This code aims to ensure the right of people to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. It outlines the main rights, duties, and principles related to environmental protection, including the best available environmental practices. It sets a regulatory system for environmental protection led by the National Environmental Authority, which is responsible for issuing guidelines and environmental standards, conducting environmental control and monitoring over-regulated activities as well as for the definition of the national strategy and plan regarding climate change. The National Environmental Authority, the Ministry of Environment, is also the government entity in charge of regulating the GHG inventory, emissions mitigation accounting, and compensation schemes (Art. 260).
It also institutes a unified system of environmental management, indicating necessary administrative authorizations for development projects, including environmental permits. Undertakings that may cause significant environmental impacts must undergo an environmental impact assessment process. This comprehends an environmental impact assessment study as well as an environmental management program.
This regulation establishes mechanisms for climate change management, including inter-sectoral coordination, climate finance, a unified environmental information system, and the possibility of requiring offsets for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. It also refers to the promotion of energy efficiency, GHG inventorying and reporting in prioritized sectors, and support for mitigation actions.
It has further provisions on monitoring, inspections, reporting, environmental auditing, citizen surveillance, sustainable production and consumption practices, compensation for environmental damage, sanctions and enforcement measures.