Cabo Verde

International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies


Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde’s Constitution guarantees the rights of every citizen to a healthy, ecologically balanced, living environment.

The Environmental Base Law (Law no 86/IV/93) and the First National Environmental Action Plan (PANA I) outlined a ten-year sustainability plan (1994-2004).

In 1995: the Executive Secretariat for the Environment (SEPA) was created as the agency responsible for environmental policy development.

In 2001: the second National Environmental Action Plan (PANA II) was created, providing the Cape-verdean government as well as its international partners with a coherent framework for environmental interventions for the next 10 years.

Featured Legislation

1993: Act No. 86/IV/93 was signed, aiming to improve and guarantee the continuous use of natural resources for autonomous development.

2001: second National Environmental Action Plan (PANA II) was created with the aim to:

  • Define the main political orientations for environmental and natural resources management
  • Identify environmental opportunities and development priorities
  • Identify interventions that facilitate an effective and efficient natural resources use
  • Define the institutional setting and the necessary intersectional coordination mechanisms
  • Promote the integration of the environmental concerns in socio-economic development planning
  • Promote the improvement of the population’s living and livelihood conditions

2005:  Decree-Law No. 5 was established, regulating the emissions regime and licensing procedures, providing air quality standards and limit values. It also provides sanctions and penalties for non-compliance.

2006: Decree-Law No. 29 was passed, regulating Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in Cabo Verde

2006: Decree-Law No. 4 was signed, defining the functions and composition of the National Council for Environment (CNA), an advisory body set up with the view of counselling the government in the assessment, definition and implementation of environmental policy.

2010:  Legislative Decree No. 14/2010 was created. This Legislative Decree approves the Cape Verde Maritime Code, which regulates national maritime zones, ships, vessels and related equipment, including prevention of marine pollution. In addition, it specifies the legal situations and relationships created during sea navigation and maritime transport, applicable to all ships navigating within the territorial waters of Cape Verde, whatever the nationality of the ship or the nationality and residence of its owners or shipowners and definition of the limits of the territorial sea of ​​Cape Verde. The Code is divided into the following twelve Books: General provision (I); Maritime Zones and Navigation Regime (II); Ports (III); Ships, Vessels and related Equipment IV); Vessel Owners (V); Economic Order of Maritime Transport (VI); Ship Contracts and Auxiliary Contracts (VII); Risks at Sea and Navigation Accidents (VIII); Global Limitation of Liability (IX); Maritime Insurance (X); Maritime Procedures XI); Administrative Offences and Sanctions (XII). In addition, it amends Book III of the Commercial Code, relating to Maritime Law, approved by the Letter of Law of 28 June 1888, and repeals several legislation related to Maritime Law.

2011: Decree-Law No. 27 was enacted, regulating the production and import/export of substances and any equipment damaging the ozone layer.

2011: The National Environmental Policy of Côte d'Ivoire was instituted. Faced with the constraints that hinder the rational management of natural resources and the environment, Côte d'Ivoire has developed the National Environmental Policy, the objective of which is to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment and to preserve natural resources. . Specifically, it is about: simultaneously addressing economic development and poverty reduction issues without depleting or further degrading natural resources; preserving or restoring the capacity of ecosystems to provide the goods and services essential to the maintenance of economic activities; and improving the quality of receiving environments and the living environment. To achieve these objectives, this policy is structured around cross-cutting orientations and sectoral orientations.

2012: Resolution No. 79/2012 was tabled. This Resolution approves the contract of concession related to the below mentioned activity. The Concession, with a renewable duration of one year, consists of 5 Sections, authorizing the Cape Verde Maritime Security Services Lda to manage off-shore private maritime security operations originated from the harbors of Cabo Verde. These operations will deal with: a) giving advice to the concession requests; b) verifying and supervising such activities operated by private maritime security agencies; c) organizing the embarking and disembarking procedures of protecting engines.

2015: Decree-Law No. 56 was created, establishing the general regime for prevention, production and management of waste. This general regime on waste establishes the principles for waste management and extended responsibilities of the producer.

2016: The Forestry Investment Plan (PIF COTE D’IVOIRE) was tabled. The overall vision of the Forest Investment Plan (FIP) is to: restore the productivity of forest resources and manage them sustainably; creating incentives; securing land tenure and land access rights to create an enabling environment for transformation; and implement zero deforestation agriculture to reduce pressure on forests and improve livelihoods.

2018: Decree-Law No 65 was brought into force, creating an identification process for different types of waste.

2020: Decree-Law No. 27 was approved, presenting 63 articles divided into five Chapters and eleven Annexes which regulate the Environmental Impact Assessment of public and private projects likely to have significant effects on the environment

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

  • A three-year program has been launched by the Ambassador of the United States, the Minister of Justice, the UN Resident Coordinator in Cape Verde, and the UNODC Senior Coordinator to combat and prevent organized crime in Cabo Verde. The project will be implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Cabo Verde, in a concerted effort to prevent the trafficking of flora and fauna in the country. According to the US Ambassador in Cabo Verde, Jeff Daigle, workshops will be held to direct the National Police, Judiciary Police, Public Prosecutor, journalists, civil society organizations and other stakeholders who want to acquire additional skills in combating and preventing organized crime. The stakeholders recognize the importance of cooperation among different sectors to combat organized environmental crime and international trafficking.
  • According to The World Health Organization's guidelines, the air quality in Cabo Verde is considered unsafe; a recent report suggests that the country’s annual mean concentration of PM2.5 is 35 µg/m3, which exceeds the recommended maximum of 10 µg/m3. Climate change is the leading cause of poor air quality, with dust blowing from the Sahara Desert, CO2 emissions and seasonal variations in pollution. Residents of local towns have complained about the substandard air quality, citing chemicals, particulate matter, and biological materials as the cause of breathing problems, chronic diseases, increased hospitalization, and premature mortality.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Agriculture and Environment: