Updated environment protection law forthcoming [Archives:2007/1116/Health]

December 31 2007

Ismail Al-Ghabri
Mahmoud Shudaiwah, Chairman of Environment Protection Authority (EPA), has declared that the authority will draw up a new environment protection law in keeping with new developments occurring on the national level, as the environment is important both nationally and politically.

The director went on to say that the new law contains both new articles, as well as those covered in the previous law. To ensure sustainable development, the new law seeks to achieve the following:

1- Protecting and preserving environmental safety and balance, as well as maintaining Yemen's environment-related natural systems.

2- Fighting all forms of pollution and avoiding any potentially direct or indirect impacts caused by implementing economic, agricultural, industrial or construction development programs, among other programs, seeking to improve living standards and increase affluence.

3- Protecting and developing natural resources, as well as preserving Yemen's native flora and fauna and properly utilizing them to benefit current and future generations.

4- Protecting the lives of humans, flora and fauna in Yemen against environmentally harmful activities and those actions that hinder the rightful usage of natural things.

5- Preventing environmentally detrimental impacts generated by activities conducted outside Yemeni boundaries and waters.

6- Implementing Yemeni-ratified international commitments to protect the environment, fight contamination and preserve natural resources, the ozone layer and the safety of life via a well-organized mechanism.

7- Contributing via provisions stipulated in the new law's rules and regulations to protect international environmental aspects, such as the climate and the ozone layer.

Shudaiwah further stated that the Ministry of Water and Environment and the General Authority for Environment Protection seek to protect Yemen's environment from contamination and desertification.

This can be achieved by adopting and activating relevant legislation and awareness programs, in addition to encouraging the participation of local communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and women to reform environmental conditions, thus leading to further contributions to enhancing sustainable development and improving public health.

The two governmental bodies are undertaking such actions with a view toward preserving environmental safety, balance and variety of life, as well as maintaining the Yemeni environment's natural systems and their development without harming the rights of future generations, he noted.

The director added that a safety-related bylaw has been formulated to regulate the formation of a national committee to be responsible for such safety. The bylaw specifies the committee's tasks and specializations, as well as measures regarding importing, exporting and monitoring genetically modified organisms. It further contains regulations stipulated in the Yemen-ratified Cartagena Protocol pertaining to such biosafety.

The new law also contains a new article entitled the Environment Protection Development Program, the purpose of which is to support and encourage the Yemeni environment's protection and preservation-related activities and projects by reducing pollution emissions and influencing consumption patterns.