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EIA profile

Updated to: 26 September 2013

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EIA background

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Country contact on EIA

Contact details for the country contact on EIA.

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Forestry (established in June 2013)

The Ministry is established through a transformation of the Environmental Protection Agency whose contact details are:
Environmental Protection Agency
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

History of EIA

Brief description of the history of the EIA system in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.

In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency was established by proclamation No 9/1995. The 1997 environmental policy laid a foundation for environmental management in Ethiopia. It provided for the integration of environment and development at policy, planning and management levels for an improvement of decision-making. In 2000, the EPA developed an EIA guideline, which was given a legal basis with the adoption of the EIA Proclamation No. 299 of 2002 by the House of Peoples’ Representatives. EIA then became a legally required procedure. Further, the EPA was re-established through the EPA proclamation No 295/2002 which gave the it a legal mandate in EIA. Since the EIA Proclamation was adopted, efforts have been made to implement the law by the EPA and the relevant regional environmental organisations, which were themselves established by the Proclamation. An EIA directive under article 5 of the EIA proclamation was issued in 2008. This directive gives a list of projects that require EIA. In 2013, the EPA was upgraded into the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Forestry.

D. Ruffeis et a. (2012). Evaluation of the environmental policy and impact assessment process in Ethiopia. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 28(1), pages 29-40.

Year of introduction of EIA legislation

NB: this field is only meant for the world map. It is a hidden cell that is not published on the website. If available, mention the year when detailed national EIA regulations were issued. If such regulations do not exist and if EIA practice is base


Legal framework for EIA

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Year of introduction of enabling law

Year when the enabling law for EIA was issued

Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia. However, Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation No 299/ 2002 issued by the House of People representatives guides the EIA process.

D. Mellese and M. Bayou (2008). Overview of Environmental Impact Assessment in Ethiopia: Gaps and Challenges

Approving authority of enabling law

Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.

Approved by parliament and signed by the president

Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation for EIA

Year when when the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.

Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation No 299/ 2002 issued by the House of People representatives guides the EIA process.

D. Mellese and M. Bayou (2008). Overview of Environmental Impact Assessment in Ethiopia: Gaps and Challenges


Approving authority of first national detailed regulation for EIA

The authority that approved the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.

House of People representatives

Recent updates and additions to the EIA legislation

Revisions of the EIA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed EIA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional EIA-re

In 2008, the Environmetal Council of Ethiopia issued a directive that lists the project activities that require an environmetal impact assessment (Directive No .1/ 2008).

website EPA:

Sector specific procedures or regulations on EIA

Any existing sectoral procedural or content regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.



Any government issued guidelines on EIA (general, or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describe the legal status of the guidelines.

Ethiopia has developed General EIA guidelines (2000), EIA review guidelines (2003) and EIA procedural guidelines (2003)  which elaborate the framework EIA proclamation and provide for the schedules of activities and the level of EIA required as well as roles of various stakeholders. A number of EIA sector based, review and procedural guidelines have also been developed. Examples include guidelines for dams and reservoirs construction, for preparation of EMPs, for activities dealing with forestry, fertilizer, livestock, fisheries and range management among others. They can be downloaded from the following link of the EPA website.

Objective of EIA

The objective of EIA as stated in the above described legal basis.

Not specified in the EIA proclamation. However, the EIA guidelines of 2003 state that the primary purpose of EA is to ensure that impacts of projects, policy and programs, etc are adequately and appropriately considered and mitigation measures for adverse significant impacts incorporated when decisions are taken. The guidelines state that EA serves to bring about:

  • administrative transparency and accountability;
  • public participation in planning and decision taking on development that may affect the communities and their environment; and
  • sustainable development.

Scope of EIA application

Describes which types of activities require EIA (public and/or private activities; national and/or foreign initiated project; or all such projects)

There is a draft EIA directive based on article 5 of proclamation No. 299/2002 that lists a number of catogories of projects that are subject to EIA. THe directive also states that  all projects (government, private or international) which fall in any categories listed require an EIA.

Exemptions from EIA application

Describes any (groups of) activities identified in the regulation that are exempted from the requirement to do EIA (e.g. military or emergency activities).

