile to inform the SEA report, and an assessment of existing capacity of State Departments, agencies and NGOs.

“SEA shares much in common with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as they are both used as a means of evaluating and mitigating potential effects of a proposal. However, the EIA is applied on a project basis, and the SEA is generally applied to early stages of developing of policies, plans and programmes,” she said.

Yatilman concluded that the next step will be for the local consultant to prepare the SEA report for review, and the Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority looks forward to the update of the KLUP.