SEA Conference: Advances in European SEA Practice

  • Venue: Goldsmith College, University of London
  • 8th Nov: Current advances in research methodology and teaching in SEA
  • 9-10th Nov: SEA Conference

A Network for European Environmental Assessment Practitioners

The Tallinn Forum, is a professional practice forum established in partnership with the Estonian Environmental Institute (EKI). The objectives of the Tallinn Forum are to provide networking opportunities for the exchange of best practice knowledge, debate and research between practitioners in government, consultancy, industry and academia.

Tallinn Forum events present a unique opportunity for European and international IA professionals to promote best practice in EIA and SEA in Europe, enhance the impact of IA within sustainable development and decision making, take part in continuing professional development, and to discuss regulatory amendments impacting on practice.

Keynote speakers

Kaupo Heinma

Kaupo Heinma - Vice Chancellor of the Estonian Ministry of Environment, former EA researcher and practitioner.

Charlotta Faith-Ell - Member of Board of Directors of the Estonian Environment Institute (EKKI) and Director of Research at WSP Civils. Researcher of SEA at Mid-Sweden University.

Jos Arts - Professor of Infrastructure and Environmental Planning at University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

jenny stafford

Jenny Stafford - Associate Director, Temple Group, UK, Experienced SEA consultant & SEA leader with a track record in infrastructure, sustainable communities & the natural environment.

Theme and focus

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is part of a family of related impact and decision-making tools that have developed globally since the 1990s. The European Union and its Member States, in partnership with regions of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, has been one of the most active supporters in the application of SEA as a driver for sustainable decision making, incorporating SEA into the heart of its legal instruments. Frameworks for SEA have also emerging internationally and within key economic development sectors. SEA practice has also extended into donor assistance activities, particularly within the lending operations of International Finance Institutions.

Key issues we are inviting consideration and contributory papers within this complex and evolving field include:

  • How to design effective legal & policy frameworks for SEA enabling its optimal application in planning, programming and policy-making?
  • What are the critical interfaces between SEA and the needs of decision-makers? What advances in SEA practice have occurred since 2010, and has the application of SEA successfully integrated consideration of economic, social and environmental implications into higher tier development proposals?
  • What experience have practitioners had in applying SEA tools? What methods can be effectively applied in SEA in addition to the traditional impact assessment techniques known from project-level EIA? How do these vary between planning, programming and policy making levels respectively
  • What lessons in current practice can be drawn from recent case studies? Do these stand out as beacons of good practice or lessons to be learnt from?
  • How can national or regional scale public participation in SEA ever be carried out effectively? What are the unique characteristics, processes and tools in enabling informative stakeholder consultations within SEA?

This inaugural conference of the Tallinn Forum on Advances in European SEA Practice provides a rare international opportunity for Europe’s SEA community of leading Practitoner and administrators to gather and debate current practice.

The conference will offer plenaries, focused workshops and free paper sessions to discuss specific topics and sectors of SEA interest and concern, examine best practice case studies and learn how SEA is influencing the promotion of sustainable development.

Position papers and the preliminary program of the conference will be available on 1st of March 2019 at A general call will be made for, and priority given to:

  • partnership case studies between SEA client & consultants that elaborate the main themes of the workshops
  • papers that respond to position papers

Since the focus of the conference will be to promote best practice, the Program & Technical Committees will review submitted case studies and papers and invite those that are most likely to effectively stimulate discussion or debate.

There will be opportunities to present short research papers during some sessions, as well as posters. For an additional fee, an Academic seminar will be held preceding the Conference on Current Approaches within the Pedagogy of SEA as well as Training courses on SEA topics during the week before the conference start. The conference & its related forums will all be held in English.


SEA Practice in

  • Spatial planning (at national, regional & local community level)
  • Regional development planning
  • Infrastructure & Network development (Transportation, Energy & Water)
  • Natural Resource & Waste Management
  • Sustainable Food & Biodiversity protection
  • International & Trans-boundary relationships (trade agreements, resource protection)

Best Practice in linking SEA with

  • Policy, Plans and Programmes
  • Sustainability agendas
  • Health & Social Welfare
  • Future lower tier EIA programmes
  • Public participation & consultation

Improving standards and building capacity for SEA

  • Developing institutional and resources capacity for SEA to improve guidance
  • Proportionate SEA Practice & Environmental Reporting
  • Certification, Competency, Training and professional development in SEA
  • Leadership in SEA
  • SEA research and development
  • The consideration of Alternatives in SEA
  • Assessment of cumulative impacts

SEA Practice in Climate Change Adaptation

  • biodiversity adaptation and habitat creation
  • promoting sustainable development
  • Adaptation to Future Climate Change (Flood & Coastal Risk Management, Urban Design, River Basin and Watershed Management)

Workshop for academics in SEA

Tallinn Forum is inviting academics in SEA to a workshop on teaching and research methodology in SEA that will be held 8th of November. The fee of the workshop will be EUR 90 (excludes VAT). The workshop will be chaired by Charlotta Faith-Ell. More information about the workshop will be posted online at the conference webpage.

Who should attend?

The conference will provide a unique forum for discussion amongst European Town & Country Planners, IA Professionals, Government Officials, Researchers and NGO leaders. Participants from other international countries and institutions are equally welcome to participate.

Conference registration

This 2 day conference will have a single registration fee of

EUR 535 + (20%VAT added)

The conference will host a maximum of 300 participants. Due to the limited space available, we encourage all interested applicants to register early.

On-line registration is now open

Logistical information

The conference will be held on the premises of the Goldsmith College, University of London

The University campus is in the south-east of Central London close to Greenwich and Deptford, both of which have strong maritime connections. The Goldsmith’s campus is easily accessed from two London Overground stations, New Cross and New Cross Gate with both running frequent tube connections into the centre of London. New Cross Gate has mainline services running north to London Bridge (for Luton Airport) and south to London Victoria (for Heathrow Airport) and direct to Gatwick Airport. A wide variety of accommodation types can be accessed throughout the area.

Hosted by


The Estonian Environment Institute, Estonia

leading green

Leading Green, UK