Not specified.

Institutional setting for EIA

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Central EIA authority

Is there a central authority in charge of implementing EIA? Is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g ministry)? What are its tasks related to EIA?

Until June 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in charge of EIA at the federal level and overall.  Regional Environmental Agencies were responsible for EIA within specific regions. Recently, the status of the EPA was upgraded as it was transformed into the Minstry of Environmental Protection and Forestry. The former director of the EPA, Dr. Tewolde Berhane Gebre Egziabher, is the advisor of the newly appointed Minister of Environment and Forestry, Ato Belete Tafere. It is expected that the responsibilities and rights of the EPA are transferred to the Ministry, also the ones on EIA.

Remark: It is yet unclear how the recent institutional changes will affect responsibilities regarding EIA in detail. As prevailing legal provisions still mention the EPA as the main authority, this country profile transitionally refers to the EPA until more specific information is available.

Proclamation 295/2002

Other key (governmental) parties involved in EIA, and their roles

Lists other key parties (e.g. a review commission, knowledge institute) that have a role in many or all EIAs.

  • Environmental Protection Council: Comprises of 8 members with competencies in specific issues related to environment management. It evaluates and approves directives and standards issued by the EPA;
  • Licensing institutions: e.g. Ministries of Trade and Industry as well as Mines and Energy: They are required to issue trading and investment licences and to ensure as per the EIA proclamation that an EIA licence is first obtained.

Mandate for exemption of EIA obligation

Describes if there is a legal mandate for a competent authority to make exemptions of EIA obligation. And if yes, under which conditions (e.g. national security, disasters or no conditions/when deemed necessary).

There is no competent authority with a mandate for exemptions.

(De)centralisation of EIA mandates

Describes if EIA mandates are (de)centralised. Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for EIA processes are delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decen

The EIA system is decentralised vertically. The EPA is in charge of EIA at the federal level and decides on EIAs for projects that are likely to produce trans-regional impacts. Regionally, EIA administration is mainly by regional state environmental agencies. Above all, the Environmental Protection Council (EPC) is in place for overseeing and coordinating environmental matters. Powers to evaluate and review EIAs have been delegated to 6 sector institutions mainly; Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Communications and Transport, Ministry of water and energy, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture and rural development. These sector institutions are expected to establish environmental units to undertake EIA monitoring.

Proclamation 295/2002; Article 14 and Adugna A (Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research, Ethiopia). Environmental Impact Assessment: A legislative handbook for Eastern Africa Region. CLEAA PD ellows 2007-2008 Alumni (un-published)

EIA procedure

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Overview EIA procedure

Characterizes the overall EIA procedure. If relevant, interesting aspects of the EIA procedure are mentioned such as: which procedural steps are part of the EIA procedure? How are they linked to each other? Are there different levels of assessment di

Screening may be done in the form of an Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) process, as the EIA guidelines suggest. Scoping is also a voluntary step of the procedure. Thereafter, the assessment is done, review  and a decision on whether an environmental clearance licence is issued or not. Finally, compliance monitoring is conducted.

Important documents as outcomes of the EIA process are the following: IEE report for screening (advised), scoping report (advised), EIA report, environmental clearance licence.


Screening requirement and authority

Describes if a formal screening decision required, and if so, which authority is responsible for this decision. Is this decision published?

Screening is required in Ethiopia.

Screening process

Describes the screening process: steps in screening, the stakeholders involved and outcomes of the process, status of screening advice of different stakeholders, etc. Also describes any prescribed methods for screening. If preliminary EIA's / light EIA's / Initial Environmental Evaluations (IEE) are done in this country and which criteria determine whether a preliminary or a full EIA is requested

Screening is based on a list of projects provided under the EIA directive issued in 2008 under article 5 of the EIA proclamation No 229 of 2002. This list contains both projects that require EIA and those that do not require EIA. Additionally based on the EIA procedural guidelines (non-legally binding), the proponent is responsible for undertaking an initial environmental evaluation (IEE) to determine whether or not a given project requires a full EIA. The IEE report should have details that include location, size of the proposed project, likely impacts and proposed mitigation measures. On the basis of the IEE, the regulator will approve the project (with conditions of approval necessary), request a full EIA study, or reject the project outright.

