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Environment Act 2008 (No. 10 of 2008).

Type of law


This Act makes provision for the conservation and management of the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources in Lesotho.
The Act consists of 116 sections divided into 16 Parts: Preliminary (I); General Principles (II); Institutional Arrangements (III); Environmental Planning (IV); Environmental Impact Assessment, Audits and Monitoring (V); Environmental Quality Standards (VI); Pollution Control (VII); Spill and Environmental Emergency (VIII); Environmental Management (IX); Environmental Restoration Notice and Order (X); Inspection and Record (XI); International Environmental Conventions (XII); Information, Education and Public Awareness (XIII); Environmental Tribunal (XIV); Offences (XV); Miscellaneous (XVI).
The Act sets out principles of environmental management and establishes the National Environment Council. The Council shall carry out functions set out in section 8. The Act shall be administered by the Department of Environment. There shall also be an Environment Coordinating Committee and, in every district, a District Environment Officer. Each Line Ministry shall establish within the Ministry an environmental unit. A Line Ministry is a ministry, department, parastatal or agency, which by law is charged with environment protection. The Director of the Department of Environment shall every five years prepare a National Environmental Action Plan in consultation with Line Ministries.
An environment impact assessment or strategic environmental assessment shall be undertaken on projects and activities specified in the First Schedule to this Act. The Director shall be responsible for review of environmental assessment and for the carrying out of environmental monitoring and audit. The Director shall also issue environment impact assessment licences, without which no person shall carry out a project listed in the First Schedule.
The Director shall, in consultation with the relevant Ministry, establish standards for the quality of water (also for water used for specific purposes such as consumption, agriculture or fisheries), the quality of air, the quality of soil, waste, noise, ionization and other radiation and guidelines for environmental disasters. Part IX on environmental management provides for a wide variety of matters such as identification and protection of areas at risk of environment degradation, re-forestation and afforestation of hilly and mountainous areas, protection of rivers, river banks or wetlands etc., general and specific orders, for standards for the management of rivers, river banks, lakes, lake shore and wetlands, protection of forests, conservation of energy and planting of trees or woodlots, conservation of biological diversity and biological resources in situ and ex-situ, access to genetic resources of Lesotho, management of range lands, land use planning, protection of natural heritage sites, protection of natural environmental areas, protection of the ozone layer, management of dangerous materials, the management of (hazardous) waste and the application for a waste licence.
The Director may issue to any person, in respect of a matter relating to the management of the environment and natural resources, an environmental restoration notice and a court may issue an environmental restoration order. The Minister may designate environmental inspectors, the duties and powers of which are set out in this Act. The Environmental Tribunal is established for the purpose of handling appeals against decisions made under this Act.
Environmental Governance and Rights
Long title of text
An Act to make provision for the protection and management of the environment and conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources of Lesotho and for connected matters.
Date of text
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Toolkit legislation
Regulatory Approach
Plastic toolkit tags
Waste management