Short title 
1.. This Act may be cited as the Environment Management Act, 1996, and shall come into force on such date as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette appoint and the Minister may appoint different dates for the coming into force of different parts of this Act 
2.. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—
"ambient air", means the atmosphere surrounding the earth but does not include the atmosphere within a structure or within any underground space; 

"analysis" means the examination of any matter, substance or process for the purpose of determining its composition or quality or its effect (whether physical chemical or biological) on any segment of the environment; 

"analyst" means an analyst appointed under section 49; 

"biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including; inter-alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecological systems and the ecological complexes of which they are part, and includes diversity within or between species and of ecosystems; 

"conservation" means the preservation of the natural resources and their protection from misuse, fire or waste; 

"Council" means the National Council for the Environment established under section 10 (1); 

"dangerous" means harmful or dangerous to public health, plant or animal life or to the environment and "danger" shall be construed accordingly; 

"developer" means any person who has proposed or has undertaken to implement a project; 

"Director" means the Director of Environmental Affairs appointed under section 9 (1); 

"District Development Committee" means the District Development Committee established in every district to initiate, monitor and co-ordinate development policies and activities in that district; 

"effluent" means waste water or odder fluid originating from a domestic or an agricultural or industrial activity, whether treated or untreated and whether discharged directly or indirectly into the environment; 

"environment" means the physical factors of the surroundings of the human being including land, water, atmosphere, climate, sound, odour, taste, and the biological factors of fauna and flora, and includes the cultural, social and economic aspects of human activity, the natural and the built environment; 

"environmental audit" means the systematic documentation and periodic and objective evaluation of the protection and management of the environment and the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources; 

"Environmental impact assessments" a systematic environment of a project to determine its impact on the environment and the conservation of natural resources; 

"environmental impact assessment report" means the environmental impact assessment report required under section 25 (1); 

"environmental monitoring" means the continuous or periodic assessment of the actual and potential impact of any activity on the environment; 

"environmental planning" means planning that takes into account environmental issues; 

"ex-situ" means conservation outside Me natural habitat of a biological organism; 

"genetic resource" means any genetic material of actual or potential value; 

"hazardous substance" means any chemical, waste, gas or gaseous matter, medicines, drugs, plant, animal or micro-organism which is injurious to human health or the environment; 

"hazardous waste" means waste which is poisonous, corrosive, noxious, explosive, inflammable, radioactive, toxic or harmful to the environment; 

"in-situ" means conservation within the natural ecological system and habitat of a biological organism; 

"inspector" means an environmental inspector designated under section 45 (1); 

"lead agency" means any public office or organization including every Ministry or Government department which is conferred by any written law with powers and functions for the protection and management of any segment of the environment and the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources of Malawi; 

"licensing authority" means any person on whom is conferred power under any written law to issue licenses in respect of any thing or activity required under that written law to be done or carried out otherwise than in accordance with a license; 

"National Environmental Action Plan" means the national environmental action plan launched by the Government in December 1994, outlining environmental strategies, measures and programmes necessary for promoting the protection and management of the environment and the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources; 

"natural resources" means the natural resources of Malawi wherever located; 

"occupier" means a person in occupation or control of any premises, and, in relation to premises different parts of which are occupied by different persons, Means the person in occupation or control of each such different part; 

"oil" includes— 

crude oil, diesel oil, fuel oil, lubricating oil, petrol and paraffin, and any other petroleum product capable of causing pollution whether in a solid or liquid form; and 
any other substance which may be prescribed by the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette, to be oil for the purposes of this Act; 
"owner", in relation to any premises, means—  the registered owner of the premises in question; 
the lessee or sublease of the premises in question; 
the agent, attorney or the personal representative of the owner of the premises; 
the person in actual possession of the premises or entitled to receive the rent of the premises, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee of any other person or as receiver; 
in relation to any vessel, includes the charterer, pilot or other person in actual control of the vessel, whether or not the vessel is registered in or outside Malawi; 
"ozone layer" means the ozone layer as defined in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer; 1985; 

"pollutant" means any substance whether in a liquid, solid or gaseous form which directly or indirectly 

adversely alters or destroys the quality of the environment; or 
is dangerous or potentially dangerous to public health, plant or animal life, 
and includes objectionable odours, radioactive substances or particles, noise, vibration, or any substance or panicle that causes temperature change or physical, chemical or biological change to the environment; 

"pollution" means any direct or indirect alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, biological, or radioactive properties of the environment caused by the discharge, emission or deposit of waste or a pollutant into the environment in such amounts and for such duration and under such conditions as to cause an actual or potential danger to the environment; 

"premises" includes any land, whether covered by buildings or not, any place underground and any land covered by water and hereditament of any tenure and description; 

"project" means a development activity or proposal which has or is likely to have an impact on the environment; 

"project beef" means the project brief required under section 24 (2); 

"proprietary information" means any proprietary information protected by law or by any international treaty or convention to which Malawi is a party; 

"Public Appointments Committee" means the Public Appointments Committee established under section 56 (7) of the Constitution; 

"segment" in relation to the environment, means any portion or part of the environment expressed in terms of volume, space, area, quantity, quality or time or any combination thereof; 

"sustainable utilization" means the use or exploitation of natural resources which guards against the extinction, depletion or degradation of any natural resource of Malawi and permits the replenishment of natural resources by natural means or otherwise; 

"Technical Committee" means the Technical Committee on the Environment established under section 6; 

"Tribunal" means the Environmental Appeals Tribunal established under section 69; 

Cap. 69:01
  "vehicle" has the meaning ascribed to it in the Road Traffic Act; 

"vessel" includes a ship, boat, floating structure or aircraft; 

"waste" includes domestic, commercial or industrial waste whether in a liquid, solid, gaseous or radioactive form which is discharged, emitted or deposited into the environment in such volume, composition or manner as to cause pollution; 

"water" includes surface and underground water, drinking water and water in a ever, stream, watercourse, public reservoir, well, dam, canal, channel, lake, swamp or open drain and water in a gaseous or solid form.

Contents | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V 
Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII 
 I Assent,  Bakili Muluzi