Environment Law in Madagascar


Two main texts define the environmental obligations to be complied with by any company wishing to invest in Madagascar: Law No. 90-033 of 21 December 1990, further amended by Law No. 97-012 of 6 June 1997 and Law No. 2004-015 of 19 August 2004 on the Malagasy Environmental Charter (the « Environmental Charter« ), and Decree No. 99-954 of 15 December 1999 as amended by Decree No. 2004-167 of 3 February 2004 on rendering investment compatible with the environment (the « MECIE Decree« ).

In accordance with these two texts, all public and private investment projects likely to affect the environment (whether these projects are or not subject to a prior authorization or approval of an administrative authority) are subject to an environmental impact assessment. The targeted sectors (which are more precisely defined in MECIE Decree’s annexes) obviously include the mining sector, the oil and gas sector, the industrial sector, as well as tourism and hospitality or the infrastructure and facilities sector.

Depending on the categorization of the projects (defined in MECIE Decree as « screening« ), the environmental impact assessment can take different forms and give rise to two specific procedures:

– For investment projects with significant environmental impacts (or projects located in « sensitive areas », defined by a decree of 1997), a process involving the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (or EIA) which will result, in case of a favorable assessment, in the granting of an environmental permit issued by the National Environment Agency (or ONE),
– For investment projects with more limited environmental impacts, a process involving the production of an Environmental Commitment Program (PREE), which will then be approved, in case of a favorable assessment, by the directly concerned Ministry.

 

Obtaining the said environmental permit or PREE approval is a mandatory step before being allowed to start any work in relation to the investment project. In this regard, not conducting an EIA will lead to a suspension of activity when it is found that the related environmental permit has not been obtained.

The Environmental Impact Assessment is a study consisting of an analysis of the foreseeable potential impacts of a given activity on environment, and the examination of the acceptability of their level and of the mitigation measures to be implemented in order to ensure environmental integrity, within the best technology available at an economically acceptable cost.

The Environmental Commitment Program is a program consisting of the commitment of the investor to take some measures to mitigate the impacts of his actions on the environment, as well as measures in order to rehabilitate the project’s location.

MECIE Decree also specifies the penalties to be applied for non-compliance by the investor with its obligations under MECIE Decree. These penalties include, in particular, the issuance of an order to rehabilitate the project’s location in accordance with applicable environmental standards, the suspension or withdrawal of the relevant environmental permit, the issuance of a stop-work order, or a temporary or permanent closure of the establishment.


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– Law No. 90-033 of 21 December 1990 relating to the Malagasy Environmental Charter, as amended by Law No. 97-012 of 6 June 1997 and Law No. 2004-015 of 19 August 2004 (French version)
Decree No. 99-954 of 15 December 1999 on rendering investment compatible with the environment, as amended by Decree No. 2004-167 of 3 Fébruary 2004 (French version)