Environmental Management Act
- There are multiple commencements:
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
|Part I (section 1–3); Part II (section 4–6); Part III (section 7–8); Part IV (section 9–10); Part V (section 11–33); Part VI (section 34–41); Part VII (section 42–47); Part VIII (section 48–54); Part IX (section 55–86); Part X (section 87–96); Part XI (section 97–108); Part XII (section 109–117); Part XIII (section 118–127); Part XIV (section 128–131); Part XV (section 132); Part XVI, section 133–143, section 145–146||commenced on 17 March 2003.|
|Part XVI, section 144||commenced on 7 April 2006.|
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“Agency” means the Environment Management Agency established by section nine;“appropriate authority”—(a)in relation to forest land, means the Forestry Commission established in terms of the Forest Act [Chapter 19:05];(b)in relation to parks and wild life land, means the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management established in terms of the Parks and Wild Life Act [Chapter 20:14];(c)in relation to Communal Land or resettlement land, means the rural district council within whose area the land is situated, where the Minister has assigned environmental management functions to that council in terms of section one hundred and thirty-three;(d)in relation to water pollution, means the person whom the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, has specified as the appropriate authority for the waters concerned or, if no person has been so specified, the appropriate authority for the land riparian to those waters;(e)in relation to alienated land, means—(i)the occupier of the land; or(ii)if the land has no occupier, the user of the land; or(iii)if the land has neither an occupier nor a user, the owner of the land;and includes any person appointed by the occupier, user or owner, as the case may be, to be the appropriate authority for the land;“biological diversity” means biological diversity as defined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992;“Board” means the Environment Management Board established by section eleven;“construct” includes to do, maintain, repair, carry out, reconstruct or alter;“Council” means the National Environment Council established by section seven;“developer” means any person who proposes or undertakes to implement a project;“Director-General” means the Director-General of the Agency;“dust” means any solid matter in a fine or disintegrated form which is capable of being dispersed or being suspended in the atmosphere;“effluent” means waste water or other fluid originating from domestic, agricultural or industrial activity, whether the water or fluid is treated or untreated and whether it is discharged directly or indirectly into the environment;“emission” means gas, fumes, smoke, dust or odour originating from domestic, agricultural or industrial activity, vehicles, engines or processes;“environment” means—(a)the natural and man made resources physical resources, both biotic and abiotic, occurring in the lithosphere and atmosphere, water, soil, minerals and living organisms whether indigenous or exotic and the interaction between them;(b)ecosystems, habitats, spatial surroundings or other constituent parts whether natural or modified or constructed by people and communities, including urbanised areas, agricultural areas, rural landscapes, and places of cultural significance;(c)the economic, social, cultural or aesthetic conditions and qualities that contribute to the value of the matters set out in paragraphs (a) and (b);“environmental audit” means the systematic documentation and periodic objective evaluation of the protection and management of the environment;“environment committee” means an environment committee of a rural district council appointed in terms of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13];“environmental impact assessment” means an evaluation of a project to determine its impact on the environment and human health and to set out the required environmental monitoring and management procedures and plans;“environmental impact assessment report” means a report on an environmental impact assessment that is referred to in section one hundred;“fixed date” means the date fixed in terms of subsection (2) of section one as the date on which this Act shall come into operation;“government agency” means any Ministry, department, organ or agency of the State or government, including a local authority;“hazardous substance” means any substance, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous or any organism which is injurious to human health or the environment;“hazardous waste” means waste which is poisonous, corrosive, noxious, explosive, inflammable, radioactive, toxic or harmful to the environment;“inspector” means an inspector appointed in terms of section thirty-five;“invasive alien species” means, generally, exotic plants which have become naturalised and threaten the existence of indigenous species by penetrating and replacing indigenous vegetation, and, in particular, shall have the meaning given to that term in section one hundred and eighteen;“licensing authority” means any person on whom power is conferred under any enactment to issue a licence in respect of any activity required under that enactment to be done or carried out with a licence;“manage”, in relation to the environment, means to manage with a view to securing its protection, conservation, regulations, rehabilitation or sustainable use, or any combination or all of the foregoing;“Minister” means