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National Environmental Policy Budget Minimos For Sustainable Management - Full Text Of The Norm


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image inicio sitio infoleg MInisterio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Law 25,675 Minimum budgets for achieving sustainable and adequate management of the environment, the preservation and protection of biological diversity and the implementation of sustainable development. Principles of environmental policy. Minimum budget. Judicial competence. Policy and management tools. Environmental management. Environmental impact assessment. Education and information. Citizen participation. Environmental insurance and restoration fund. Federal Environmental System. Ratification of federal agreements. Self-management. Environmental damage. Environmental Compensation Fund.

Sanctioned: November 6, 2002

Partially promulgated: November 27, 2002

The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation assembled in Congress, etc. sanction with force of Law:


Legally protected

ARTICLE 1 This law establishes the minimum budgets for achieving sustainable and adequate management of the environment, the preservation and protection of biodiversity and the implementation of sustainable development.

ARTICLE 2 The national environmental policy must meet the following objectives:

(a) Ensuring the preservation, conservation, recovery and improvement of the quality of environmental resources, both natural and cultural, in the implementation of the various atropic activities;

(b) To promote the improvement of the quality of life of present and future generations, as a matter of priority;

(c) Promoting social participation in decision-making processes;

(d) Promote the rational and sustainable use of natural resources;

(e) Maintain the balance and dynamics of ecological systems;

(f) Ensuring biodiversity conservation;

(g) Preventing the harmful or dangerous effects that antropic activities generate on the environment to enable the ecological, economic and social sustainability of development;

(h) Promote changes in social values and behaviors that enable sustainable development, through environmental education, both in the formal and non-formal system;

(i) Organizing and integrating environmental information and ensuring free access to environmental information;

(j) Establish a federal inter-jurisdictional coordination system for the implementation of national and regional environmental policies

(k) Establish appropriate procedures and mechanisms for the minimization of environmental risks, for the prevention and mitigation of environmental emergencies and for the recomposition of damage caused by environmental pollution.

Article 3 This law shall govern the whole territory of the Nation, its provisions shall be of public order, operations and shall be used for the interpretation and application of the specific legislation on the subject, which shall remain in force as soon as it is not contrary to the principles and provisions contained therein.

Principles of environmental policy

ARTICLE 4 The interpretation and application of this law, and of any other rule through which the environmental policy is implemented, shall be subject to the following principles:

Principle of congruence: Provincial and municipal legislation relating to environmental matters shall be appropriate to the principles and norms set out in this law; if this is not the case, it shall prevail over any other norm opposing it.

Principle of prevention: The causes and sources of environmental problems will be addressed in a priority and integrated manner, trying to prevent the negative effects on the environment.

Precautionary principle: Where there is a danger of serious or irreversible damage, the absence of scientific information or certainty should not be used as a reason for delaying effective cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. .

Principle of intergenerational equity: Environmental protection officials must ensure the appropriate use and enjoyment of the environment by present and future generations.

Principle of progressivity: Environmental objectives should be achieved gradually, through inter- and final goals, projected in a timeline that facilitates the adequacy of activities related to those objectives.

Principle of responsibility: The generator of degrading effects of the environment, current or future, is responsible for the costs of preventive and corrective actions of recomposition, without prejudice to the validity of the appropriate environmental liability systems.

Principle of subsidiarity: The national State, through the various bodies of the public administration, has an obligation to collaborate and, if necessary, to participate in a complementary way in the actions of individuals in the preservation and protection of the environment.

Principle of sustainability: Economic and social development and the use of natural resources should be carried out through appropriate environmental management, so that it does not compromise the possibilities of present and future generations.

Principle of solidarity: The Nation and the provincial States will be responsible for the prevention and mitigation of the adverse transboundary environmental effects of their own actions, as well as the minimization of environmental risks on shared ecological systems.

Principle of cooperation: Natural resources and shared ecological systems will be used equitably and rationally, the treatment and mitigation of transboundary environmental emergencies will be developed jointly.

ARTICLE 5o The various levels of government will integrate in all its decisions and activities environmental forecasts, aimed at ensuring compliance with the principles set out in this law.

Minimum budget

ARTICLE 6 It is understood by a minimum budget, set out in article 41 of the National Constitution, to any rule granting uniform or common environmental protection for the entire national territory, and is intended to impose conditions necessary to ensure environmental protection. In its content, it should provide the necessary conditions to ensure the dynamics of ecological systems, maintain their load capacity and, in general, ensure environmental preservation and sustainable development.

Judicial competence

ARTICLE 7 The application of this law is for ordinary courts as appropriate by territory, matter, or persons.

In cases where the act, omission or situation generated effectively causes degradation or pollution in interjurisdictional environmental resources, competition will be federal.

Instruments of environmental policy and management

ARTICLE 8 The instruments of environmental policy and management shall be as follows:

1. Environmental management of the territory

2. Environmental impact assessment.

3. The control system on the development of atropic activities.

4. Environmental education.

5. The diagnostic system and environmental information.

6. The economic regime for the promotion of sustainable development.

Environmental management

Article 9 The environmental system will develop the overall functioning structure of the territory of the Nation and are generated by the inter-jurisdictional coordination between the municipalities and the provinces, and the city of Buenos Aires with the Nation, through the Federal Environment Council (COFEMA); the same will have to consider the concertation of interests of the different sectors of society between themselves, and of them with the public administration.

ARTICLE 10. The process of environmental management, taking into account the political, physical, social, technological, cultural, economic, legal and ecological aspects of local, regional and national realities, should ensure the environmentally sound use of environmental resources, enable the maximum production and use of different ecosystems, ensure the minimum degradation and waste and promote social participation, in the fundamental decisions of sustainable development.

In addition, in locating the various atropic activities and in the development of human settlements, priority should be given to:

(a) The vocation of each area or region, depending on environmental resources and social, economic and ecological sustainability;

(b) The distribution of the population and its particular characteristics;

(c) The particular nature and characteristics of different biomas;

(d) Changes in biomas by effect of human settlements, economic activities or other human activities or natural phenomena;

(e) The conservation and protection of significant ecosystems.

Environmental impact assessment

ARTICLE 11. Any work or activity that, in the territory of the Nation, may degrade the environment, any of its components, or affect the quality of life of the population, in a significant way, shall be subject to an environmental impact assessment procedure, prior to its implementation,

ARTICLE 12. Physical or legal persons shall initiate the proceedings with the presentation of an affidavit, in which it appears whether the works or activities will affect the environment. The competent authorities will determine the presentation of an environmental impact study, whose requirements will be detailed in particular law and, consequently, they will have to undertake an environmental impact assessment and issue an environmental impact statement showing approval or rejection of the studies presented.

ARTICLE 13. Environmental impact studies should contain, at least, a detailed description of the project of the work or activity to be carried out, the identification of environmental consequences, and actions aimed at mitigating negative effects.

Environmental education

ARTICLE 14. Environmental education is the basic tool for generating values, behaviours and attitudes that are consistent with a balanced environment, which are conducive to the preservation of natural resources and their sustainable use, and improve the quality of life of the population.

ARTICLE 15. Environmental education will constitute a continuous and ongoing process, subject to constant updating that, as a result of the orientation and articulation of the various disciplines and educational experiences, will facilitate the integral perception of the environment and the development of an environmental awareness,

The competent authorities should coordinate with the federal environmental councils (COFEMA) and the implementation of plans and programmes in the education, formal and non-formal systems.

The jurisdictions, depending on the specific basic contents, shall implement the respective programmes or curricula through the relevant rules.

Environmental information

ARTICLE 16. Physical and legal persons, public or private, should provide information related to environmental quality and related to the activities they develop.

Any inhabitant may obtain from the authorities the environmental information they administer and which is not legally contemplated as reserved.

ARTICLE 17. The implementing authority should develop an integrated national information system that manages the significant and relevant data of the environment, and evaluates the available environmental information; it should also project and maintain a system of data collection on basic environmental parameters, establishing the necessary mechanisms for effective implementation through the Federal Environment Council (COFEMA).

ARTICLE 18. The authorities will be responsible for reporting on the state of the environment and the possible effects on it of current and projected atropic activities.

The Executive Branch, through the relevant agencies, will produce an annual report on the country ' s environmental situation to be submitted to the National Congress. The report will contain an analysis and evaluation of the state of environmental sustainability in the ecological, economic, social and cultural aspects of the entire national territory.

Citizen participation

ARTICLE 19. Everyone has a right to be consulted and a review of administrative procedures related to the preservation and protection of the environment, which are of general or particular incidence, and of general scope.

ARTICLE 20. The authorities shall institutionalize procedures for public consultations or hearings as mandatory bodies for the authorization of activities that may generate negative and significant effects on the environment.

The opinion or objection of the participants shall not be binding on the convocating authorities; but in the event that they submit an opinion contrary to the results of the hearing or public consultation they shall inform and make it public.

ARTICLE 21. Citizen participation should be ensured, primarily, in environmental impact assessment procedures and in the environmental management plans and programmes of the territory, in particular in the planning and evaluation of results.

Environmental insurance and restoration fund

ARTICLE 22. Any natural or legal person, public or private, who carries out activities that are hazardous to the environment, ecosystems and their constituent elements, shall hire a coverage insurance with sufficient entity to guarantee the financing of the recomposition of the damage that in his type can produce; likewise, according to the case and the possibilities, he may integrate an environmental restoration fund that will enable the implementation of reparation actions.

Federal Environmental System

ARTICLE 23. The Federal Environmental System is established to develop the coordination of environmental policy, aimed at achieving sustainable development, between the national government, the provincial governments and that of the City of Buenos Aires. It will be implemented through the Federal Environment Council (COFEMA).

ARTICLE 24. The Executive Branch shall propose to the Assembly of the Federal Environment Council the issuance of recommendations or resolutions, as appropriate, in accordance with the Constitutive Act of that federal agency, for the proper enforcement and effective implementation of the minimum budget laws, provincial supplements, and their regulations in the different jurisdictions.

Ratification of federal agreements

ARTICLE 25. The following federal agreements are ratified:

1. Constitutive act of the Federal Environment Council (COFEMA), signed on 31 August 1990, in the city of La Rioja, the text of which includes this law as annex I.

2. Federal Environmental Pact, signed on 5 June 1993 in the city of Buenos Aires, the text of which is annex II to this Act.


ARTICLE 26. The competent authorities shall establish measures to:

(a) The implementation of environmental quality protection systems developed by those responsible for hazardous productive activities;

(b) Implementing voluntary commitments and self-regulation through environmental management policies and programmes;

(c) Promotional measures and incentives. In addition, the certification mechanisms carried out by independent, duly accredited and authorized agencies should be taken into account.

Environmental damage

ARTICLE 27. This chapter establishes the rules governing legal, lawful or unlawful acts or acts that, by action or omission, cause environmental damage of collective incidence. Environmental damage is defined as any relevant alteration that negatively changes the environment, its resources, the balance of ecosystems, or collective assets or values.

ARTICLE 28. Whoever causes environmental damage will be objectively responsible for its restoration to the state prior to its production. In the event that it is not technically feasible, the substitute compensation to be determined by the intervening ordinary justice shall be deposited with the Environmental Compensation Fund established by the present, which shall be administered by the enforcement authority, without prejudice to other judicial actions that may be appropriate.

ARTICLE 29. The waiver of liability shall only occur by acknowledging that, despite the adoption of all measures aimed at avoiding it and without the concurrent fault of the person responsible, the damage was caused by the victim ' s exclusive fault or by a third party for which he or she should not respond.

Civil or criminal liability, for environmental damage, is independent of the administration. Liability of the perpetrator of environmental damage is presumed iuris tantum if there are breaches of administrative environmental standards.

ARTICLE 30. Produced the collective environmental damage, they will have the right to obtain the recomposition of the damaged environment, the affected person, the Ombudsman and the non-governmental environmental defence associations, as provided for in article 43 of the National Constitution, and the national, provincial or municipal State; also, the person directly affected by the damage to his or her jurisdiction shall be entitled to the action of recomposition or compensation.

