ESIA profile

Updated to: 25 February 2015

Download as PDF

Country contact

National Directorate of Sanitation, Pollution Control and Nuisance

ACI2000, BP E3114; Hamdallaye ACI 2000, Rue 394 /
Porte 1201,
BP E3114
Bamako – Mali
Tél.: +223 – 229 24 10
Fax: +223 – 229 50 90

History of ESIA

Already in 1991, an act dealing with environmental protection made provisions on EIA. EIA regulations of 1999 then provided more detailed information on the EIA process. Since then, the EIA system in Mali has been further developed through the issuance of new and/or amended EIA regulations. The Law on pollution and nuisance of 2001 provides the current legal framework for EIA in Mali. After several revisions, in 2018 the following decree on ESIA was adopted: "DECRET N°2018-0991/P-RM DU 31 DECEMBRE 2018 RELATIF A L’ETUDE ET A LA NOTICE D’IMPACTS ENVIRONNEMENTAL ET SOCIAL"

Legal framework

to the top

Framework/Enabling law

The Law no 01-020 on pollution and nuisance from 2001 is a new version of Law No. 91-04/AN-RM relating to protection of environment and living conditions. In its chapter 2 it is stated that for projects that can negatively affect the environment of the living conditions of people an EIA is required.

National detailed regulation for ESIA

Decree 09-318 from 2009. 


Also, two inter-ministerial Decree have been issued:

  • Decree No. 10-1509 of 2010 on the payment and management of fees for EIA
  • Decree No. 2013-0256 of 2013 on public participation

Exemptions from ESIA application

A project can be exempted from the EIA process if its implementation aims to repair or prevent damage on the environment caused by a natural or technological disaster. In this case, conditions may be attached to the environmental permit that may be found necessary to protect the environment. The minister responsible for the environment can subtract a project from the EIA study.

Article 22 of Decree 08-346

Scope of ESIA application

Public and private projects can be subject to EIA.

Decree 08-346

Institutional setting

to the top

Central ESIA authority

The National Directorate of Sanitation, Pollution Control and Nuisance (In French: Direction Nationale de l’Assainissement et du Contrôle des Pollutions et des Nuisances (DNACPN)) is the central authority in charge of implementing EIA. One of its missions is the supervision and control of the EIA studies. It is a department of the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation. The regional and local level DNACPN is represented through 9 regional directorates and 30 local services.

Other key (governmental) parties involved in ESIA, and their roles

The Ministry of the Environment and Sanitation (MEA) is a key actor of the EIA process as it issues the environmental permits.

A Techincal Committee for Environmental Analysis is responsible for the review process of the EIA report as well as for analysing the results of the Environmental Audit. It consists of representatives of all technical departments that are relevant for a project.

Payment system

The proponent is responsible for the costs caused by the acquisition of guidelines, the site visit for the approval of the ToR, the site visit for the environmental analysis, the environmental analysis and review of the EIA report, the public consultations and the supervision of the implementation of the follow-up and monitoring plan. Decree 09-138 further specifies that the amount of these costs is a percentage of the total investments made for the projects. It is determined by the inter-ministerial decree No. 10 1509. The fee has to be paid to the DNACPN. The inter-ministerial decree further determines the payment conditions and the management of the collected fees.

Article 12 of Decree 08-346,

ESIA procedure

to the top

Overview ESIA procedure

The ESIA process in Mali conists of the following steps: Screening, Scoping, Environmental Analysis and Review, Decision-making (issuing of an environmental permit) and monitoring. Projects are categorized according to the severity of their negative impacts on the environment. Two levels of assessment are distinguished: a full ESIA study resulting in an ESIA report and a simplified impact assessment resulting in an Environmental and Social Impact Notice (NIES).

The following documents can be important outputs of the EIA process or the simplified impact assessment: Starting document for Screening, Scoping document with Terms of Reference, Notice of Environmental and Social Impacts (simplified impact assessment), ESIA report, Environmental Permit, Environmental Clearance Certificate


Screening process

Screening is a required step of the EIA procedure in Mali. The DNACPN take the respective screening decision.

The proponent of a proposed project firstly submits a starting documents to the competent authority (the DNACPN and its regional branches). It is then used for the screening process which in Mali involves the allocation of the projects to different categories (according to the importance of their impacts on the environment and the people). Three such categories are distinguished:

  • Category A: Projects of category A have very severe negative impacts which generally are irreversible, unprecedented, and their effects are most oftenly felt in a larger area than the site that are subjected to the works
  • Category B: Projects whose negative impacts on the environment and the people are less severe than the ones of category A. Their impacts are generally known and rarely irreversible.
  • Category C: Projects whose negative impacts on the environment are not significant.

The Annex of Decree 2018-0991 determines which projects are allocated to these three different categories on the basis of the initiative features and thresholds based in environmental parameters. The competent authority then indicates to the proponent the type of impact study that has to be undertaken. Projects of the categories A and B are subjected to an ESIA study that results in an ESIA report.

For projects of the category C a simplified impact assessment is conducted which results in an Environmental and Social Impact Notice (NIES). The simplified impact assessment procedure consists of the identification and a summarizing assessment of impacts and the development of a follow-up and monitoring plan.

Contents of the starting document

Article 15 of Decree 2018-0991 defines the content of the starting document used for screening as followed:

  • the name or the company name and the adresss of the proponent
  • the name and address of the consultants or the consulting firm that was mandated by the proponent (if appropriate)
  • a copy of a document that indicates the costs of the project or of a feasability study of the project
  • the implementation schedule for the project

Timeline Screening

No information


Scoping process

The proponent has to submit a draft of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the EIA report (art 20 Decree 18-0991). In the following, a field visit is conducted by a committee consisting of the respective technical department and the proponent or his representative. Such a field visit has to be done in order to get the approval of the ToR. Upon approval of the ToR through the competent authority (DNACPN), the people living in the intervention zone of the project are informed by the proponent. For an Environmental and Social Impact Notice no ToR are required.

Contents of the scoping document

If an ESIA is required, the projet proponent must submit draft Terms of Reference to the competent authority, according to the legal texts and guides available. 

Decree 18-0991, art. 16-21

Timeline scoping

After the scoping document has been given to the competent authority, it has 15 days to approve the terms of reference for the EIA report, which can be extended by another 15 days at the request of the proponent. 


Assessment process

There are no specific requirements for the assessment process. The types of impacts that are considered for ESIA in Mali are environmental, social and cultural impacts.

Contents of the EIA report

The EIA report, EMP and the SEA report shall contain the following elements:

  • A non-technical summary of the impacts study
  • General information (description of the project, the characteristics and the borders of study area, the main affected parties)
  • A description  of the project environment (its physical, biological and socio-cultural conditions and its trends and threats)
  • An identification and evaluation potential positive and negative impacts: direct and indirect, immediate and long-term, major and secondary, local and distant impacts of the project on the environment.
  • Analysis and consideration linked to climate change
  • An analysis of alternatives ("replacing solutions")
  • An estimation of the types and amounts of expected residues and emmissions (pollution of water, air and soil, noise, vibrations ect) caused by the project.
  • A description of measures for eliminating, reducing or compensating the negative effects of the project on the environment and of alternative measures or interventions that can not be compensated but prioritaire in nature, the landscape or the human environment
  • A brief description of the methods used for the public consultations and its results
  • An analysis of costs and benefits
  • An environmental and social management plan

Article 35 of decree 18-0991

Accreditation of consultants

Acc. to art 17, the proponent has to use a consultant of his choice, in conformity with the texts in force. However, these texts are not identified. 


Review process

Environmental analysis and review is done by an interministerial technical committee which has conducted a site visit beforehand. The committee’s review ensures that all the elements as defined in the Terms of Reference have been addressed extensively and correctly and it checks the viability of the information given in the report. Thereafter, the proponent integrates all observations and comments in the final EIA report and then submits it to the DNACPN to obtain an environmental permit.

Review expertise

The technical committee conduction the review consists of representatives of all technical departments that are relevant for a project and thus involves experts from other governmental agencies in the review.

Timeline Review

No specific timeline for the review process is specified, but it is mentioned that the minister has 45 days from submission of the EIA report to take the decision on the environmental permit. Hence the time available for review is included in these 45 days.

Decision making

to the top

Integration of ESIA into decision-making

Once the EIA report is found to be satisfying, the Minister in charge of the Environment issues by decision an environmental permit. Obtaining such an environmental permits is obligatory for all projects that require an EIA (Category A and B) before the works are commenced.

For Projects of category C, the Environmental and Social Impact Notices initiated at regional level are approved by the Regional Director of Sanitation, Pollution control and Nuisances. For these projects no environmental permit needs to be obtained but the Notice has to be approved before the works can be commenced.

The DNACPN as a department of the Ministry of the Environment and Sanitation approves the EIA report and the Minister in charge of the environment issues the environmental permit.

Decision justification

There are no legal requirements for a justification of the decision.

Timeline decision-making

After the EIA report has been submitted, the minister has 45 days to communicate his decision. If he doesn't do so, the proponent is authorized to implement the project.

Follow up

to the top

Compliance monitoring

The proponent has to implement a plan for monitoring of environmental quality and of legality of his own activities in collaboration with respected technical services and the local administration of the Directorate. The DNACPN is responsible for ensuring compliance with the permit and supervises the implementation of the monitoring plan. The respective sector ministries and the Ministry in charge of the environment ensure the control of the environmental monitoring. Furthermore, the local authorities of the project-affected area and the technical services of the state are involved in the local monitoring.
Finally, before the end of the project, the proponent must also conduct an environmental audit. The audit is subjected to an analysis of the interministerial Technical Committee for environmental analysis. If the analysis concludes that the proponent complies with his commitments and obligations, the Minister in charge of the environment issues an environmental clearance certificate.

If during the implementation of the project the environmental measures turn out to be inadequate, the Ministry in charge of the environment, in consultation with the respective sector ministry, can request the proponent to adjust the measures as necessary.
Furthermore, in case of amendments of the projects during its implementation, they cannot be executed until an environmental impact notice is written on it. Following the notice, an EIA can be requested before the works are started if the modifications have significant negative environmental impacts.

Non-compliance penalties

Sanctions are imposed by the Minister for the Environment in consultation with the relevant sectoral minister. More specifically, if the EIA is not conducted or if the EIA procedure is not respected, the competent authority can suspend the planned or commenced works through making use of emergency procedures. Furthermore, the Minister in charge of the environment can, after having consulted the sectoral ministries, suspend the environmental permit if the proponent does not comply with the obligations contained in the EIA report. In the case of recurrence of non-compliance, the minister can permanently revoke the permit without reimbursement.

Decree 18-0991 (art. 42) specifies which sanctions can be imposed to them.

Stakeholder engagement

to the top

Public participation requirements for ESIA process stages

Decree 2018-0991, art. 23 and 24 indicate that the aim of public participation is to enable to collect the opinion of the affected people on the project. It is presided by the local representative of the state, but it may be delegated to a local government. The modalities are described by ministerial decision. The results are asigned by all parties and annexed to the ESIA report.

It may be assumed that the ministerial decisions refers to Interministerial Order 2013-0256. It defines three stages:

1. First of all the authorities are informed of the beginning of the project.

2. Secondly, the actors concerned are informed of the beginning of the impact study

3. At the end of the study, measures to integrate the concerns expressed by the populations are introduced.

Access to information

Procedural announcements on public participation should be made by appropriate means of communication (e.g. posters, radio, or the press).

Article 6 of the inter-ministerial decree No. 2013 -0256 


to the top

Possibilities for appeal

No information

ESIA practice

to the top

Annual no. of ESIAs

In 2009, 120 EIA reports have been produced.