the Minister of Environment and Tourism or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“monitor” means to assess, continuously or periodically, the state and trends of developments on any part of the environment as well as the actual or potential impact of any activity on the environment and human health;“National Plan” means a National Environmental Plan prepared in terms of Part X;“natural resource” includes—(a)the air, soil, waters and minerals of Zimbabwe;(b)the mammal, bird, fish and other animal life of Zimbabwe;(c)the trees, grasses and other vegetation of Zimbabwe;(d)the springs, vleis, sponges, reed-beds, marshes, swamps and public streams of Zimbabwe;(e)any other thing that the President may, by notice in a statutory instrument, declare to be a natural resource, including a landscape or scenery which, in his opinion, should be preserved on account of its aesthetic appeal or scenic value;“noxious or offensive gas” means—the gases, fumes, dust, odours and smokes specified in Part IV of the Fifth Schedule;“occupier”, in relation to land or premises, means any person lawfully occupying or controlling the land or premises;“officer” means an officer appointed in terms of section thirty-five;“owner”, in relation to land or premises, means—(a)the person registered in the Deeds Registry as the owner of the land or premises; or(b)in the case of State land, other than—(i)communal land; or;(ii)forest land; or(iii)land referred to in paragraph (e);the Minister responsible for the management or administration of the land; or(c)in the case of communal land, the Minister responsible for the administration of the Communal Land Act [Chapter 20:04]; or(d)in the case of forest land, the Forestry Commission; or(e)any person who lawfully holds or occupies land, including State land, in accordance with an agreement or enactment under which he is entitled to obtain title to the land on the fulfilment of conditions prescribed in the agreement or enactment;and includes—(i)the legal representative of an owner referred to in paragraph (a) or (e); and(ii)the liquidator of a company which is an owner referred to in paragraph (a) or (e) and which is in liquidation;“pollutant” means a substance which, when released from any process, is capable of causing pollution;“pollution” means any direct or indirect alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, biological or radioactive properties of the environment caused by the discharge, emission or deposit of a substance into the environment in such quantity and for such duration and under such conditions as to cause an actual or potential danger to the environment or to human health;“premises” means any building or structure, including the land on which such building or structure is situated;“project” means an activity which has or is likely to have an impact on the environment and which is specified in the First Schedule;“responsible Minister”, in relation to environmental matters, means any Minister or Vice-President who, in terms of any enactment, is empowered or required to exercise any function in respect of the environment;“sustainable utilisation” means the use or exploitation of the environment which guards against the extinction, depletion or degradation of any natural resource and permits the replenishment of natural resources by natural means or otherwise;“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Ministry for which the Minister is responsible;“State land” means land vested in the President;“smoke” includes fly ash, soot, grit and gritty particles emitted in smoke;“transport conveyance” means any motor vehicle, train, boat, aircraft or other similar conveyance;“user”, in relation to land, means a person, other than an owner or occupier, who has or exercises any rights in, over or upon land or who makes use of land in any way;“water” includes—(a)surface water; and(b)all water which rises naturally on any private land or drains or falls naturally on to any private land, even if it does not visibly join any public stream; and(c)all ground water;“waste” includes domestic, commercial or industrial material, whether in a liquid, solid, gaseous or radioactive form, which is discharged, emitted or deposited into the environment in such volume, composition or manner as to cause pollution;“wetland” means any area of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, and includes riparian land adjacent to the wetland;“works” means measures taken or to be taken or anything whatsoever constructed or to be constructed with a view to managing the environment.
3. Application of this Act in relation to other laws
Part II – General principles of environmental management and functions of Minister
4. Environmental rights and principles of environmental management
5. General functions of Minister
6. Delegation of powers by the MinisterThe Minister may delegate to the Agency or the Council such of his functions under this Act as he thinks fit.
Part III – National Environmental Council
7. Establishment of a National Environment Council
8. Duties and functions of the Council
Part IV – Environmental Management Agency
9. Establishment of Environmental Management AgencyThere is hereby established an Agency, to be known as the Environmental Management Agency, which shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.
10. Functions and powers of Agency
Part V – Environment Management Board
11. Establishment of Environment Management BoardThe operations of the Agency shall, subject to this Act, be controlled and managed by a board called the Environment Management Board.
