Yemen

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EIA profile

Updated to: 27 August 2013

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EIA background

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Country contact on EIA

Contact details for the country contact on EIA.

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)
Ministry of Water and Environment
P.O. Box 19719
Sana’a Republic of Yemen
Tel +967 1 207816
Fax +967 1 207327
Email: epa@epayemen.com

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.

EIA in Yemen began to develop in the nineties, after the unification of North and South Yemen and establishment of the Environment Protection Council (EPC). In 1993, Decree No. 89 was issued by the Cabinet, making EIA a mandatory process for all development projects. Two years later in 1995, the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) was established and ratified by the Parliament. This law gave a legal framework for EIA. In 1996, an EIA policy has been prepared. The EIA policy contains EIA operational regulations. It was merely approved by the EPC who has an advisory role only and no mandate to enforce the policy. In 2001, EPC was replaced by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). In 2005, the EPA got a legal mandate for reviewing and environmental approval, via a presidential decree.
More recently, EIA directives have been drafted in four sectors. Furthermore, a revision of the Enviornmental Protection Law including more ambitious EIA legislation is ongoing and new by-laws and directives are also being drafted. The new law will provide expanded possibilities on EIA for enforcement and monitoring. It is also proposed that public investments will become subject to obligatory EIA review. The formulation of laws, plans and policies is being supported by international donors: UNDP (EIA policy), World Bank (NEAP), Netherlands-DGIS (institutional and technical development water and environment), and GTZ (institutional development in water sector).

Kolhoff et al., 2013. An analysis framework for characterizing and explaining development of EIA legislation in developing countries - Illustrated for Georgia, Ghana and Yemen. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 38 (2013) 1-15.

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

1995

Legal framework for EIA

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Year of introduction of enabling law

Year when the enabling law for EIA was issued

Environment Protection Law (EPL) No (26).

1995

Approving authority of enabling law

Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.

The law was approved by the Parliament.

First national detailed regulation for EIA

First national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.

Legally binding EIA regulations are under development. (to be checked)

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

Bylaw No. 148 with executive regulations has been issued in 2000. It includes EIA-related guidelines in its Annex. (to be checked)

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.

There are sector specific laws that require EIA. Water Law No. (33) For 2002 (Chapter three, article 56), Urban Planning Law and Investment Law for 2001 and Oil & mineral exploitation law for 199 and the Cleanliness law for 1999.
Also, EIA directives have been drafted in four sectors: dams, roads, water and waste water, oil and gas. These drafts are not yet officially approved by the Cabinet.

Guidelines

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.

In 1996, an EIA operational regulations have been developed in the for of an EIA policy. The policy was adopted by the Environmental Protection Council (EPC), but not the Parliament or the Cabinet. As the EPC does not have the legal mandate of enforcing it, EIA remained a voluntary tool.

The executive regulations (Bylaw No. 148 [2000]) consist of EIA guidelines and projects categories that require EIA. In order to make the updating of EIA-defined guidelines and environmental standards easier, these guidelines and standards have been issued as annexes to the executive regulations, so that in case technical amendments or updating is necessary, there is no need to go back to the Cabinet.
(To be checked)

Kolhoff et al., 2013. An analysis framework for characterizing and explaining development of EIA legislation in developing countries - Illustrated for Georgia, Ghana and Yemen. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 38 (2013) 1-15. Abdul Jalil, 2004. G

Objective of EIA

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

The main objective of EIA is the anticipation and prevention of the degradation of environmental quality, and to ensure the compatibility of projects with national and regional environmental goals and actions and the compliance with existing legislation and regulation (EIA policy).

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)

All projects, activities, expansion or renewable (public or private, foreign or national) listed in annex 1 of EPL.

Environmental Protection Law No. (26) Article 2

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 (to be confirmed with EPA)

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?

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the central EIA authority in Yemen. It was established in 2001 when it replaced the Environmental Protection Council (EPC). It is an administrative body under the Ministry of Water and Environment and is responsible for the management of the environment and wildlife conservation in Yemen.