Deduced demand for collective environmental damage by any of the aforementioned holders, the remaining holders will not be able to lodge it, which does not impede their right to intervene as third parties.

Without prejudice to the above, a person may, by means of amparo, request the cessation of activities generating collective environmental damage.

ARTICLE 31. If two or more persons have participated in the commission of collective environmental damage, or the precise determination of the measure of the damage provided by each person responsible is not possible, they shall all be jointly liable for reparation to society, without prejudice, if any, to the right of repetition between themselves for which the judge concerned may determine the degree of responsibility of each person responsible.

In the event that the damage is caused by legal persons, liability is extended to their authorities and professionals, to the extent of their participation.

ARTICLE 32. Environmental judicial jurisdiction shall be the one that corresponds to the ordinary rules of competition. Access to jurisdiction over environmental issues will not admit any restrictions of any kind or species. The intervening judge may have all necessary measures to order, conduct or prove the damages in the proceedings, in order to effectively protect the general interest. Furthermore, in its Judgment, in accordance with the rules of sound criticism, the judge may extend his judgment to matters not expressly submitted by the parties..

In any state of the proceedings, even as a precautionary measure, emergency measures may be requested, even without hearing from the opposing party, with due caution for damages that may occur. The judge may also order them without a request.

ARTICLE 33. Views issued by State agencies on environmental damage, added to the process, shall have the evidentiary force of expert reports, without prejudice to the right of the parties to challenge them.

The sentence shall be tried and shall have effect erga omnes, except that the action is rejected, albeit partially, by evidentiary matters.

From the Environmental Compensation Fund

ARTICLE 34. Trust the Environmental Compensation Fund to be administered by the competent authority of each jurisdiction and to ensure environmental quality, the prevention and mitigation of harmful or hazardous effects on the environment, the care of environmental emergencies; and the protection, preservation, conservation or compensation of ecological systems and the environment.

The authorities may determine that the fund will contribute to sustaining the costs of restoration actions that can minimize the damage generated.

The integration, composition, administration and destination of such a fund shall be treated by special law.

ARTICLE 35. Contact the Executive.


  • _

EDUARDO O. CHANGE. .JUAN C. MAQUEDA. . Eduardo D. Rollano.. Juan C. Oyarzún.

- No.

NOTE: The bold texts were observed.

ANNEX I Acta Constitutiva del Consejo Federal de Medio Ambiente

High signatory parts:

They declare:

Recognizing: That the preservation and preservation of the environment in the country ' s territory requires for the improvement of the quality of life a coordinated and participatory policy, whereby the environmental system is a complexity that transcends the provincial political borders.

That federalism is a political system of territorial distribution of competencies that can effectively resolve the local administration of environmental problems.

It is also suitable to generate an environmental policy of integration between the provinces and the federal government.

That we are faced with a universal problem that is one of the great challenges facing the international community.

Considering that the environment is a common heritage of society and that its balance depends on the life and development possibilities of the country.

That coordination between the different levels of governance and society is indispensable for the effectiveness of environmental actions.

That environmental resources should be used in a manner that ensures optimal and sustained productivity, with balance and integrity.

The diffusion of appropriate technologies for environmental management, environmental information and the formation of public awareness of the preservation of the environment are essential in the formulation of environmental policy.

Therefore, the signatory states agree that:

Creation, object and constitution

Article 1: Créase el Consejo Federal de Medio Ambiente (COFEMA) como organismo permanente para la concertación y elaboración de una política ambiental coordinación entre los Estados miembros.

Article 2: COFEMA will have the following objectives:

1. Formulate a comprehensive environmental policy, both preventive and corrective, based on the corresponding diagnostics, taking into account local, provincial, regional, national and international steps.

2. Coordinate regional environmental management strategies and programmes, fostering concerted policies as a permanent way of action, with all sectors of the Nation involved in environmental issues.

3. Develop policies for the conservation use of environmental resources.

4. Promote economic growth and development planning with social equity in harmony with the environment.

5. To disseminate the concept that responsibility for the protection and/or preservation of the environment must be shared between the community and the State.

6. Promote the administrative system for environmental strategy and management in the Nation, provinces and municipalities.

