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Updated to: 04 August 2016

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Distinguishing features of the EIA/SEA system

Enabled by the environmental law no 98-030 (1999), EIA practice was introduced in Benin in 2001 when Decree 2001-235 firstly defined the EIA procedures. This decree also introduced SEA into the legislation, suggesting a EIA-based approach for SEA. However, Methodological Guidelines for SEA were prepared in 2006 by the Environmental Agency of Benin (in French: Agence Béninoise pour l’Environnement (ABE)). Those guidelines suggest a separate, more flexible SEA approach for Benin.
The Environmental Agency of Benin is the central authority for EIA and SEA.

In May 2015, the Council of Ministers of Benin approved an updated Decree on Environmental Assessment (the date of entering in force was unknown at the time of writing).

Administrative system: relevant features

The National Assembly is the Parliament of Benin and thus the primary legislative body.The President must promulgate laws that are approved by the National Assembly. Benin is divided into 12 regions (départments: Alibori, Atakora, Borgou, Donga, Collines, Plateau, Zou, Kouffo, Mono, Atlantique, Ouémé, Littoral) and is further subdivided into 77 communes. The formation of communes in 2003 was part of the decentralization process in Benin.
Principles and guidelines to be followed by development actors (state, municipalities and civil society) in their roles and responsibilities for a coherent and sustainable management of the environment were defined in Decree no. 2004-273 of 12 May 2004.

Relevant international conventions

Benin is a party to the Convention on Biodiversity by ratification since 1994 and to the Ramsar Convention since 2000.

Environmental Standards: relevant features

Benin has developed several environmental quality standards such as:

Country specific terms or acronyms

ABE = Agence Béninoise pour l’Environnement