The rationale for SEA to overcome the inadequacy of environmental assessment in Bangladesh

Habib M. Alshuwaikhat*, Syed Masiur Rahman, Yusuf Adedoyin Aina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The first remarkable environmental initiatives in Bangladesh were taken because of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment in 1972. The provision that requires Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for any new public and private project was first incorporated in the National Environmental Policy, 1992. Still environmental degradation is one of the major concerns in Bangladesh. Like some other developing countries, it initiates and conducts EIA in order to satisfy international donor agencies. Now, EIA is becoming matured through the positive steps of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international agencies. However, EIA cannot adequately address all the prevailing environmental issues in Bangladesh because of its inherent and contextual limitations. This article explores the evolution of environmental assessment in Bangladesh, mostly at the strategic level. It investigates some of the policy failures, which resulted due to the absence of environmental assessment at the strategic level. Through a questionnaire survey (e-mail) and extensive literature review, this research concludes that Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as a process can effectively address the limitations of EIA and contribute to policy development in order to ensure sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environment and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Bangladesh
  • EIA
  • Environmental assessment
  • SEA
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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