12. Composition of Board
13. Disqualifications for membership of Board
14. Terms of office and conditions of service of members of Board
15. Vacation of office by members of Board
16. Filling of vacancies on BoardSubject to this Part, on the death of, or the vacation of office by, a member of the Board, the President may appoint a person to fill the vacancy:Provided that, if the number of members is fewer than the minimum number of members specified in section twelve, the President shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.
17. Chairman and vice-chairman of Board
18. Co-opted members of BoardWith the approval of the Minister, the Board may co-opt any person to the Board:Provided that—
19. Meetings and procedure of Board
20. Committees of Board
21. Minutes of proceedings of Board and of committees
22. Remuneration and allowances of members of Board and of committees
23. Directions to Board
24. Reports of Board
25. Board to have access to all MinistersIn carrying out its functions, the Board, through its chairman, shall have direct access to every Minister and shall keep the Minister responsible for the environment informed of these meetings.
26. Board to consult experts on technical questionsWhen any matter arises which entails the consideration of any professional or technical question, the Board shall consult such persons as, in the Board’s opinion, are qualified to advise on the question.
27. Hearings by Board
28. Powers of Board to summon witnesses and take evidence at hearings
29. Penalty for witness failing to attend hearing or give evidence or produce documents
30. Penalty for giving false evidence at hearingAny person who, after having been duly sworn at a hearing of the Board, wilfully gives false evidence before the Board, knowing the evidence to be false or not having reasonable grounds for believing it to be true, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
31. Board may refer questions of law to High Court
32. Proof of recommendations and decisions of BoardA document which purports to set out a recommendation or decision of the Board or of a committee of the Board and which is purportedly signed by the secretary of the Board shall be prima facie proof of its contents and admissible in any court on its production by any person.
33. Safeguarding State interestsAny Minister may nominate any person to present his views to the Board when the Board is considering any matter affecting a Ministry or department under his administration, and the Board shall entertain any representations made to it by such a person.
Part VI – Staff of the Agency
34. Appointment and functions of Director-General
35. Inspectors and other officers
36. Monitoring functions of Director-General, inspectors and other officersThe Director-General, inspectors and other officers shall exercise their functions under this Act to ensure, through monitoring, that—
37. Powers of officers and inspectors
38. Execution of contracts and instruments by AgencyAny agreement, contract or instrument approved by the Board may be entered into or executed on the Agency’s behalf by any person generally or specially authorised by the Board for that purpose.
39. Reports of Agency
40. Minister may require statistics and informationThe Minister may from time to time direct the Board to furnish him with such information and statistics as the Minister may require in regard to revenues and additionally, or alternatively, the activities, funds and property of the Agency, and the Board shall forthwith comply with any such direction.
41. Investigation into affairs of Agency
Part VII – Financial provisions relating to Agency
42. Funds of AgencyThe funds of the Agency shall consist of—
43. Investment of moneys not immediately required by AgencyMoneys not immediately required by the Agency may be invested in such manner as the Board, in consultation with the Minister, may approve.
44. Financial year of AgencyThe financial year of the Agency shall be the period of twelve months ending on the 31st December in each year or such other date as may be prescribed.
45. Accounts of Agency
46. Audit of Agency’s accounts
47. Internal auditorSection 19 of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19] (No. 11 of 2009), shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the appointment of an internal auditor to the Agency in all respects as if the Agency were a department of the Ministry for which the Minister is responsible.[section amended by Act 3 of 2016]
Part VIII – Environment Fund
48. Establishment of Environment FundThere is hereby established a fund, to be known as the Environment Fund, whose management and control shall be vested, subject to this Act, in the Minister as trustee of the Fund.
49. Composition of FundThe Fund shall consist of—
50. Environment levy
51. Administration of FundSubject to this Act, the Fund shall be administered in accordance with the Minister’s directions.
52. Application of FundThe object of the fund shall be—
53. Financial year of FundThe financial year of the Fund shall be a period of twelve months ending on the 31st December in each year.
