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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SWAZILAND


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making

The Department of the Environment is under the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Communications. The Department of the Environment acts as the Secretariat of the body dealing with environmental issues known as the Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA). The SEA was established through an Act of Parliament in November 1992.

Presently, implementation of environmental legislation is the responsibility of several ministries and government departments, including the SEA, the Ministries of Economic Planning and Development and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, among others.

Setting up the Authority is probably the most significant achievement of the Government of Swaziland, since it has laid down a firm foundation for coordination and overseeing the implementation of environmental programmes. As a new organization, the Authority has still to establish various mechanisms, legislation and partnership agreements with other bodies before it can fully address much of its mandate. However, major achievements to date include:

  1. Drafting and gazetting of environmental audit assessment and review regulations as contained in Legal Notice No. 58 of 1996;
  2. Review of the first EIA statements prepared under the new Regulations;
  3. Ratification and participation in a number of environmental conventions, i.e. (Please refer to Chapter 39).
    -- Convention on Biodiversity ratified in 1994;
    -- Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, ratified in 1992;
    -- Convention to Combat Desertification, ratified in 1996;
    -- Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified in 1996;
    -- Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, ratified in 1996;
  4. Preparation of an Environmental Issues Paper;
  5. Coordination and Preparation of the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP);
  6. Conducting Environmental Awareness campaigns throughout Swaziland.

Legislation, regulations and policy instruments

However, the Swaziland Environment Act, 1992, supersedes all other environmental legislation in the country. The main function of the Authority is to coordinate the government's effort to incorporate environmental factors into Swaziland's development process. In addition to this crucial role, the Authority has wide ranging responsibilities to:

  1. Coordinate all environmental issues in the country;
  2. Monitor environmental quality;
  3. Set environmental standards;
  4. Develop environmental policies;
  5. Implement and enforce mechanisms to ensure that environmental consideration is taken into account in the authorization and management of development.

Major Groups

Participation of the broader cross-section of the population in decision-making is encouraged. Public participation effectively allows people to have a say in future policies that will affect them and to attain a sense of ownership, which is an important ingredient for the success of environmental programmes. In general, the analysis and approval of programmes rest with the decision-making authority of the Government. However, if the authorizing agency encounters problems or is in doubt about its analysis, then the issue at hand is forwarded to SEA for further classification and analysis. It is at this stage that the public becomes most directly involved.

This information was provided by the Government of Swaziland to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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MAJOR GROUPS

Women

No information is available.

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Children and Youth

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Indigenous People

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Non-Governmental Organizations

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Local Authorities

No information is available.

Workers and Trade Unions

No information is available.

Business and Industry

No information is available.

Scientific and Technological Community

No information is available.

Farmers

No information is available.

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SCIENCE

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INFORMATION

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Decision-Making

Legislation, regulations and policy instruments

The Government of Swaziland has ratified the following relevant international agreements since 1992:

-- Convention on Biodiversity ratified in 1994;
-- Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, ratified in 1992;
-- Convention to Combat Desertification, ratified in 1996;
-- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified in 1996;
-- Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, ratified in 1996;

This information was provided by the Government of Swaziland to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997.

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