Environmental Impact Assessment

The Government of Namibia is committed to sustainable development. Article 95(1) of the Constitution of Namibia states that:- “The State shall actively promote and maintain the welfare of the people by adopting policies aimed at … The maintenance of ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future…

The commitment of the Government of Namibia to environmental protection, socio-economic and sustainable development are expressed and articulated in the Vision 2030 and at the medium term, included in the National Development. In 2007, the Government of Namibia enacted the Environmental Management Act (Act 7 of 2007), herein after referred to as EMA, with the objective to prevent and mitigate the significant effects of activities on the environment by:

 

  • Ensuring that the significant effects of activities on the environment are considered in time and carefully;
  • Ensuring that there are opportunities for timeous participation of interested and affected parties throughout the assessment process; and
  • Ensuring that the findings of an assessment are taken into account before any decision is made in respect of activities.

 

All Government institutions, companies, other organisations and individuals that are involved in planning or undertaking listed activities must apply the principles outlined in the Environmental Management Act 7 of 2007, which include the following:

 

  • Renewable resources must be used on a sustainable basis for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • Community involvement in natural resource management and the sharing of benefits arising from the use of the resources must be promoted and facilitated;
  • The participation of all interested and affected parties must be promoted and decisions must take into account the interests, needs and values of interested and affected parties;
  • Equitable access to environmental resources must be promoted and functional integrity of ecological systems must be taken into account to ensure the sustainability of the systems and to prevent harmful effects;
  • Assessments must be undertaken for activities which may have significant effects on the environment or the use of natural resources;
  • Sustainable development must be promoted in all aspects relating to the environment;
  • Namibia’s cultural and natural heritage including, its biological diversity, must be protected and respected for the benefit of the present and future generations;
  • The options that provide the most benefits or causes the least damage to the environment as a whole, at a cost acceptable to society, in the long term, as well as the short term must be adopted to reduce the generation of waste and polluting substances at source;
  • The reduction, re-use and recycling of waste must be promoted;
  • A person who causes damage to the environment must pay the costs associated with rehabilitation of damage to the environment and to human health caused by pollution, including costs for measures as are reasonably required to be implemented to prevent future environmental damage;
  • Where there is sufficient evidence which establishes that there are threats of serious irreversible damage to the environment, lack of full scientific certainty may not be used as a reasonable reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation; and
  • Damage to the environment must be prevented and activities which cause such damage must be reduced, limited or controlled.

 

Therefore, before starting any operations that might likely cause a significant effect on the environment, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be undertaken.  Please see the Environmental Assessment Process

Environmental Assessment Process.

View Guide to the Environmental Management