54. Books of account and audit of Fund
Part IX – Environmental quality standards
55. Establishment of a Standards and Enforcement Committee
56. Functions of the Standards and Enforcement CommitteeThe Standards and Enforcement Committee shall, in consultation with the Agency—
57. Water pollution prohibition
58. Duty to supply plant information to the BoardAll owners or operators of irrigation project schemes, sewerage systems, industrial production workshop or any other undertakings which may discharge effluents or other pollutants or have been discharging effluents or other pollutants shall submit on demand to the Board accurate information about the quantity and quality of such effluent or other pollutants.
59. Effluent to be discharged only into sewerage system
60. Licence to discharge effluents
61. Cancellation of effluent discharge licenceThe Board may in writing, cancel any effluent discharge licence—
62. Register of effluent discharge licences
63. Air quality standards
64. Licensing emissionsNo owner or operator of a trade or any establishment shall emit a substance or energy which causes or is likely to cause air pollution without an emission licence issued by the Board.
65. Application for emission licence
66. Cancellation of emission licenceThe Board may, in writing, cancel any emission licence—
67. Register of emission licences
68. Emission by motor vehicles and other conveyances
69. Standards for wasteThe Standards and Enforcement Committee shall recommend to the Board—
70. Prohibition against discharge of wastes
71. Application for waste licence
72. Hazardous waste
73. Prohibition of discharge of hazardous substances, chemicals and materials or oil into the environment
74. Standards of pesticides and toxic substancesThe Standards and Enforcement Committee, in consultation with the Agency, shall recommend to the Board draft standards or measures to be prescribed—
75. Application for registration of pesticides and toxic substances
76. Registration of pesticides and toxic substances
77. Offences relating to pesticides and toxic substances
78. Seizure of pesticides and toxic substances
79. Standards for noiseThe Standards and Enforcement Committee shall, in consultation with the Agency recommend to the Board—
80. Noise in excess of established standards prohibitedAny person who emits noise in excess of the noise emission standards established under section seventy-nine shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding level fourteen or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
81. Exemptions in respect of noise standards
82. Standards for the control of noxious smellsThe Standards and Enforcement Committee shall, in consultation with the Agency, recommend to the Board—
83. Prohibition against littering
84. ***[section repealed by Act 5 of 2004]
85. ***[section repealed by Act 5 of 2004]
86. ***[section repealed by Act 5 of 2004]
Part X – Environmental plans
87. National Environmental Plan
88. Contents of National PlanA National Plan shall formulate strategies and measures for the management, protection, restoration and rehabilitation of the environment, including measures for—
89. Invitation of public commentOn completion of a National Plan, the Minister shall—
90. Confirmation of National Plan
91. Operative National Plan to be open to public inspectionThe Minister shall ensure that a National Plan that has come into operation in terms of section ninety is open to inspection by the public, free of charge, during normal business hours at the offices of the Secretary and at such other places in Zimbabwe as the Minister may direct.
92. Effect of operative National Plan
93. Changes to operative National Plan
94. Review and replacement of operative National Plan
95. Local authority environmental action plans
96. Environmental management plans
Part XI – Environmental impact assessment, audit and monitoring of projects
97. Projects for which environmental impact assessment required
98. Developer to submit prospectus
99. Contents of environmental impact assessment reportAn environmental impact assessment report on a project shall—
100. Consideration of environmental impact assessment report and issue of certificate
101. Period of validity of certificate
102. Register of certificates
103. Transfer of certificates prohibited
104. Amendment, suspension or cancellation of certificate
105. Developer to notify Director-General if project not implemented or alteredEvery developer to whom a certificate has been issued in terms of section one hundred shall inform the Director-General without delay—
106. Environmental audits of projects
107. Developers to minimise adverse effect of projects on environment
108. Inspection of environmental impact assessment reportsAn environmental impact assessment report shall be open for public inspection at all reasonable times at the Director-General’s office, on payment of the prescribed fee, if any:Provided that no person shall use any information contained therein for personal benefit except for purposes of civil proceedings brought under this Act or under any other law in a matter relating to the protection and management of the environment.
