SEA profile

Updated to: 29 August 2019

Download as PDF

Establishing context

to the top

Implementing SEA

to the top

Informing decision making

to the top


to the top

SEA practice

to the top

Annual no. of SEAs

Roughly 2 SEAs annually since 2010. Until 2025 there is the ambition to undertake 1 SEA per year. 

Impact evaluatie Bert Lof

Central SEA database

Information is stored in the National System of Environmental Information, but there is no central database specifally on SEA.

Professional bodies

Within the General Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, a professional body on SEA exists.

Contact person of Ministry of Environment and Water

Background information

to the top

History of SEA

The regulation on Prevention and Environmental Control (2006) stipulates that plans and programmes formulated by the State are subject to the EIA procedure. In 2007, the Vice Ministry of Biodiversity, Forestry and Environment - then the national environmental authority - developed a Training manual on Strategic Environmental Assessment. The process of SEA implementation resulted in the preparation of a draft SEA Regulation. This SEA regulation has been updated several times, but has still not yet been approved. Since 2010 continuous efforts have been made to improve SEA capabilities in Bolivia.

The first SEA trajectories were initiated in 2002 by the InterAmerican Bank for Development (IADB) related to the development of two Road Corridors, respectively the Santa Cruz – Puerto Suarez corridor to the East and Northern Corridor both opening up large tracks of the Amazonian forest in the lowlands of Bolivia. Since the first SEA, almost 15 SEAs have been carried so far. 

With regard to the future, the national Agenda Patriotica 2025 includes the goal to implement at least one SEA per year which implies that up to the year 2025 at least 10 more SEA will be undertaken. The priority setting of areas to be submitted to a SEA is the environmental pressure of a certain region and the economic developments planned for. The implementation of the SEAs is however still very much dependent on external funding.e Ministry of Environment and Water is currently the Competent Authority for Environment at the national level and has a formal role in terms of introduction and implementation of SEA in Bolivia.

Link naar impact-evalutatie 2016 Bert Lof

An overview of SEA's conducted in Bolivia is presented in the following section of the report "Las experienca de las evaluaciones ambientales estratégicas en Bolivia", Laats et al, 2012 (in Spanish).


Legal framework

Enabling law

The Law of Environment no. 1333 of 1992, and its regulations of 1995.

The law only has some very general requirements for SEA.


National detailed regulation

There is no official detailed SEA regulation. The draft has been under development for several years by the Viceministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Development and Management.


Impact evaluatie Bert Lof

Sector specific procedures/regulations

The Hydrocarbons Law (art. 32 2005) establishes that oil and natural gas activities can only be performed in protected areas, forest areas and private natural heritage areas if a study of SEA of the plans, program and policies approves it. Article 132 clearly stipulates the obligation of SEA in sensitive areas: "It is not allowed to tender, authorize, or grant activities and works of oil and gas drilling projects in protected areas, RAMSAR sites, archaeological and palaeontological sites, as well as in places sacred to the communities and rural, indigenous and native people, that have spiritual value because of historic heritage, or other areas recognized because of their biodiversity, established by the competent authority. In exceptional cases, hydrocarbon activities are allowed in protected areas, if the study of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) established the viability of the activity within the framework of a comprehensive national sustainable development."


Handbook of Strategic Environmental Assessment (Manual de Capacitación en Evaluación Ambiental Estratégica) developed by the General Directory of Environment of the Vice Ministry of Biodiversity, Forestry and Environment (2007).

Scope of application

Application of SEA in national planning, policies and programs of particular sectors with a significant impact on economic and/or social development.


In general, the need to perform an SEA is manifested in the areas where extractive industries and/or construction of roads takes place in protected areas and/or indigenous territories.

Exemptions from application

The following are exempted: Policies, plans, programmes and strategic projects of an extraordinary nature, intended only for purposes of national defence, cases of disaster or emergency.

SEA approach

SEA approach is seperate from ESIA approach. 

Handbook of Strategic Environmental Assessment (Manual de Capacitación en Evaluación Ambiental Estratégica

Institutional setting

Central SEA authority

The National Environmental Authority is the Viceministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Development and Management. The Vice Ministry resides under the Ministry of Environment and Water.

Initiator of the SEA

Initiators of the SEA can be the following:

  • Ministry of Environment and Water
  • Viceministry of Water Resources
  • Viceministry of Transportation
  • Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas
  • Ministry of Mines and Metallurgy
  • INRA
  • Ministry of Development Planning

Impact evaluatie Bert Lof


to the top

Viceministry of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Development Management   

Piso 18, Zona Central - Calle Ayacucho Esq. Potosí

Teléfonos: +591(2) 2154427 , +591 (2) 2156437