Environmental Protection Law No. (26) article 5

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.

The main ministries and authorities involved are: 

  • Ministry of Water and Environment (WoWE);
  • General investment authority (GIA);
  • Ministry of Planning and Development (MoPD);
  • Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources (MoOMR);
  • Free Zone Authority;
  • National Water Resource Authority (NWRA).

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).

Competent authority may make exemptions from EIA, if the objective of the activity is to protect human lives or to ensure the safety of the establishment or the working area, or because of an accident. This however is on condition that the responsible person has taken all measures to remedy the defect. Additionally, the EIA policy states that some international donor projects are exempted from (Yemeni) EIA, because they already undertake their own EIA procedure (UNDP and World Bank). This exemption should however not be regarded as ‘free or automatic’ but should be based upon information about the environmental assessment carried out by the donor. A condition for this approach is that the EPA evaluates and approves the procedure, and that the EPA receives a copy of all EIA files.

Environmental Protection Law No. (26) Article 34 and EIA policy, pg. 19

(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

EPA management and decision making is highly centralized.

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

The EIA procedure in Yemen starts with screening. Scoping is recommended, but not mandatory. Thereafter, the assessment, review, consent decision-making process and compliance monitoring are the main steps of the EIA procedure.

Major documents resulting from the EIA process are the following: Scoping report incl. Terms of Reference (voluntary), EIS incl. Monitoring plan.  

Screening

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?

EPA makes the screening decision, in consultation with the competent authority of the project. The decision on the screening lists themselves (i.e. standards, criteria, specifications) are formulated and approved by the Cabinet.

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 contents of EIA by-law which clearly states:

  • which areas are considered of high value, requiring a (preliminary) EIA for any activity in that area;
  • which activities are considered potentially harmful to the environment and therefore requiring and EIA;
  • below what capacity or size the requirement for an EIA for any particular activity can be dispensed with. EIA should also be obligatory for existing facilities with plans for major expansions (e.g. 25% of capacity), if a new facility of this kind would be eligible for EIA.

Manchester University, EIA Centre (2001) Evaluation and future development of the EIA system in Yemen. A report prepared under the METAP EIA Institutional Strengthening Project.

Provision for sensitive areas

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

There are specific requirement formulated for protected areas. The EPL provides for the formulation of a list of special environmentally sensitive areas and locations by the cabinet. Projects with likely effects to such areas as historical and archaeological places, wetlands, coral islands, natural protected areas, and public parks require full EIA. (Confirm with EPA.)

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.

Not specified.

Timeline Screening

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

Within 24 working days after receipt of necessary information. In case of the need for additional information, the screening procedure starts when this additional information is received.

Scoping

Scoping requirement

Is a formal scoping step required as part of the EIA process?

Scoping is advised, but not mandatory.

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?

EPA in collaboration with specialists and responsible authority prepare a scoping report (incl. Terms of Reference), which is submitted to the competent authority. Communication between project proponent and EPA does not occur directly but goes through the competent authority, unless EPA requires specified information about the project.

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.

Not specified.

Timeline scoping

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

Between six weeks and three months.

Environmental Impact Assessment Policy for the Republic of Yemen, 1996.

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.

Assessment is on the basis of the scoping report (including the Terms of Reference). The EPA distributes free copies of the EIS to stakeholders. The report is available to the public for printing at their own costs. Governments have to respond with comments to the EPA, otherwise it is assumed that they agree. The EIS can be returned to the project proponent with additional advices and comments. Consequently, the final EIS is drawn.

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.

