Law 99 of 1993 - Creation of Ministry of Environment

Last updated: 15 February 2022

This law created the Ministry of Environment and organizes the public sector around environmental, natural resources, and sustainable development issues.


  • Lists functions of the new Ministry, which include the power to set environmental rules and standards that affect the use of land and adjacent waters, and the power to establish maximum emissions limits (Art 5).
  • An environmental license is necessary if an action deteriorates natural resources or the environment (Art 49). 
  • The Environmental Minister issues permits for oil and gas exploration and production, transportation, and for construction of refineries (Art 52). Ensuring regulations will determine who issues the environmental license (Art 53). 
  • An Environmental Impact Study is required before an environmental license is issued (Art 57). 
  • Licenses can be revoked for noncompliance. The Environmental Minister can levy penalties (Art 84).  
  • Decisions about the exploitation of natural resources must be made in consultation with indigenous communities (Art 76). 


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