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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN PORTUGAL


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In 1994, the Government approved the first National Environmental Plan which established guidelines and objectives for sustainable development until the end of the century. Within the Ministry of Environment, the Environmental Consultative Commission, and the Environmental Promotion Institute ensure cooperation with other ministries, governmental institutions, such the Economic and Social Council, and with non-governmental organizations. The Environmental Consultative Commission also ensures annual evaluations and performance reviews of all priority topics identified in the National Environmental Plan.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

After UNCED, Portugal initiated an organizational and institutional restructuring process and a review of the legal framework in order to implement Agenda 21. Agenda 21 was analysed taking into account the national situation, and the programme areas which are most significant to the national needs were identified. Portugal also initiated the implementation of the European Union's 5th Environmental Action Programme, which identified five target sectors for the implementation of environmental policies, namely industry, energy, transport, agriculture, and tourism. In order to develop environmental policies, Portugal addressed the following prerequisites: the development of environmental accounting, the extension of traditional instruments of economic analysis, such as cost-benefit analysis, to environmental management, and the evaluation of environmental impacts on sectoral policies.

The Law on the Environment (Law 11/87) defines the fundamentals of environmental policy, and calls for public participation in the formulation and implementation of environmental and land-planning policies. The right of access to information, including information on the environment, is enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution and is governed by Law 65/93. Decree-Law 442/91 specifies aims regarding information and public participation in administrative procedures. The Law on Non-Governmental Organizations and Environment (Law 10/87), which is under review, entitles NGOs to participate in environmental policy definition and the drafting of legislation. Specific legislation exists regarding participation in and access to information on the National Network of Protected Areas, EIA, and the prevention of industrial hazards and industrial permits. These instruments, however, should be made more operational.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Portugal has recently gone through a period of setting the strategic guidelines and intense planning activities in conjunction with the preparation and implementation of the Regional Development Plan for 1994-99, the National Environment Plan, as well as the subsequent approval of the new Community Support Framework (EU). Environmental issues were taken into account, and the financial resources made available to this area are now much more substantial than in the past. The efficient utilization of such resources will be promoted and environment will be an essential factor in the formulation of every sectoral policy. In this context, sectoral plans, such as the Waste Management Plan, and freshwater legislation and planning are priorities in the national environmental policy.

During the past five years Portugal adopted the following guidelines for national action for implementing the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21 towards sustainable development:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

As a part of this process, in May 1993, the Ministry of the Environment initiated a public debate on the implications of UNCED at the national level in order to start a dialogue with civil society, especially with NGOs, industry, and local authorities. NGOs also started their own initiatives in light of UNCED. Major Groups are represented on several advisory bodies, such as: the Social and Economic Council, the Managing Council of the Environmental Promotion Institute (IPAMB), the National Water Council, the Hydrographic Basins Council, General Directorate of Forests, the National Institute for Quality, the Air Management Commission, the Eco-Labelling Advisory Forum, the Protected Areas General Councils and the Protected Areas Advisory Council.

Programmes and Projects 

National Instruments and Programmes
1. Sustainable. Development or environmental education incorporated into school curricula: YES
2. Sustainable Development Indicators Programme: YES
3. Ecolabel Regulations: YES
4. Recycle/Reuse Programmes: YES
5. Green Accounting Programme: YES
6. Access to Internet: YES
7. Access to World Wide Web: YES
8. National World Wide Web Site for Sustainable Development or State of the Environment:

Status 

National Decision-Making Structure
1. National Sustainable Development Coordination Body: YES
2. National Sustainable Development Policy: YES
3. National Agenda 21/other strategy for SD
4. Local/Regional Agenda(s) 21:
5. Environmental Impact Assessment Law: YES
6. Major Groups involved in Sustainable Development Decision-Making: YES

Policies, Programmes and Legislation
1. Combatting poverty: YES
2. Changing consumption and production patterns: YES
3. Atmosphere: YES
4. Land Use Planning: YES
5. Forest and Deforestation: YES
6. Desertification and Drought: YES
7. Sustainable Mountain Development:
8. Sustainable Agriculture:
9. Biological Diversity: YES
10. Biotechnology:
11. Oceans and Coastal Areas: YES
12. Freshwater Management: YES
13. Toxic Chemicals:
14. Hazardous Wastes:
15. Solid Wastes: YES
16. Radioactive Wastes:
17. Energy:
18. Transport:
19. Sustainable Tourism:

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

In today's Portuguese society, the success of any environmentally sound policy relies deeply on public awareness and commitment. The responsibility to raise public awareness and promote environmentally sound policies should not only behoove the Portuguese Government, but the whole society, its various forces, and the citizens themselves.

Information 

No information available

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

No information available

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This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A Commission for Gender Equality In Employment And At Work was established. The involvement of women in sustainable and equitable development is addressed in the Portuguese Constitution (Art. 13, 58 and 266). A statutory law lays down a system of equal treatment for men and women in the work place.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information available

Programmes and Projects 

No information available

Status 

No information available

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available

Information 

No information available

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed on April 24, 1980, and ratified on July 30, 1980.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Many young people are members of NGOs which are listed in the national registry of environmental-protection groups. Young people's organizations participate in certain governmental institutions. They receive information and are entitled to technical and financial support.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available

Status 

No information available

Challenges

No information available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available

Information 

No information available

Research and Technologies 

No information available

Financing 

No information available

Cooperation

No information available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

No information is available.

