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In this article, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Protocol to the Espoo Convention is introduced and analyzed. As an outcome of international processes aimed at the institutional adoption of sustainable development policy, the need for strategic environmental assessment has become obvious given the experiences with environmental impact assessment as an effective environmental policy tool for projects. The introduction of SEA and the adoption of a specific international legal instrument are also situated within ongoing international good governance and (new) public management developments which aim at improving decision making. In this context, the application of SEA and the SEA Protocol is analyzed focusing on its features, approaches and opportunities.