International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

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Environmental Crime Legal Framework In Angola

Article 21 of Angola’s Constitution promotes the harmonious and sustainable development of its national territory, along with a duty to protect the environment, natural resources and heritage, cultural and artistic heritage.

Article 39 of the Constitution highlights the State’s role in protecting species of flora and fauna throughout the national territory; maintaining the country’s ecological balance; overseeing the exploitation and utilization of all natural resources; and respecting the rights of future generations and the preservation of various species.

Article 39/1 of the Constitution states that environmental protection and the requirements for achieving sustainable development are predicated on the right of all citizens to live in an unpolluted and healthy environment.

Featured Legislation

1979: The Mining Act was established in order to govern the exploration of minerals after independence until the early 1990s.

1982: Decree No. 20/82 (regulating oil activities carried out in Angola by foreign companies) was tabled. This Decree, composed of 17 articles, regulates all oil activities carried out in Angola by foreign companies. Particular attention is paid to the required capacity building activities of employed workers, and on the duty to grant equal employment to both foreign and national workers.

1992: The Geological and Mining Activities Act was passed; the legislation stipulated that mineral resources were State property, recognizing the need for indemnities when approving mining activities.

1992: The Land Act was implemented, overseeing the concession of land titles and the use and development of the land for both agricultural and non-agricultural projects.

1992: the Fisheries Act was created as a result of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1990.

1993: Angola created the Secretaria de Estado do Ambiente (State Secretariat for the Environment) after attending the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.

1994: The Diamond Act was passed in an attempt to curb illegal mining in the Lunda-Sul and Lunda-Norte provinces.

1995: The Regulation of Land Act was created to facilitate and regulate the implementation of the recommendations from the Land Act. Article 51 (a)–(m) of the act outlines environmental protection through the avoidance of air pollution; the prevention of soil erosion; the conservation, protection and management of water sources and  the protection of wildlife.

1997: The Ministry of Environment was established, along with the Instituto Nacional de Gestão Ambiental (National Institute for Environmental Management) and the Instituto Nacional da Biodiversidade (National Biodiversity Institute).

1998: Angola created its Environment Framework Act (1998) which was developed and approved by the Assembleia Nacional (Angolan National Assembly).

Environment Framework Act (Act No. 5/98 of 19 June 1998): this act recognized the importance of environmental protection at the national and global level, defining the concepts and the general and specific principles of protection, preservation and conservation of the environment.

2004: A new Land Act was approved by the National Assembly, containing environmental-related statutes  to foster sustainable development in Angola.

2007: The Long-term Development Strategy for Angola was created. The Long-term Development Strategy for Angola (2025) is divided by Strategies: the expected results of the General Strategy for the Mega-Population System are ambitious and imply that other systems give contributions to its implementation. Some measures for the jump that Angola can give in a period of 25 years, in terms of human development and the main demographic determinants are: advance at least 30 points in the Human Development Index (UNDP), moving to the level currently occupied by the medium developing countries (0.691) and by South Africa (0.695), and surpassing the average observed in 2025 for SADC, which currently stands at 0.465; Reduce by 50% the gross rate of general mortality; Reduce the Poverty Index (HDI-UNDP) by 75%, placing Angola in 2025 in a situation more favorable than the current level of the Medium Development Countries (20.5). This result will presuppose the eradication of poverty (extreme poverty) and the substantial reduction of relative poverty (by 2/3) and hunger, etc.

2009: Resolution No. 122/09 (approving the Strategy for the Development of Biofuels in Angola) was ratified. This Resolution approves the Strategy for the Development of Biofuels in Angola. This Strategy aims to contribute to rural development through the following activities: economic integration of national agricultural producers and rural communities in the biofuel production chain; meet some of the national energy needs, promoting energy diversification; preserve the environment; contribute to the diversification of the economy and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the production of biofuels in the country, with the approval of the National Programme for the Production of Biofuels within 180 days.

2015: The Multisectoral Commission against Environmental Crimes Related to Wild Fauna and Flora was created under the Environmental Crimes Unit and by a presidential decree.

2018: Executive Decree No. 252/18 (approving the Red List of Animal and Plant Species of Angola) was enacted. This Executive Decree, consisting of 5 articles and one Annex, establishes the Red List of Animal and Plant Species of Angola (in Annex). The List is composed of four categories namely: a) Category A – Extinct Species; b) Category B – Threatened Species of Extinction; c) Category C – Vulnerable Species; d) Category D – Alien Species.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • Deforestation and poaching run rampant in Angola, according to the 20th Angola/Namibia conference of the Defence and Security Committee. Accusations have been made that provincial commanders, second commanders and general officers are involved in illegal poaching rings across the country, which is strictly prohibited by The Ministry of the Environment. A “culture of impunity” penetrates various institutions as public officials are exempt from criminal and civil penalties.
  • 2000 protected species are killed every year as a result of illegal poaching. In 2015: The Angolan Government approved a package of legislative measures to tackle environmental offences against the environment. The decision to increase the severity of these legal measures came as a response to the unsustainable trafficking in ivory and rhino horn, which is now a hot commodity for the black market of endangered fauna and the international networks of South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania.

References and Further Reading