Updated to: 08 May 2019Download as PDF
Contact & history
Country contact on SEA
Environmental Council of Zambia
P.O. Box 35131, Corner Suez & Church Road, Plot No. 6975,
Ridgeways, Lusaka Zambia.
Country's planning system
Since independence, the government has used Development Plan as the main tool for national planning. The National Commission for Development Planning (NDCP) was mandated to prepare long and medium term plans. The NCDP prepared National Development Plans, which included specific proposals for development for each of the sectors in the economy. For urban development, Local Authorities have relied on the statutory planning system to give them direction in urban development. The statutory system in Zambia is enshrined in the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 475, which was amended to Cap 283 in 1997. The 1997 amendment was intended to facilitate flexibility and include aspects of financing and participation of residents in the formulation of the plans.
History of SEA
Up until April 2011, there was no specific provision for SEA in the regulations. The enactment of the Environmental Management Act (EMA) No. 12 of 2011, which replaced the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act No. 12 of 1990 provides for all plans, policies and programmes to be subjected to the SEA process as provided under section 23 (1) of the EMA. Under this new law, a framework for SEA is introduced awaiting the promulgation of the statutory instrument to operationalise the SEA. Although there was no law compelling anyone to undertake SEA, some private and donor driven SEA have however been conducted, mostly with guidance from the donors involved.
SEA baseline SIDA (2013).
Legal framework for SEA
The Environmental Management Act (EMA) of 2011 (CAP 204 of the Laws of Zambia) which provides for the continuation of ECZ as the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) also provides for SEA. Part III, section 23 (subsections 1 and 2) of the EMA enforces undertaking of SEA as legally mandatory for proponents of a policy, programme or plan that could have adverse effects on environmental management or the sustainable management or utilization of natural resources. Further, Section 23 (subsection s 3 to 8) of the EMA further stipulates what the SEA report should include; what to do if the policy, programme or plan does not require SEA and the review process of the SEA report.
SEA Baseline, SIDA (2013).
Approving authority of enabling law
Zambia Environmental Management Agency.
First national detailed SEA regulation
Regulations for SEA are not yet declared and disseminated. However basic procedures are highlighted under section 23 of the EMA of 2012. A draft Regulation has been formulated by ZEMA, which is awaiting for approval by the Ministry of Justice (July 2019).
Recent updates and additions to the SEA legislation
Sector specific procedures/regulations
Regulations or procedures for sector specific SEA are not yet declared and disseminated, However basic procedures are highlighted under section 23 of the EMA of 2012.
ZEMA has draft SEA guidelines that could be used by practitioners. The guideline is however not officially adopted and is considered as a living document. It is expected that the current Guidelines will be revised, once the SEA regulations are approved.
SEA Baselines SIDA (2013)
The draft SEA guidelines (2013) bring out the aim of SEA as ”to ensure that information on the significant environmental effects of PPPs is gathered and made available to decision-makers, both as the PPPs are prepared and prior to their adoption so that environmental considerations are integrated into the development planning process.”
SEA baselines SIDA (2013).
Scope of SEA application
According to EMA (2011), SEA applies to policies, plans and programmes that have an effect on the environment.
Exemptions from SEA application
Exemptions are provided in the EMA Act after screening by ZEMA.
SEA approach is given under Section 23 (3) of EMA of 2011.
SEA Baselines SIDA (2013).
SEA tiering with EIA
Institutional setting for SEA
Central SEA authority
Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).
(De)centralisation of SEA mandates
Initiator of the SEA
Line ministries as they comply with the EMA Act.
Screening requirement and authority
The EMA of 2011 requires screening by ZEMA.
The Section 23 of the EMA (2011) mentions that when a proponent considers that a PPP does not require an SEA, the proponent has to submit a draft of the relevant document to ZEMA. ZEMA then decides whether or not an assessment is required. The proponent is informed in writing about this decision.
Implementing the SEA
Content of SEA report
Section 23 of EMA (2011) specifies the content of an SEA. An SEA shall include:
- a description of the PPP and the objectives that it intents to achieve
- positive and adverse impacts of the implementation of the PPP on the environment
- Measures to avoid, mitigate and remedy potential adverse effects of a PPP
- any other information prescribed by the Minster
Section 23 of the EMA (2011) indicates a review process of the SEA report by ZEMA. It mentions that upon receipt of the review decision of ZEMA, the proponent has to submit a revised SEA report and a report indicating revisions made, measures taken and a revised version of the PPP to ZEMA and the Minister. If environmental concerns are not adequately addressed in the SEA report, ZEMA can moreover lodge an objection with the proponent. ZEMA and the proponent shall then try to come to an agreement on the amendments to be made to the PPP. Where no such agreement can be reached, the Director General of ZEMA or the proponent may lodge a notice of objection with the Minister. The Minister can then order the documents to be subject to public review or a public hearing before he takes the final decision.
Informing and influencing decision-making
SEA and planning decision-making
SEA planning is done by respective ministries with the guidance of ZEMA.
SEA Baseline, SIDA (2013).
Recommendations for decision-making
Where an SEA recommends amendments to a policy, plan or programme, ZEMA will ensure that the changes are followed before such a document is approved.
Walmsley B. & Patel S., 2012. SADC Environmental Legislation Handbook 2012. Development Bank of Southern Africa, Noordhoek, South Africa.
Annual no. of SEAs
6 in the last 10 years (2003-2013).
• SEA for Senanga-Sesheke road project: The SEA process as well as the road construction – including a bridge over Zambezi River – was supported by Danida through the Road Sector Support Programme in Zambia and the Mixed Credit facility.
• Several SEA-like processes have been conducted in the tourism sector. Examples are the design of management plans for national parks (e.g. Lower Zambezi National Park, Kafue National Park, South and North Luangwa National Parks). The management plans aimed to ensure efficiency in the management of wildlife resources and development and management of tourism enterprises.
• SEA for sugar sector: The SEA process was supported by the European Union through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Carried out during second half of 2009.
• SEA for tourism in Livingstone and Kasaba bay were conducted in 2009. This was supported by the government of Zambia.
• SEA for malaria control was carried out in 2008 and was supported by the National Malaria Control Centre under the Ministry of Health.
• SEA for Petroleum exploration was carried by Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development in 2008.
News/SEAProcessInZambiaOnRoadsPositivelyReceived.htm SEA Baselines, SIDA (2013)
Non-governmental SEA guidance
Links to laws/regulation
- Zambia Environmental Management Act (2011)
Other relevant links on SEA
- Information on SEA for sugar sector (case study)
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Sugar Sector in Zambia