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Updated to: 26 September 2013

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Distinguishing features of the EIA/SEA system

Kenya's EIA and SEA systems were simultaneously put in place with the enactment of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act  1999, and the Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulations that followed in 2002. The EIA procedure is two-staged: for those projects on the screening list a preliminary assessment has to be undertaken. On the basis of this assessment the central authority for EIA, the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA), decides whether a full EIA is needed. Accredited consultants have to be engaged to undertake EIAs in Kenya, and the accreditation requirements are quite extensive. The SEA system is not as detailed. The regulation specifies the content of an SEA report, but not the steps in the procedure. The non-binding EIA guideline gives additional suggestions for the SEA process, including instructions for scoping and consultation.

Administrative system: relevant features

Kenya is divided into 8 main administrative provinces (Central, Coast, Eastern, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western and Nairobi, which is also the capital city). The 2010 Constitution of Kenya provides for counties as geographical units along which devolved government will be created. They became fully operational after the 2013 general elections when county governors were elected. 47 Counties exists as they are based on the legally recognized districts.

Concerning environmental management, the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources is responsible at national level. Its National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) is responsible for the implementation of policies related to the environment.  NEMA has field offices in each of the eight provinces and work offices in the 47 counties.

Homepage NEMA: Homepage Ministry: 2010 Constitution of Kenya Wikipedia:

Relevant international conventions

Kenya has been a party to the Ramsar Convention since 1990. It is also a party to the Convention on Biodiversity by ratification since 1994.

Ramsar and Convention on Biodiversity Websites

Environmental Standards: relevant features

Environmental Standards are in place for water quality as set out in the Water Quality Regulations 2006 (Legal notice No. 121). Other relevant standards to be confirmed by NEMA.


Country specific terms or acronyms

  • EMCA = Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act
  • EIAAR = Environmental Impact Assessment & Audit Regulations
  • EIAGAP = Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines and Administrative Procedures
  • NEMA = National Environmental Management Authority
  • PEC = Provincial Environmental Committee
  • DEC = District Environmental Committee    
  • NES = National Environmental Secretariat