Section 36 of the Constitution of Lesotho1, 1993, states that Lesotho will adopt policies to protect and enhance its natural and cultural environment for present and future generations. It declares the responsibility of the State to provide a sound and safe environment for the health and well-being of citizens.
The original Environment Act of 2001 makes provisions for environmental and natural resource management and develops guidelines for environmental impact assessments.
The Environment Act of 2008 states that every citizen has the fundamental right to a clean and healthy environment. It addresses institutional arrangements for environmental management and establishes an Environmental Tribunal to hear appeals by any person aggrieved by decisions of a competent authority. The Act also makes provisions for environmental standards for water, air, and soil quality, waste, noise, and radiation, among others.
The Environment Authority has the mandate to set up an Environment Fund to protect, enhance, and manage natural resources. It is also responsible for the implementation of a National Environmental Policy and preparing a National Environment Action Plan. The Authority is obliged to publish a report on the state of the environment and environmental management.
Lesotho's first National Environment Action Plan was formulated in 1989. It was followed by a National Action Plan to implement Agenda 21 in 1994. A National Environmental Policy was prepared in 1998 with the overall goal of achieving sustainable livelihoods and development.
Additional information on environmental legislation in Lesotho can be accessed through the official websites of the Government and the Department of Environment.