Original Research

The quality and effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as a decision-aiding tool for national park expansion—the greater Addo Elephant National Park case study

F. Retief
Koedoe | Vol 49, No 2 | a119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v49i2.119 | © 2006 F. Retief | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2006 | Published: 18 December 2006

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F. Retief, North West University (Potchefstroom campus), South Africa

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Internationally South Africa is regarded as a leading developing country in the application of SEA. Research also indicates that the conservation sector within South Africa has been particularly prominent in exploring its application. However, very little empirical research has been conducted to learn from practice and to establish the added value of SEA to strategic decision making. To address this gap in knowledge the paper explores the input quality and output effectiveness of the greater Addo Elephant National Park SEA. The results show that the SEA achieved average to good input quality and output effectiveness performance, respectively. A number of lessons were learned for the application of SEA to future park expansion initiatives. These relate to the timing of the SEA, addressing social impacts, setting of boundaries as well as dealing with scale. The research results concluded that SEA made valuable contributions to decision making and could be considered an important decision-aiding tool for the conservation sector. To take the debate forward and to benchmark best practice it is proposed that further comparative performance evaluation research of multiple SEA case studies within the conservation sector be conducted.


Strategic environmental assessment; Quality and effectiveness; Performance evaluation; Park expansion; Conservation sector


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