Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is NEMA’s work? / What does NEMA do?

National Environment Management Authority is a Principle agency of government responsible for coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervision of all activities relating to the environment. NEMA reviews Environment and Social Impact Studies before granting approval or rejecting projects that may have an impact on the environment.

Q: Why does NEMA issue titles in Wetlands?

NEMA does not issue land titles. The issuance of land titles is the responsibility of the lands ministry and the respective agencies under the ministry of lands housing and urban development specifically the Uganda Lands Commission.

 Q: How can I know whether my land is in a wetland or not?

Check the authenticity of your land title with the ministry of lands housing and urban development or the Uganda Lands Commission.

Q: How do I get a permit to use a wetland?

NEMA has indefinitely suspended the consideration and issuance of approval for all projects in wetlands. The suspension was effective September 2, 2021. The decision was made to reduce pressure on wetlands that were being severely encroached upon and to build Government capacity to regulate their use.

 Q: Where should I report cases of Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution is managed locally. Environment Management is decentralized and Local Governments are mandated, empowered and financed to handle issues of noise pollution. This is because it is the local governments that issue operational licenses to entities such as bars, schools, churches and other businesses. Report any cases of noise pollution to your LC, Town, Municipal, City or District Council.

Q: What are the requirements for one to become a certified environmental practitioner?

An environmental practitioner is an environmental auditor or an environmental impact assessor and any person certified and registered by NEMA to conduct environmental and social assessments, studies or environmental audits.

Q: Overview ESIA procedure

The Ugandan ESIA regulations consider two types of procedures. Projects requiring submission of project briefs (=limited ESIA) and projects requiring full ESIA.

Projects for which project briefs are required according to Schedule 4, part I of the National Environment Act, 2019 can submit these directly to NEMA. NEMA will consult with lead agencies and will then take a decision on the project brief.

Projects for which project briefs are required according to Schedule 4, part II of the National Environment Act, 2019 can submit these directly to the applicable lead agency, who is then mandated to decide on the project brief.

For projects requiring project briefs, no scoping nor Terms of Reference are required.

Projects for which a full ESIA is mandatory (according to Schedule 5 and possibly Schedule 10 of the National Environment Act 2019) go through a more elaborate procedure, involving scoping/ToR, consideration of the ToR by NEMA (in consultation with lead agencies), undertaking the ESIA study including stakeholder consultation during the ESIA study. This results in the ESIA Statement, which is then submitted to NEMA. Review of the ESIA statement is done in consultation with the lead agencies and the general public and persons likely to be affected by the project. NEMA will then proceed to decision-making taking the review and consultation results into account. The decision will lead to an Environmental Certificate (of approval). In some cases NEMA may decide to hold a public hearing at the expense of the developer.

In some cases Environmental Risk Assessment is required as part of the ESIA (section 114 of the National Environment Act, 2019). This is for example the case when genetically modified organisms will be introduced.

NEMA may in liaison with the relevant lead agency, within 12 months of grant of a certificate of approval of the ESIA, arrange for onsite inspections and monitoring of the project to ensure compliance with the conditions in the Certificate of approval.

After the period of 12 months, the developer shall be subject to the requirements of the National Environment (Audit) Regulations.