Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment of Plans and Programmes
The constitution of the Republic guarantees all citizens the right to a healthy and economically balanced environment, imposing on the state the creation and implementation of policies for territorial planning, defense and preservation of the environment, rational use of natural resources and safeguarding their renewal capacity.
Law no. 86/IV/93 of 26 July, which defines the bases of environmental policy, amended by law no. 23/X/2023 of 18 April and now decree-law no. 23/2023 of 29 August aims to optimize and guarantee the continuity of implementation of policies that concern the protection of the environment and natural resources, promoting sustainable development, preservation of environmental heritage, public health, well-being, and actions that may impact the environment, territory and quality of life of citizens.
The objective of strategic environmental and social assessment (abbreviated AASE) is to establish a high level of environmental protection and contribute to the integration of environmental and social considerations in the preparation and approval of plans and programs, aiming for sustainable development.
All territorial management plans and programs of a sectoral policy and of a special nature, dependent on preparation or approval by a national and local authority, which, for example, affect integral tourist development zones (ZDTI) and reserve zones, can be submitted to AASE. tourist protection zone (ZRPT) or other areas reserved within the scope of special tourist zones.
The procedure for submitting the AASE must follow the process of developing the plan or program in accordance with the provisions contained in the National Regulation on Spatial Planning and Urban Planning or others that may be applicable given the specificities of the plan or program to be evaluated.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the entity responsible for preparing the plan or program or project, where appropriate, under the terms of this diploma, to determine the scope of the AASE to be carried out as well as to determine the scope and level of detail of the information to be included in the environmental and social report observing objective criteria.
The scope definition report is submitted to public consultation, for twenty working days, without prejudice to other participatory modalities that have been foreseen in the prior planning of the involvement of interested and affected parties.
And the report is also subject to assessment by the environmental and social authority, which may accept the project, recommend some changes or the project is rejected on grounds.
The final version of the environmental and social report is subject to evaluation by an environmental authority to ensure that AASE complied with the general requirements for the scope previously established and that the results of public participation were previously considered in its preparation.
Effectively, within the scope of this entire process, the government will provide the environmental authority with the appropriate human financial and material resources to comply with this diploma.
This decree is already in force.