Provision for sensitive areas

Are specific requirements formulated for environmentally sensitive areas? (e.g. no minimum thresholds, full EIA instead of partial EIA)

All projects located in environmentally sensitive areas are considered to cause significant impact and require a full EIA process irrespective of their nature. It is now suggested that a minimum of 300 m distance is kept from any sensitive areas.

Contents of the starting document

Describes the required content of the starting document (if any) that the proponent should submit to the competent authority for EIA screening. Mentions if the starting document is published.

The starting document is the IEE. It should contains the title of the proposed activity:

  • the name of the proponent and the consultant(s) representing the proponent;
  • the address of the proponent and the consultant(s) representing the proponent (including telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail address);
  • location of the proposed development and characteristics of the location (sensitivity of the area); size  (small, medium and large scale);
  • the description and extent of the proposed activities; and any potential environmental issues identified by the proponent to be affected as potential impacts);
  • public concerns;
  • institutional requirement, environmental mitigation measures and monitoring considerations.

Adugna A (Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research, Ethiopia). Environmental Impact Assessment: A legislative handbook for Eastern Africa Region. CLEAA PD ellows 2007-2008 Alumni (un-published)

Timeline Screening

Maximum number of (working) days allowed between submission of the starting document and the screening decision.

No information


Scoping process

Describes who carries main responsibility to undertake scoping and what the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties during the process are. Specifically, is there independent formulation and/or review of the scoping document, approval of the scoping document? Are any methods prescribed, e.g. participation, checklists. What guidance is provided?

The EIA guidelines suggest that the proponent (consultant) is supposed to prepare a detailed plan of study for scoping, identify and consult with the interested and affected parties. The competent authority is suggested to ensure that all potentially significant impacts have been included in the study.

Contents of the scoping document

Explains if there are there specific requirements for the content of the scoping document, and if so, what these are.

It is suggested in guidance provided that the scoping report should contain:

  • a brief description of the activity to be undertaken;
  • a description of all tasks to be performed during scoping;
  • a schedule setting out when the tasks contemplated will be completed;
  • an indication of the stages at which the relevant authority will be consulted; and
  • a description of significant effects and factors to be considered and the proposed methods of identifying the environmental issues and alternatives.

A ToR is produced during scoping for use in the impact study.

Adugna A (Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research, Ethiopia). Environmental Impact Assessment: A legislative handbook for Eastern Africa Region. CLEAA PD ellows 2007-2008 Alumni (un-published)

Timeline scoping

Number of (working) days for the decision on approval of the scoping document by the competent authority.

No information.

Assessment and reporting

Assessment process

Steps and roles of stakeholders in the assessment and status of the input of the stakeholders. Also sets out methods for assessment of the environmental impacts of the activity, if prescribed, and whether the assessment covers environmental, social, economic and/or transboundary effects.

There are no specified steps. Nevertheless, the proponent is required to submit a EIA report to EPA or the relevant regional authority alongside other required documents as determined by the relevant authority. This report is supposed to be prepared by experts that meet certain standards as set by EPA.

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 7 (2)

Contents of the EIA report

Explains what should be contained in the EIA report. Specifies if a potential Environmental Management Plan is part of the EIA report or if it is a separate document that contributes to the EIA process.

The EIA report should contain a description of:

  • the nature of the project, including the technology and processes to be used;
  • the content and amount of pollutant that will be released during implementation as well as during operation;
  • source and amount of energy required for operation;
  • information on likely trans-regional impacts;
  • characteristics and duration of all the estimated direct or indirect, positive or negative impacts;
  • measures proposed to eliminate, minimize, or mitigate negative impacts;
  • contingency plan in case of accident; and
  • procedures of self auditing and monitoring during implementation and operation.

Additionally, the EIA report should be accompanied by a non-technical summary.

