There are several national policy documents that relate to environmental protection.
Environmental Policy of Ethiopia (EPE)
This policy, issued in 1997, aims to maintain the health and quality of life of all Ethiopians and to promote sustainable social and economic development. It seeks to do this through the sound management and use of resources and the environment as a whole, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. It considers the rights and obligations of citizens, organisations, and government to safeguard the environment as indicated in the Constitution of Ethiopia. The EPE is a comprehensive document that defines policies for ten separate environmental sectors, covering soil and agriculture, forest and woodland, biodiversity, water, energy, minerals, human settlement, industrial waste, climate change and cultural heritage (FDRE, 1997). It also includes policies for ten cross-sectoral issues that need to be considered for effective implementation: population, community participation, land tenure, land use, social and gender issues, environmental economics, information systems, research, impact assessment, and education.
Environmental Impact Assessment Proclamation (No. 299/2002)
This proclamation follows the principles of the international agreement on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that you read about in Study Session 14. Major development projects that are likely to damage the environment (physical and social) are expected to have an EIA that identifies hazards and possible damage so that they can be mitigated during the project development. The proclamation outlines the duties of the proponent (developer) and specifies the details that must be included in the assessment and the impact study report (FDRE, 2002a). Approximately 30 EIAs are produced at the federal level each year, which is relatively low compared to other countries, but most EIAs happen at the regional level (SIDA, 2013).
Environmental Pollution Control Proclamation (No. 300/2002)
Pollution is defined in this proclamation as: ‘any condition which is hazardous or potentially hazardous to human health, safety, or welfare or to living things created by altering any physical, radioactive, thermal, chemical, biological or other property of any part of the environment in contravention of any condition, limitation or restriction made under this Proclamation or under any other relevant law’ (FDRE, 2002b).
The proclamation states that ‘no person shall pollute … the environment’ but also includes provisions for prevention and penalties if pollution does occur. It follows the ‘polluter pays principle’ and requires the person who causes pollution to pay for any clean up. Specific articles detail the need for proper management of hazardous and municipal waste and the adoption of environmental standards with reference to wastewater effluents, air, soil, noise and waste.
Solid Waste Management Proclamation (No. 513/2007)
This proclamation aims to prevent environmental damage from solid waste while harnessing its potential economic benefits. It defines solid waste management as the collection, transportation, storage, recycling or disposal of solid waste. The proclamation indicates the need for involvement of the private sector for effective management and describes the safe transport of solid waste including hazardous waste (FDRE, 2007).
Prevention of Industrial Pollution Regulation (No. 159/2008)
The purpose of this regulation is clear from its name. Factories must make sure their liquid waste meets environmental standards, and obtain a permit before discharging any liquid waste (FDRE, 2008). The factory must monitor the composition of its waste, keep records and report periodically to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Environmental and Social Management Framework
This framework document was prepared in collaboration with the World Bank. It sets out procedures to ensure that investments in WASH are implemented in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner (FDRE, 2013). It recognises the importance of protecting people and the environment from the negative impacts of development and safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of the population.