| Project objectives:
The strategic objectives of the project are:
* To provide a consistent and peer-reviewed appraisal of the potential of common and emerging tools (i.e. methodologies, tools, approaches and appraisals)
for sustainable development related assessments in support of the various stages of policy.
* To make the appraisal of the tools vis-à-vis key aspects of sustainable development as provided in this proposal and to sharpen these key aspects on the basis
of this project.
* To provide and apply a framework for the evaluation of the tools.
* To increase insights in how the various scientific tools relate to the requirements of participation and consultation.
* To disseminate the results widely among assessment practitioners as well as users.
* To identify important and promising issues for targeting subsequent research and development efforts
* To build on the considerable knowledge with regard to integrated environment assessment that is available among the members of the European Forum for Integrated
Environment Assessment (EFIEA) and in international organizations
To realize progress towards the ambitions on Sustainable Development, the EU and others should set wise objectives and make sure that the implementation is
taken care of in an effective way. This requires proper policies and a consistent implementation process. To make equitable decisions on which policies to
develop and to review the progress made towards the sustainable development goals, tools (i.e. methodologies, models, approaches and appraisals) are needed
that support strategy development, ex-ante sustainability impact assessments as well as policy reviews.
This project will assist in improving both impact assessments and the sustainable development strategy definition by high-level validation of the tools
using a consistent and comprehensive evaluation framework. The evaluation framework will include issues such as the pros and cons of the tools, what they can
and cannot deliver, when they can be used, etc. First, a draft evaluation framework and key aspects of sustainable development, against which the tools will
be evaluated, will be formulated. A catalogue of state of the art tools will be made and a preliminary evaluation of the tools in the context of different policy
questions will be carried out based on literature reviews. In this phase the project will focus on water, climate change and agriculture & land-use policy questions.
In the second phase of the project an array of tools will be tested in a case study on agriculture and land-use. In phase three the results from the first two phases
will be used to derive at a final evaluation framework that indicates how the tools relate, the merits of each tool, the circumstances under which they can be
used, the constraints, the pros and cons and the extent to which they integrate externalities of policies. Moreover, the evaluation framework will show which
tools are useful for answering which key aspects of sustainable development and will identify the trade-offs of using the different tools for addressing the
three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social).
After this project there will be a better insight for policy-makers and those carrying out sustainability impact assessments, what tools they can best use
in decision-making or assessment processes, given the available resources and the desired scope of the process. This can clearly improve the quality of the
decision-making or assessment process and thus improve sustainability assessments and the sustainable development strategy definition.