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 8 (2) and 9 (1)


Review process

Overview of the review process, including: steps in the process and roles of the stakeholders, status of the input of the stakeholders. Is the process open to public? Review method: internal review, external review, panel/commission (permanent or temporary), are the review results documented? Are the review criteria general or case by case? Are the review results documented? Is a potential review

The EIA proclamation does not give a specific review process. However, it states that evaluation is done by taking into account any public comments and expert opinion. It is also not specified whether the review results are opened to public and if the public has the possibility to respond

Review expertise

Describes if the EIA is checked by external parties, and if so to what extent these represent required disciplines/expertise. Also sets out if measures have been taken to ensure that reviewers are impartial?

External experts can be asked to give their comments for consideration by the EPA during EIA report review.

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 9 (2)

Timeline Review

Number of (working) days for review of the EIA by the competent authority.

15 days

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 9 (2)


Integration of EIA into decision-making

Describes what kind of decision-making processes the EIA is intended to support. We look specifically at the decision on EIA approval, and how this relates to envirionmental approval for the project, and other project approval decisions (permits) needed before a project can proceed. This category describes which decisions are influenced by EIA and how they are linked to each other.

Approval of the EIA report means that an environmental clearance (EIA licence) will be issued. The project approval decision is taken by a separate authority , but in consideration of the results of the EIA.

Competent authority

Describes which authority/authorities is/are responsible for each of the main decision-making processes on EIA (EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval). It is explained if those decisions are taken by the same or different authorities.

EPA or the relevant regional environmental agency

Decision documents

Mentions if the decision (on EIA approval and/or environmental approval) is linked to certain documents (e.g. environmental management plan, permit conditions) in order to facilitate the management of environmental risks during project implementation. Also describes if commitments of the proponent are incorporated into legally binding instruments.

No information.

Decision justification

Sets out requirements for justification of the consideration of the EIA information in decision-making (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval).

Not specified under the EIA proclamation.

Decision publication

Does the decision (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval) have to be published? Also, is the decision justification published as well?

The EIA guidelines advise that the Record of Decision should be made available to the public upon request.

Timeline decision-making

Maximum number of (working) days available to the competent authority to make the EIA based decision (EIA approval, environmental clearance and/or project approval).

15 days

Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance monitoring

Is compliance monitoring required to check if the project is implemented as described in the EIA documents and/or if mitigation of environmental impacts complies with applicable standards and other measures set out in the EIA documents? Who is responsible for ensuring compliance? How does this authority ensure compliance (for example, through inspections)? And what requirements are there for the p

EPA or the relevant regional environmental authority is required to evaluate compliance with approval conditions and where applicable may order the proponent to take corrective measures.

As part of the EIA report, the proponent is required to submit procedures for self auditing and monitoring to be used during implementation and operation.

External monitoring

Are there monitoring requirements that involve external parties, such as citizen monitoring (for example, through a complaints procedure), or third party auditing?

No information.

Non-compliance penalties

Are there penalties that the authority responsible for compliance can apply if environmental conditions are not met? What are these? (for example, fines, suspension of license)

No information.

EIA evaluation

Are there any requirements to monitor if the impacts in reality are as they were predicted in the EIA, with the purpose of evaluating the EIA itself and improving future EIA practice?

No information

Payment system

Is the proponent required to pay a fee when applying for an EIA? Is this fee linked to a permitting fee, or separate? If yes, when is this paid and to whom (to the agency that issues the license or to a central agency)?

The EIA proclamation states that the cost of undertaking an EIA and preparing an EIA report should be borne by the proponent.  The proponent is also required to pay an EIA processing fee to EPA

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 7 (3)

Public participation

Public participation requirements for EIA process stages

Describes for which of the EIA process stages public participation is required.

No information

Public participation guidance

Has any guidance on participation been provided?


Access to information

Which of the information that is generated in the EIA process is available to the public? Specifically, which reports and decision statements?

There are provisions in the EIA proclamation, 2002 for EPA or the relevant regional environmental agency to make any EIA study report accessible to the public and solicit comments on it. Access to other documents and/ or decision is not specified.

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 15

Information dissemination

How can the public receive the information that is publicly available? Are there public announcement on the proceedings? How/where are these published? Is information made available locally? Is information sent on request? etc.

Not specified in the EIA proclamation but the EIA guidelines (not legally binding) advises to have on-site advertisement, media advertisement using radio and TV in the local language. It also advises placing an advert in local language in an appropriate newspaper (within the locality of the project). The advertisement should be placed in a official government gazette that provides service for public notice.