7. To demand and control the conduct of environmental impact studies, in inter-jurisdictional, national and international impacts.

8. To promote programmes and actions of environmental education, both in the formal and informal education system, aimed at raising the quality of life of the population.

9. Establish and update the required levels of environmental quality and conduct comparative studies, promoting the unification of variables and methodologies for monitoring environmental resources throughout the country.

10. Establish a database of environmental data and projects.

11. Manage international financing of environmental projects.

Article 3: COFEMA shall be a legal person of public law constituted by the ratifying States, the Federal Government and the Provinces that subsequently adhere and the City of Buenos Aires.

Article 4: The States Parties are obliged to adopt, through the appropriate power, the general rules and regulations governing the Assembly when issued in the form of a resolution.

In the event of non-compliance or express negativity, the Assembly at the immediate ordinary meeting shall consider alternatives to the general regime to be submitted by the Member State or the Executive Secretariat.

Composition of COFEMA

Article 5: COFEMA shall be composed of the Assembly. The Executive Secretariat and the Administrative Secretariat.


Article 6: The Assembly is the highest organ of the Council with decision-making power, and as such it is responsible for setting the general policy and action to be taken.

It shall consist of a minister or official representative holder or his alternate, specifically designated by the Power or Department or Executive of the member States.

Article 7: The Assembly shall elect from among its members present by a two-thirds majority of its votes, a President who shall remain in office until the meeting of the next Ordinary Assembly.

Article 8: The Assemblies shall be ordinary and extraordinary.

The ordinary shall meet twice a year at the place and date indicated by the previous Assembly.

The extraordinary shall be convened at the request of one third of the members of the Council or by the Executive Secretariat.

Article 9: The Assembly shall be issued in the form of:

(a) Recommendation: determination that will not have binding effect on member states.

(b) Resolution: Decision with binding effect on member states.

Attributions of the Assembly

Article 10: The powers of the Assembly shall be:

(a) Dictate the operating rules of the Council.

(b) Establish and adopt all general measures and standards for the implementation of the objectives set out in Article 2.

(c) Propose the contributions to be made by member states for the support of the agency.

(d) Adopt the proposed annual budget of the council to be submitted by the Executive Secretariat.

(e) Dictate the rules for the appointment of staff.

(f) Create the advisory commissions and councils necessary for the fulfilment of their purposes.

(g) To adopt an annual environmental report prepared by the Executive Secretariat and to be disseminated in member States.

(h) To assess the management of the Executive Secretariat.

Quorum and voting

Article 11: The Assembly shall sit with a quorum consisting of half of the members of the Council.

Article 12: Each member of the Assembly shall have the right to one vote.

Article 13: The decisions of the Assembly shall be taken by the vote of half plus one of its members present, except when a higher majority is established.

Article 14: The Executive Secretariat chaired by the president of the assembly shall be the executive and control body. It shall issue the necessary instructions for the implementation of these resolutions, indicating in the relevant report, that it shall elevate to the ordinary assembly, the difficulties and alternatives it creates appropriate.

Article 15: The Executive Secretariat shall consist of a delegate from each of the regions in which the Assembly decides to divide the country.

The representation will be annual and rotating among members who form each region.

Article 16: The Executive Secretariat will strongly communicate the call to assembly, in advance of not less than ten days and the order of the day must be included.

Article 17: The Executive Secretariat shall promote the conclusion of agreements between member States in order to integrate jurisdictions.

Administrative Secretariat

Article 18: The Administrative Secretariat shall be appointed and organized by the Ordinary Assembly.

Article 19: Its functions will be the administrative and budgetary management of the agency.

Supplementary provisions

Article 20: This agreement shall be ratified by members in accordance with their respective legal procedures.

Membership shall not be acquired until this procedure has been completed.

Article 21: Subsequent ratification and accessions shall contain a smooth and flat acceptance or rejection of it, without modification.

Article 22: Ratifications and accessions shall be handed over to the Administrative Secretariat, which shall notify all members of their receipt.

Article 23: The headquarters of COFEMA shall be constituted in the jurisdiction represented by the President of the Assembly.