Part XII – Conservation and improvement of environment
109. President may set aside State land or acquire other land for environmental purposes
110. President may set aside areas of Communal Land for environmental purposes
111. Minister may construct works
112. Apportionment of costs of works constructed in terms of section 111
113. Protection of wetlands
114. Minister may make order for protection of environment
115. ***[section repealed by section 12 of Act 5 of 2011]
116. Conservation of and access to biological diversity
117. Regulation of biological and genetic resources
Part XIII – Control of invasive alien species
118. Interpretation in Part XIIIIn this section—“clear” in relation to invasive alien species, means to dig up or pull out and burn invasive alien species, or to employ other means of destruction authorised by the Minister;“invasive alien species” means, in relation to—(a)the whole of Zimbabwe, the plants specified in Part I of the Fifth Schedule;(b)any area specified in Part II in the third column of the Fifth Schedule, the plant specified opposite thereto in the first and second columns of that Part;“local authority” means a city, town or municipal council or a rural district council;“owner” in relation to unoccupied land, includes—(a)in the case of a company or an association, the manager, director or similar office-bearer of the company or association;(b)in the case of a partnership, any member of the partnership;“responsible person” in relation to land, means—(a)the occupier of land or, in the case of unoccupied land, the registered owner thereof;(b)in the case of a mining location, the holder of such location;(c)in the case of State land over which grazing or other rights have been granted, the holder of such rights;(d)in the case of communal land, the occupier or the person who has use of such land, or the Chief or headman who has jurisdiction over the land, or all or any of the inhabitants of the nearest village;(e)in the case of commonage or town lands or roads or other areas, the local authority under whose control or within whose jurisdiction such land, road or other area is situate.
119. Duty of responsible persons to clear invasive alien species
120. Power to enter upon landAn inspector may at all reasonable times, enter upon any land, whether enclosed or not, for the purpose of ascertaining if any invasive alien species are growing thereon.
121. Manner in which warnings may be served
122. An inspector may clear land at expense of person responsible
123. Prohibition on placement of invasive alien species in any watercourse or any road
124. Power to take samples of seed and treatment of plant, seed or grain offered for sale
125. Local authorities authorised to make by-lawsEvery local authority shall have power to make by-laws compelling occupiers of land within the area of the local authority to keep their land free from invasive alien species.
126. A responsible person may petition Minister to have a plant declared invasive alien species
127. Alteration of Third ScheduleThe Minister may, in consultation with the Agency, at any time, by statutory instrument, add to or amend the Third Schedule or replace the whole or any part of that Schedule.
Part XIV – Appeals
128. Interpretation in Part XIVIn this Part and section one hundred and thirty-three—“authority” means the Minister, the Secretary, the Agency, the Director-General, or a local authority.
129. Appeal against decision of inspector
130. Appeal against decision of authority
131. Composition of Administrative Court for purposes of this Act
Part XV – International obligations and commitments
132. International obligations and commitments
Part XVI – General
133. Functions of local authorityThe Minister may, by statutory instrument, assign to any local authority any functions assigned in this Act to any other authority for the purpose of managing the environment within its area of jurisdiction:Provided that, where a natural resource is regulated by or under any other enactment, the Minister shall obtain the consent of the Minister responsible for the administration of that enactment before assigning functions relating to that natural resource.
134. Powers of Minister, etc., in respect of Communal Land preserved
135. Incentives for environmental managementThe Minister, on the recommendation of the Agency and in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, shall determine—
136. Observation of rules of natural justiceIn the exercise of any function in terms of this Act, the Minister, the Secretary, the Agency, the Director-General and any other person or authority shall ensure that the rules commonly known as the rules of natural justice are duly observed and, in particular, shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that every person whose interests are likely to be affected by the exercise of the function is given an adequate opportunity to make representations in the matter.
137. Additional offences and penalties under Part IX
138. Additional offences and penalties under Part XIII
139. Additional penalties for contraventions of this Act
141. Amendment of First Schedule
142. Amendment of Acts
143. Repeal of Cap 20:13 and savings
144. Repeal of Caps. 20:03, 15:05 and 19:07
145. Transfer of certain assets, obligations, etc., of State to Agency
146. Construction of certain referencesAny reference in any enactment, other than a provision of an Act amended by the Second Schedule, or in any document, to the Natural Resources Board, shall be construed as a reference to the Agency.
History of this document
17 March 2003