Timeline for public comments

The number of (working) days available for the public to make comments on the EIA decision document.

No information.

Costs for public

Are there any specified costs public parties will incur if they partake in EIA?(e.g. costs for the receiving report, costs of losing an appeal, etc. Costs associated with travel to meetings or such are not included here)

Not specified

Public comments

What options do the public have to provide their comments. Should comments be written, or may they also be verbal? To which agency should they provide their submissions?

No information.

Public comments in decision-making

Do the EIA and/or project approval decisions have to be justified on the basis of public participation results? Do legal texts indicate how public participation results should be used and to which decision-making processses they should contribute?

Part Five of the Proclamation on EIA (2002) determines that the EPA or the relevant regional agency shall ensure that the comments made by the public are incorporated into the EIA report and its evaluation. How these comments should be used for decision-making processes is not specified.

Legal recourse

Possibilities for appeal

What are the legal recourse options to challenge EIA decisions are provided for within the legal framework?

No information.

Decisions that can be appealed

Which EIA decisions can be appealed?

Any decision by EPA or the relevant regional environmental agency

Proclamation 295/2002 Article 17

Who can appeal

Who can make an appeal (in other words, has legal standing)?

No information.

EIA practice

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Annual no. of EIAs

Gives an estimation for the number of full EIAs that are produced annually in this country.

Estimated approximately 30 EIA's are produced at the Federal level annually.

Central EIA database

Is there a central database or library where information on EIAs is kept (i.e. where all EIAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information publicly accessible?

Completed EIAs are kept at EPA or at the regional environmental agencies under which the EIA was conducted

Practice reviews

Any EIA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental agencies or others) are listed here. Where relevant, links to studies are included, and the main conclusions of the studies are summarised.

D. Mellese and M. Bayou (2008). Overview of Environmental Impact Assessment in Ethiopia: Gaps and Challenges.

D. Ruffeis et al. (2012). Evaluation of the environmental policy and impact assessment process in Ethiopia. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 28(1), pages 29-40.

Accreditation of consultants

Is there and accreditation system operational in the country to certify consultants to do EIAs?

An independent consultant or the firm requires registration and licence issued by EPA to practice.  There is however no accreditation system for consultants

Adugna A (Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research, Ethiopia). Environmental Impact Assessment: A legislative handbook for Eastern Africa Region. CLEAA PD ellows 2007-2008 Alumni (un-published)

Professional bodies

Professional bodies relevant to EIA practice in the country, such as EIA Associations, Environmental Expert Associations, etc are listed here.

  • Movement for Environmental Learning and Community Action (MELCA): MELCA's objective is to promote research on the relationships between cultural /traditional/ people with their environment; to promote the diverse traditional ways of transferring knowledge and practices from generation to generation; to campaign, advocate and lobby for policy and legislation that effectively protects the rights of local communities as well as the integrity of cultural and local governance systems; and to promote endogenous development. 
  • Ethiopian Association of Environmental Impact Assessment (EAEIA): Established in 2004 with the objective to; a) create and develop capacity to reduce or avoid harm to the environment and natural resources; b) Facilitate the development of EIA resource centre and training thereof.
  • Member of the Horn of Africa - Regional Environment Centre and Network.

Non-governmental EIA guidance

Lists any EIA manuals and good practice publications (including checklists, case studies) that have been published by parties other than government.

The Ethiopian Floriculture Association has developed a Code of Conduct that requires EIA for the purpose of accessing the EU market

Capacity development

Ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events) are mentioned here.

Professional Development (PD) Fellowship Program for East and Southern Africa.  CLEAA works with various environmental assessment leaders nationally, regionally and globally, in partnership with IUCN East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), with financial support from Swedish International development Agency (SIDA)  to promote and enhance Africa’s capacity in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), for better environmental governance and sustainable development.

EIA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Any relevant links to laws or regulations are included here.

Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1994)

Environmental Policy of Ethiopia (1997)

Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation No 299/2002 (2002)


Other relevant links on EIA

Any other relevant links (for example to country specific guidance documents) are included here.

  • EIA review study by Ethiopian NGO