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 Environment Act, 2008

 

 


 

 

In an effort to manage its environment, Lesotho has developed the National Environment Policy in 1998 and she is also a signatory to a number of international environmental conventions. The goal of the National Environment Policy is to ensure protection and conservation of the environment and sustainable development. One of the policy objectives is to ensure formulation of environmental legislations. The policy has been translated into a legal framework (Environment Act 2008). The Act has been enacted came into force in June 2009.

 

The purpose of the Act is to protect and ensure proper management of the environment, conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources of Lesotho. The Act defines the broad activities and general principles of environmental management in Lesotho. It also invests each individual with a right to a clean and healthy environment, imposes a corrective duty to protect, maintain and enhance the environment and defines a “citizen-right” to take legal action against acts or omissions that damage the environment. The Act creates an inter ministerial institution called the National Environment Council which is chaired by the Minister responsible for environment. Its responsibility is to formulate environmental policy and to facilitate the co-ordination and harmonization of the policies, plans and activities of government organizations in the environment and natural resources field. The Act introduces the concepts of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), audits and monitoring of projects; Environmental Impact Assessment minimizes environmental degradation brought about by the development. It helps to know about environmental degradation before a project is implemented. Environmental Impact Assessment refers to a study of the effects likely to arise from a proposed project on the environment.

 

The Act also provides for environmental planning. The Department of Environment together with Line ministries has to prepare the National Environment Action Plan (NEAP). NEAP is the basis for national environmental planning and implementation of development programmes. It provides general guidance for management and protection of the environment and it also identifies principal environmental problems facing the country. Planning at the local level is intended to ensure sensitivity to local concerns and needs, particularly with regard to the use of local resources.

 

 
 
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