The Environment and Management Coordination Act 1999 (EMCA) is the applicable law for environmental matters. This is Kenya`s first environmental framework law. It establishes general principles, establishes administrative bodies, sets environmental quality standards and provides for the inspection, enforcement and enforcement of environmental offences. It complements other sectoral laws in areas such as water, land, forestry, mining and wildlife. The SCMS was enacted in the context of 78 sectoral laws that address various components of the environment, the deteriorating state of the environment in Kenya, and growing social and economic inequalities, the combined effects of which have a negative impact on the environment. The ultimate goal of the adoption of the EMCA in 1999 was to harmonize the country`s environmental management. Below are the key national laws, policies and plans that regulate climate change in Kenya. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is responsible for developing Kenya`s national environmental policy. The main regulators and agencies responsible for enforcing environmental protection are: Vision 2030 was launched in 2008 as Kenya`s development plan for the period 2008-2030. The goal was to make Kenya a “newly industrialized middle-income country that provides quality lives for all its citizens” by 2030. The social pillar of Vision 2030 explicitly states that Kenya`s path to broad-based prosperity involves building a just and cohesive society that enjoys equitable social development in a clean and safe environment.
The vision of a clean and sustainable environment by 2030 must be achieved through better pollution and waste management, better adaptability to global climate change and harmonization of environmental laws for better environmental policy and planning. As explained in Section 4.1 Important Types of Liability, environmental liability takes the form of civil and/or criminal or administrative liability. Apart from courts that can impose civil penalties for environmental violations, individuals who commit environmental violations under environmental laws in Kenya are subject to administrative measures that may be imposed by the respective regulatory authorities. Examples of environmental permits include permits for wastewater discharges, air emissions, waste management, production, import and export of controlled substances, and access permits (for example, for access to genetic resources and water). There is also a permit system following an environmental impact assessment. Section 16 of the Access to Information Act protects individuals who make disclosures in the public interest from reprisal or sanctions. Disclosure of information about environmental damage to NEMA falls into this category. The Witness Protection Act provides for the Witness Protection Program, which protects witnesses in criminal or civil proceedings. The current waste laws and regulations are as follows. As a starting point, the preamble to the constitution states: “The Kenyan people respect the environment which is the heritage of Kenya and are determined to preserve it for the benefit of future generations.” Several provisions of the Constitution reflect this strengthening of general environmental principles. Article 10 enshrines the principle of sustainability as one of the national values and principles of governance, while Article 42 guarantees the right to a clean and healthy environment, including the right to environmental protection for the benefit of present and future generations. The establishment of the Regional and Environmental Court under article 162 is of particular importance.
This specialized court has the status of a High Court in Kenya and deals with environmental issues. The court has the power to issue precautionary orders, hiring and compensation. The NECC was established as part of the EMCA and has a mandate to investigate complaints against NEMA or any other person regarding the state of the environment. 34 See “Statement by I. E. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H. President of the Republic of Kenya, at the plenary session of the COP26 Global Leaders` Summit – Kenya National Statement Glasgow, Scotland, 1 November 2021”, available at www.president.go.ke/2021/11/01/statement-by-h-e-uhuru-kenyatta-c-g-h-president-of-the-rebulic-of-kenya-during-the-cop26-world-leaders-summit-plenary-session-kenya-national-statement-glasgow-scotland-1st-november-202/ (consulted for the last time November 8, 2021). The NECC also has the power to investigate suspected cases of environmental degradation ex officio. The CRC`s investigative powers allow it to summon individuals to investigate matters relevant to its investigation. As part of the promotion of environmental litigation, EMCA continues to use NECC to conduct environmental public interest litigation.
Certain categories of environmental information, such as: However, EIA study reports must be published and easily accessible to interested members of the public without the need for a formal request for access. The robust system based on environmental rights, provided for in the Constitution and other laws, allows individuals to take action to enforce environmental rights in general. Administrative measures may be ordered by the competent regulatory authorities. This can take the form of sanctions, withdrawal of licences or permits, imposition of restrictions or restrictions, environmental protection orders and restoration. In some cases, the owner or operator of the facility that is the subject of the incident or environmental damage must also describe the circumstances of the incident and the corrective actions taken or planned to prevent its recurrence. The draft law aims to create a legal and institutional framework for environmental management by improving national capacities for environmental management. Among the new institutions proposed in the bill is the National Institute for Environmental Research, whose main task will be to conduct and coordinate environmental research. The draft Environmental Management and Coordination (Extended Producer Responsibility) Regulations, 2020 provide additional obligations for manufacturers26 and provide for mandatory extended producer responsibility schemes for all products and packaging at all stages of their life cycle to improve environmental sustainability.
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