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Updated to: 27 June 2011

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Distinguishing features of the EIA/SEA system

EIA and SEA systems were not included in the environmental regulations of Honduras simultaneously. First, the principles of the EIA were introduced in 1993, with the approval of the General Environment Law (Decree No. 104-93), which were developed in the first regulation of the SINEIA (published in La Gaceta No. 27.291 on March 5, 1994). Subsequently, this regulation was recently repealed with the enactment of a new regulation of SINEIA (Ministerial Agreement No. 189-2009 published in the official newspaper on 31 December 2009), which introduced the theme of the SEA for the first time in Honduras. The EIA process starts when the proponent of a project, using the environmental categorization table, defines his project accordingly and submits it to the corresponding authority in the SINEIA, together with the respective filled out form that evaluates the significance of its environmental impact. According to the project´s given categorization, there is another defined instrument that must also be delivered, with payment for the evaluation process and the publication of the project’s intentions. Projects in Category 4, must submit an EsIA with the help of a consultant team that must be registered in the Registry of Environmental Service Providers that the SERNA manages. The SEA system is not so detailed. The regulation lists the seven major steps to follow in conducting a SEA.

Administrative system: relevant features

Honduras is divided into 18 departments, which are subdivided into 298 autonomous municipalities and are managed by municipal governments. Each Department is administered by a Governor appointed by the President, while municipalities are made up of a mayor (President of the municipality and representative of the Government), the board members and a trustee (Public Prosecutor of the municipality and its legal representative). The legislative body is the National Congress of the Republic of Honduras. The Executive branch consists of a President, Vice-President and Cabinet secretaries (Ministers).

Relevant international conventions

The Convention on Wetlands came into force in Honduras on 23 October 1993.

On February 21, 1995, by Decree legislative No. 30-95  the Convention on biological diversity was also ratified.

Country specific terms or acronyms

• Amhon = Association of Municipalities of Honduras

• CCAD = Central American Commission of Environment and Development
• CC = Scientific Committee
• CESCCO = Center for the Study and Control of Contaminants
• COHCIT = Honduran Council of Science and Technology
• CPBA = Code of Good Environmental Practices
• CTEIA = Environmental Impact Assessment Technical Committee 
• DECA = General Direction of Environmental Evaluation and Control
• EIA = Environental Impact Assessment
• EsIA = Study for Environmental Impact
• EAE = Strategic Environmental Assessment
• ICF = Institute of Forestry Development Conservation, Protected Areas and Wild Life
• IUCN= International Union for Conservation of Nature
• ONG = Non Governmental Organization (NGO)
• SERNA = Secretariat of Natural Resources and Environment
• SINEIA = National System of Environmental Impact Assessment
• UGA = Environmental Management Units
• UMA = Environmental Municipal Units
• UNA = Environmental Units