A growing number of countries at all levels of development have legislation or regulations prescribing the application of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) - and many more are introducing it as part of their policy tools. This is creating unique opportunities for better policy making and planning by incorporating environmental considerations into high-level decision-making and opening new mechanisms to build consensus on development priorities within governments themselves and between governments and societies.
The Government of Namibia presented a proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation in September 2006. Its principal objective was to reduce poverty and accelerate economic growth through targeted investments in the education, agriculture and tourism sectors. An SEA was applied to this programme, which identified risks and provided recommendations for risk mitigation. One of the most controversial aspects of the programme was the proposed establishment of a veterinary cordon fence along the Namibia–Angola border as a part of the agriculture component. Therefore the debate over the fence will be described in detail in this chapter.