 

* * *

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

NGOs are entitled to participate in the development of environmental policy and legislation through the Environmental-Protection Association Act. Environmental Protection Associations (NGOs) are entitled to consult and to receive information from central, regional, and local government bodies. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

NGOs are considered social partners for all purposes, and they are entitled to be represented, inter alia, in the following governmental bodies: the Economic and Social Council, the Board of the Institute of Environmental Action, the Consultative Boards for Protected Areas and for Awarding of the Ecology Label, and the General Council of Air Management Committees.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

In 1994, an amount of US$ 25,000 was provided for NGO activities in the field of sustainable development.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

 

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The National Association of Municipal Councils is represented on the Board of the Environmental Institute.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

 Due to their important and responsible role in land use planning, local authorities also play a key role in environmental matters. Municipal councils are responsible for holding public inquiries and ensuring the involvement of the public in the process of drawing up, approving and implementing municipal land-use plans.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

The Government of Portugal supports local Agenda 21 initiatives.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

WORKERS AND UNIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Trade union federations are entitled to be represented on the Economic and Social Council and on the Board of the Environmental Institute.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

 

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Management federations are entitled to be represented on the Economic and Social Council and on the Board of the Environmental Institute.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

 

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The scientific and technological community is involved through the universities that offer courses on the environment.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

FARMERS

No information is available.

 

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Science and Technology is now primarily responsible for policies under this chapter.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

Four NGOs are particularly interested in the application of science to environment and development: the Liga de Protecçao da Natureza, GEOTA, Grupo Lobo, and Sociedade Portuguesa de Espeleologia.

Programmes and Projects 

The Secretary of State for the Environment has launched several programmes for research and development on the environment and natural resources in the past years. The first and second programmes were mainly aimed at assessing the scientific capacity for environmental research, and to identify priority areas. In 1991, the third programme was established with the following objectives: backing R&D projects and the application of research findings, encouraging exchange between disciplines on environmental research, encouraging human resources training, strengthening international cooperation, particularly within the EU, and Portuguese participation in international networks.

The most important post-Rio projects relating to the science field were natural resource assessments, river basin development projects, and forest projects.

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

Several obstacles to environmental research were identified: a lack of effective coordination of research institutes and, as a result, overlapping research work, a lack of scientific and technical data, and poor implementation and dissemination of research findings. Projects do not always meet priority areas. Programmes were developed to address these obstacles.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

 In 1990, 233 men and 110 women graduated in the field of environment and development.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

 The following priority areas were identified for the years 1992 to 1995: analysis, protection, and regeneration of the environment, natural and technological hazards, urban environment, climate, and climatic variability.

Financing 

The level of R&D investments in Portugal is lower than in most EU countries. Progress has been achieved in involving companies in R&D activities and, therefore, private sector expenditures on R&D have increased. In addition, the number and level of training of researchers in R&D has increased. R&D activities are centered in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region: 66.7% of all R&D expenditures, and two-thirds of the country`s entire scientific and technological staff is concentrated in these areas.

Cooperation

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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INFORMATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The General Directorate of Environment, and the Environmental Promotion Institute are primarily responsible for environmental information for decision-making. National legislation in this area is being revised. The National Statistical Institute (Ministry of Planning and Territory Administration) plans to collect data in the fields of agriculture, industry, transport, and energy with special attention to the environment.

General information is being conducted by the National Statistical Institute. Specific information is developed by specialized public administration departments, research institutes, universities, and others. Three data bases are accessible to the public: the bibliographic data base on environment and development, the legislation data base on environment, and the database on environmental NGOs. The main users of sustainable development information are the decision-makers at the national level, and the research institutes and universities. They are also the main sources of information.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Very
good
Good
Some good
data but
many gaps
Poor
Remarks
2. International cooperation and trade
X
3. Combating poverty
X
4. Changing consumption patterns
X
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
X
6. Human health
X
7. Human settlements
X
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making
X
9. Protection of the atmosphere
X
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources
X
11. Combating deforestation
X
12. Combating desertification and drought
X
13. Sustainable mountain development
X
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
X
15. Conservation of biological diversity
X
16. Biotechnology
X
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources
X
18. Freshwater resources
X
19. Toxic chemicals
X
20. Hazardous wastes
X
21. Solid wastes
X
22. Radioactive wastes
X
24. Women in sustainable development
X
25. Children and youth
X
26. Indigenous people
27. Non-governmental organizations
28. Local authorities
X
29. Workers and trade unions
X
30. Business and industry
X
31. Scientific and technological community
X
32. Farmers
X
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
X
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building
X
35. Science for sustainable development
X
36. Education, public awareness and training
X
37. International cooperation for capacity-building
X
38. International institutional arrangements
X
39. International legal instruments
X
40. Information for decision-making
X

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

A number of data bases and inventories are available. Although many of them have not been established specifically to collect data for sustainable development, they might provide important information regarding this issue. The following inventories have been carried out:

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

The major international sources of information are the United Nations, including the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation for Development (OECD), and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Portugal uses LANDSAT and other remote sensing data. The country has its own satellite, PORSAT I.

Portugal participates in the development of indicators, especially for agriculture and forestry management. The following institutions are involved in this effort: the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, the National Institute of Agriculture Research, the Institute of Agrarian Structures and Rural Development, the Ministry of Planning and Territory Administration, and the National Statistical Institute.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

No information is available.  

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies 

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

Portugal is a Party to the following treaties that are relevant to sustainable development:

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Portugal to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.



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