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Updated to: 07 March 2019

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Distinguishing features of the EIA/SEA system

In August 2018, Rwanda published a new Environment Law which regulates both EIA and SEA. Ministerial orders setting the procedures for both instruments are currently being developed.

With the Organic Law (No. 04/2005) EIA was first introduced into legislation in Rwanda. The EIA Guidelines of 2006 and the Ministerial Orders No 003/004 issued in 2008 specified the EIA procedures. In 2011, SEA Guidelines were issued by REMA. 

The Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) is the central authority responsible for implementing EIA and SEA. However in 2008, REMA transferred its competencies regarding the management of the EIA process to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Environment Law of 2018:

Administrative system: relevant features

Rwanda is divided into 5 provinces: Kigali Province, Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and Western Province. The provinces are further subdivided into districts. In 2006, the administrative system of Rwanda was reorganized. Twelve provinces were replaced with 5 and the number of districts was reduced from 106 to 30. Each district is again divided into sectors.
In Rwanda, institutional responsibility regarding environment and natural resources management falls under several ministries, decentralised entities (districts and sectors), local and international Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), research institutions and/or higher learning institutes. At national level, environmental responsibilities are placed within the Ministry of Environment (MoE). The Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) and the Rwanda Water and Forest Authority (RWFA) are authorities under the MoE.

Within the administrative reforms in 2006, districts have been entrusted with new powers in terms of environmental and natural resources management. The environmental management coordination of districts is ensured by the four provinces and Kigali City. In addition, at each district and sector level, the organic law provides that environment conservation committees should be set up.

Relevant international conventions

Rwanda is a member of the Ramsar Convention since 2006 and it has signed the Convention on Biodiversity in 1996.

Environmental Standards: relevant features

Rwanda has developed a list of 16 standards:

1. ISO 14001: 2004: Environmental Management Systems (Specification guidance for use)
2. RS ISO 14004: 2004 relating to: Environmental Management Systems (General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques)
3. RS ISO 14015: 2004: Environmental Management Systems: Environmental Assessment of Sites and Organizations (EASO)
4. RSISO 1450: 2004: Environmental Management Systems ( Vocabularies)
5. RS 555:2011: ISO 19011:2004: Guidelines for quality and or environmental management systems auditing
6. RS 205-1: 2007 (ISO 14064 -1:2006):Greenhouse gases_Part1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions & removal
7. RS 205 – 2:2007 (ISO 14064 – 2:2006): Greenhouse gases- Part2: Specification with guidance at the project level for quantification, monitoring   and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions reductions or removal enhancements
8. RS 205 – 3:2007 (ISO 14064 – 3:2006): Greenhouse gases- Part3: Specification with guidance for the validation and verification on greenhouse gas assertions
9. RS 543:2011 (EAS 751:2010): Air quality - Specification
10. RS 461:2009: Water quality - Tolerance limits of discharged industrial wastewater 
11. RS 462:2009: Water quality - Tolerance limits of discharged domestic wastewater 
12. RS 544:2011: (EAS 752:2010) Air quality – Tolerance limits of emission discharged to the air by factories
13. RS 462:2009: Water quality - Tolerance limits of discharged domestic wastewater
14. RS 565:2011: Mining and quarrying – Code of practice
15. RS 542:2011 (EAS 750:2010) Air quality – Emissions to the air by cement factories- Guidelines
16. RS 278:2009 (EAS 537-1:2008): Measurement of noise emitted by accelerating road vehicles - Engineering method Part 1: M and N categories


Country specific terms or acronyms

ESA = Environmental Security Assessment
IOO = Implementation and Operation Order