  • Description of the proposed activity, including a map of the location; the use of the neighbouring lands; the project’s requirements of water, energy, drainage, and roads; description of manufacturing operations of the project raw materials handling incidents and risk and safety methods and measures of waster.
  • Description of the environment that potentially might be affected.
  • Description of alternatives to proposed project (e.g. using materials of least pollution).
  • Evaluation and assessment of the probable environmental impact and effects of the proposed activity and the alternatives, including those direct and indirect effects, and short and long term accumulations contains (solid and liquid waste, gas emission, land uses, noise levels, socioeconomic factors).
  • The extent to which areas outside the national sovereignty may be affected by the proposed activity.
  • Monitoring plan

Manchester University, EIA Centre (2001) Evaluation and future development of the EIA system in Yemen. A report prepared under the METAP EIA Institutional Strengthening Project.

Review

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

EPA receives the EIS from the proponent (or consultant). It then reviews the report and consults relevant stakeholders including the public. If satisfied, either approves the EIS or sends it back to the project proponent with comments. If not accepted, the EIS has to be improved and submitted again for review.

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?

The EIA is sent back to the initial contributors of comments to review. This also include the public, in which case EPA is reponsible for ensuring the public are invited for comments. There is also the possibility for external review by experts from other concerned ministries.

Timeline Review

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

Between six months and one year (EIA policy).

Decision-making

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.

The competent agencies that give permits are co-operating agencies in EIA and, in this way; EIA is integrated into other existing consent procedures. The licensing Agency gives the final permission for the proposal.

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.

The EPA in conjunction with other relevant government ministry or authority decides if, or under what conditions, the proposed activity is environmentally acceptable. Accordingly the MoWE issue clearance letter which may include conditions and mitigating measures (changes in design or location), to monitoring requirements or to requirements for operation and maintenance.

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).

Decisions are justified in writing. The competent authority has to prepare a document in which the justification of the decision is elaborated upon.

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 decision of approval or rejection of the project is based upon the EIS. The competent authority may decide upon the proposed project or can select one of the alternatives. The competent authority does not necessarily follows the outcomes of the EIS review, but may take a different decision. This does however not mean that the EIA outcome can be omitted.
  • The competent authority has to provide the EPA with a copy of the decision report. There is no mentioning of publication of the decision towards civil society and other actors that are not directly involved.
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).

30 days max.

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

Monitoring is a requirement. EPA, however, does no routine monitoring but responds to complaints received, e.g. from governorates in support of public complaints to them.

A monitoring plan is mandatory and is submitted as part of the EIS report. The proponent is required to collect data from the onset of the project.

Manchester University, EIA Centre (2001) Evaluation and future development of the EIA system in Yemen. A report prepared under the METAP EIA Institutional Strengthening Project.

External monitoring

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

Not specified.

Public participation

Public participation requirements for EIA process stages

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

The EIA policy or 1996, prescribes public participation in the EIA process. It is not however cspecified at which stages the public are supposed to be involved.

Public participation guidance

Has any guidance on participation been provided?

There is no manual for public participation.

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?

The private consultancy firm organizes a workshop or meeting in coordination with Environmental authority developer, donor to consult relevant government institutions and local communities. The necessity and format of public participation is however not specified within the EPL. The administrative authorities are obliged (according to a presidential decree) to send the EIS to the EPA for review and approval.

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.

Public access to EIA reports is in principle attainable through the EPA library. In addition to a reasonable collection of environmental literature (with a computerised catalogue), the library includes EIA reports accessible to the public.

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. However cost of reproducing materials such as photocopy of EIS where available is borne by the public.

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?

Not specified.

Legal recourse

EIA practice

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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?

Under development.

Accreditation of consultants

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

The EPA is responsible for maintaining a data base of consultants and consulting firms that may be contracted for EIA studies. Information and activities of these consultants have to be part of the data base. EPA advises project proponents on the consultants for their projects (EIA policy).

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.

UNEP/ROWA, August 2007- August 2009. Capacity Building in EIA and Promotion of public participation in West Asia. Funded by the UN Development Account, the program seeks to build capacity in reviewing EIAs both by the regulatory agencies and Civil Society Organisations to ensure the environmental sustainability of development projects in the region as a contribution to the achievement of the Millennium.

EIA links

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Other relevant links on EIA

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

Website of the EPA