In Sri Lanka, project level EIA has been effectively implemented since 1993. Although project level EIA is effective in addressing environmental impacts at project level, it often fails to take into account cumulative impacts of several projects. Strategic Environmental Assessment could prove to be a more effective tool in this regard, as SEA is applied at a higher strategic level, thereby ensuring that possible environmental impacts of a policy plan or program are addressed at strategic level.
Strategic Environmental Assessment is still not a mandatory requirement in Sri Lanka. However, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved implementation of SEA for policies, programs and plans in Sri Lanka. All Ministries, Departments and Authorities who are responsible for implementing a new policy, plan or programme are expected to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment for the new policy, plan or programme prior to its implementation.