Article 24: The vote of two thirds of the member States shall be required for the modification of the present record.

Article 25: This Agreement may be denounced by the members of COFEMA with a prior notice of ninety days and shall be communicated, in a fruitful manner, to the President of the Assembly, since then being excluded from the scope of the Agreement.

Transitional arrangements

Article 26: The Administrative Secretariat shall correspond until its final constitution to the representative of the Province of La Rioja.

Article 27: COFEMA shall begin to operate within ninety days of the date of the Constituent Assembly, provided that this agreement has been ratified during that period, or has acceded, at least seven jurisdictions, or after that date, if this number of members is reached.

Article 28: The signatories of the present record, who act in a referendum of the Provincial Powers represent the following jurisdictions: Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Córdoba, Formosa, La Rioja, Municipality of the City of Buenos Aires, Neuquén, Salta, San Juan, Santa Fe and Tucumán. Signed: Doctor Cristina Maiztegui, advisor to the Interministerial Commission of Environmental Policy, General Advisory of Government, Province of Buenos Aires: Arquitecta Julia Mercedes Corpacci, Director of Environment, Province of Catamarca; Engineer Daniel Esteban Di Giusto, Assistant Secretary of Environmental Management, Province of Córdoba, Mr. Emilio Eduardo Díaz, Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources and Ecology, Province of Formosa; Architect Mauro Nicolás Bazán De Yankelevich, Director General of Environmental Management, Neuquén Province; Architect Sergio Perota, member of the Provincial Environment Council, Salta Province; Federico Ozollo, Advisor to the Ministry of Social Action and Public Health, San Juan Province; Engineer Jorge Alberto Hammerly, Director General of Environmental Sanitation; Engineer Julio Oscar Graieb, Director General of Environmental Sanitation, Tucumán Province. Twelve (12) copies of the same tenor are signed in the city of La Rioja at thirty-one (31) days of August 1990.

Annex II Federal Environmental Pact

In the city of Buenos Aires, the capital of the Argentine Republic, on the five days of July of the year, nine hundred and ninety-three.

In the presence of Mr.President of the Nation, Dr. Carlos Saul Menem, Mr. Minister of the Interior, Dr. Gustavo Beliz, Mrs. Secretary of State of Natural Resources and Human Environment and Lords Governors of the Provinces of Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Córdoba, Corrientes, Chaco, Chubut, Entre Ríos Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquén, Río Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Fuego

The signatory authorities declare:


That the preservation, conservation and improvement of the environment are the objectives of impending actions that have acquired dramatic currentity, from the moment that it has become aware that economic development cannot be detached from environmental protection.

That this situation commits, not only to all the governmental strata of the Republic, but also to each of the citizens, regardless of their social status or function.

That the will reflected in the Federal Covenant signed in the city of Luján on 24 May 1990, and the commitments made to the world at UNUMAD mul92, makes it essential to create the federal mechanisms that the National Constitution contemplates and, in compliance with that commitment, it is appropriate to reaffirm the spirit and federal action in the field of natural resources and the environment.


The Nation and the Provinces represented here agree:

I. The objective of the present agreement is to promote environmentally sound policies throughout the national territory, establishing Framework Agreements between the Federal States and between the Federal States and the nation, which speed up and give greater efficiency to the preservation of the environment, with reference to the postulates of Agenda 21 adopted at UNCED.

II. - To promote at the provincial level the unification and/or coordination of all agencies related to environmental issues, focusing on the maximum possible level the setting of natural resource and environmental policies.

III. Signatory States recognize the Federal Environment Council as a valid instrument for the coordination of environmental policy in the Argentine Republic.

IV. Signatory States undertake to bring environmental legislation into their jurisdictions.

V. In the area of environmental awareness development, signatory States undertake to promote and adopt policies for education, scientific-technological research, training, training and community participation that lead to the protection and preservation of the environment.

VI. - The governors shall propose to their respective provincial legislatures the ratification by law of this agreement, if applicable.

VII. - The National State designates before the Federal Environment Council for the implementation of actions to be carried out in order to comply with the principles contained in this Agreement, to the National Secretariat for Natural Resources and Human Environment.