Part XII Section 125 (1) of the Act establishes NET to review administrative decisions made by NEMA relating to issuance, revocation or denial of licence and conditions of licence. It also provides legal opinion to NEMA on complex matters where the Authority seeks such advice. In addition, the Tribunal has powers to change or give an order and direction regarding environmental issues in dispute.
- The Permanent Secretaries responsible for matters in the First Schedule of the Act, namely: agriculture economic planning and development, education, energy, environment, finance, fisheries, foreign affairs, health, industry, law or law enforcement, local government, natural resources, public administration, public works, research and technology, tourism and water resources;
- Representatives of public universities; specialized research institutions; the business community and non-governmental organizations;
- The Director General NEMA who shall be its Secretary.
- Policy formulation and direction for the purposes of this act
- Set national goals and objectives and determine policies and priorities for the protection of the environment;
- Promote cooperation among public departments, local authorities, private sector, non-governmental organizations and such other organizations engaged in environmental protection programmes;
- Perform such other functions as are assigned under the Act.
The authority core functions are:
* Coordinating the various environmental management activities being undertaken by the lead agencies
* Promote the integration of environmental considerations into development policies, plans, programmes and projects, with a view to ensuring the proper management and rational utilization of environmental resources, on sustainable yield basis, for the improvement of the quality of human life in Kenya.
* To take stock of the natural resources in Kenya and their utilization and conservation.
* To establish and review land use guidelines.
* Examine land use patterns to determine their impact on the quality and quantity of natural resources.
* Carry out surveys, which will assist in the proper management and conservation of the environment.
* Advise the Government on legislative and other measures for the management of the environment or the implementation of relevant international conventions, treaties and agreements.
* Advise the Government on regional and international conventions, treaties and agreements to which Kenya should be a party and follow up the implementation of such agreements.
* Undertake and coordinate research, investigation and surveys, collect, collate and disseminate information on the findings of such research, investigations or surveys.
* Mobilize and monitor the use of financial and human resources for environmental management.
* Identify projects and programmes for which environmental audit or environmental monitoring must be conducted under this Act.
* Initiate and evolve procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents, which may cause environmental degradatIon and evolve remedial measures where accidents occur e.g. floods, landslides and oilspills.
* Monitor and assess activities, including activities being carried out by relevant lead agencies, in order to ensure that the environment is not degraded by such activities. Management objectives must be adhered to and adequate early warning on impending environmental emergencies is given.
Undertake, in cooperation with relevant lead agencies, programmes intended to enhance environmental education and public awareness, about the need for sound environmental management, as well as for enlisting public support and encouraging the effort made by other entities in that regard.
* Publish and disseminate manual codes or guidelines relating to environmental management and prevention or abatement of environmental degradation.
* Render advice and technical support, where possible, to entities engaged in natural resources management and environmental protection, so as to enable them to carry out their responsibilities satisfactorily .
* Prepare and issue an annual report on the State of Environment in Kenya and in this regard, may direct any lead agency to prepare and submit to it a report on the state of the sector of the environment under the administration of that lead agency.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is established under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) No. 8 of 1999, as the principal instrument of government in the implementation of all policies relating to the environment.
The Authority became operational on 1st July 2002 following the merger of three government departments, namely: the National Environment Secretariat (NES), the Permanent Presidential Commission on Soil Conservation and Afforestation (PPCSCA), and the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS). However, following government restructuring in March 2003, DRSRS reverted to its departmental status under the then Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR). There was a transition period characterised by the integration of previous departmental activities and appointment of the first Board of Management.
Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), 1999
The enactment of EMCA, 1999 was a milestone in promoting sustainable environmental management in the country. The Act provides for the harmonization of about 77 sectoral statutes, which address aspects of the environment. Some sectoral statutes have inadequate provisions for prosecution of environmental offenders, while in some penalties are not sufficiently punitive to deter offenders. EMCA, 1999 provides an institutional framework and procedures for management of the environment, including provisions for conflict resolution.
Section 3 of EMCA, 1999 states that “Every person in Kenya is entitled to a clean and healthy environment and has the duty to safeguard and enhance the environment.” The Act is intended to ensure that our activities do not compromise the capacity of the resource base to meet the needs of the present generation as well as those of future generations (WCED, 1987)