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The Environment Management Act, 2002 Part II - Fundamental Purpose and Principles

CONTENTS | PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI | PART VII | PART VIII | PART IX | PART X | PART XI | SCHEDULE 1

PART II - FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES

Purpose

4. The purpose of this Act is to provide for and promote the enhancement, protection and conservation of the environment and where appropriate, the sustainable management of natural resources.

Environmental Principles

5. In achieving the purpose of this Act, the following principles shall be applied:

a. the environment is the common heritage of present and future generations;

b. adverse effects should be prevented and minimised through long term integrated planning and the co-ordination, integration and co-operation of efforts, which consider the entire environment as a whole entity;

c. the precautionary principle, which requires that where there is a risk of serious or irreversible adverse effects occurring, a lack of scientific certainty should not prevent or impair the taking of precautionary measures to protect the environment;

d. the polluter pays principle, which requires that those causing adverse effects shall be required to pay the full social and environmental costs of avoiding, mitigating, and/or remedying those adverse effects;

e. the generation of waste should be minimised wherever practicable;

f. waste should, in order of priority, be re-used, recycled, recovered and disposed of safely in a manner that avoids creating adverse effects or if this is not practicable, is least likely to cause adverse effects;

g. non-renewable natural resources should only be used prudently, taking into account the consequences for the present and future generations; and

h. renewable resources and ecosystems should only be used in a manner that is sustainable and does not prejudice their viability and integrity.

Duty to give effect to purpose and principles

6. (1) Any person or body exercising powers or functions or making decisions under this Act shall give effect to the purpose of this Act and the principles listed in section 5.

(2) Any Cabinet Minister, Government Officer or other person exercising a public function who, in the course of exercising that public function, is required to take any action, make a decision, or create, revise, or implement any policy, plan, strategy, legislation, guideline, or procedure, that is likely to affect the protection, conservation or enhancement of the environment or the sustainable management of natural resources in Swaziland shall have regard to, apply and provide for the principles mentioned in section 5 in exercising that public function.

(3) At the written request of any person, the person or body referred to in subsections (1) or (2) shall confirm in writing within 60 days of receipt of the request, whether or not the purpose referred to in section 4 and the principles referred to in section 5 have been given effect to or applied in respect of a particular matter, and if so, how, and if not, the reasons why not.

(4) Any person who is dissatisfied with a written response given under subsection (3) may, within 30 days, lodge an application for review with the Minister in accordance with section 82.

Environmental Management Strategy

7. (1) Within twelve months of the entry into force of this Act, each Cabinet Minister shall ensure that an Environmental Management Strategy for each Government Ministry for which the Cabinet Minister is responsible, is prepared and submitted to the Authority for approval.

(2) The Board shall consider each Environmental Management Strategy submitted to it and as soon as reasonably possible shall either notify the Government Ministry concerned that it has approved the Strategy or of the ways in which the Board requires the Strategy to be amended in order for the Board to approve it.

(3) After the Board has approved a Strategy, the Government Ministry concerned shall, within six months of the date of approval, publish the Strategy in the Gazette and start implementing it.

(4) Each Strategy shall include the following:

a. a description of the principal effects that the activities regulated by the Government Ministry have or may have on the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources;

b. a description of the principal effects that the activities of the Government Ministry have or may have on the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources;

c. a statement of the objectives of the Strategy, which shall be designed to further the achievement of the purpose of this Act and the National Environment Mgmt Action Plan referred to in section 30; and

d. a description of the practical measures that the Government Ministry will take to give effect to the purpose referred to in section 4 and the principles referred to in section 5, and to ensure that it exercises its functions in a way that helps to achieve the objectives of the Strategy.

(5) Each Government Ministry shall review its Environmental Management Strategy at least once every three years and shall publish a report on that review in the Gazette.

(6) Each review report shall include:

a. an assessment of the effects that activities in the sector regulated by the Government Ministry have had on the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources over the previous five years, and an assessment of future trends in this regard;

b. an assessment of the effects that the activities of the Government Ministry have had on the environment and on the sustainable management of natural resources, over the previous five years;

c. an assessment of the extent to which the objectives of the Strategy have been achieved and the effectiveness of the Strategy in assisting the Ministry to apply the principles set out in section 5;

d. recommendations for improving the Strategy; and

e. proposed amendments to the Strategy or a draft of a new Strategy that takes into account the assessments noted in the review.

CONTENTS | PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI | PART VII | PART VIII | PART IX | PART X | PART XI | SCHEDULE 1

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