National

This section indicates where to find environmental laws for each of SPREP's members: 14 Pacific Island countries, 4 metropolitan countries and 7 territories.

The best online source of laws for Pacific island countries and territories is the Paclii site. 
For legal research tools see: www.paclii.org/gateway
Refer to PEIN Country Profiles for information on PICs.

From time to time environmental legislative reviews are conducted for countries or territories. These are noted in the Table below.

Country 1992/1993 2002/2003  2004/2013  2014 Other
Cook Island
 
 
Fiji 
 
 
Kiribati
 
 
Marshall Islands
 
Micronesia, FS
 
 
Nauru 
 
 Overview
 
Niue 
Review Environmental
Law  
 
Palau 
 
 
PNG  
 
 
Samoa 
 Overview
Solomon Islands  Overview
 
 
Tokelau   
 
 
Tonga 
 
 
Tuvalu  Overview
 
Vanuatu 
 
 


American Samoa

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Under the AS Bar Association websitewww.asbar.org/, go to "Legal Resources" which contains the AS Code (which includes a detailed Index), the AS Administrative Code and a search engine for court decisions. Under the AS Code, the following Titles are relevant:

Title 18: Parks & Recreation
Title 20: Harbors & Navigation
Title 24: Natural Resources and Environment Ecosystem Protection and Developmenth 1: Environmental Quality Act

Ch 2: Village Soil Conservation Laws
Ch 7: Endangered Species
Ch 8: Noxious Weeds
Ch 12: Pesticides
Ch 23: Conservation of Flying Foxes

Title 25: Environmental Health

Ch 20: Solid and Industrial Waste and Refuse
Ch 30: Safe Drinking Water Standards

Title 26: Environmental Safety and Land Management

Ch 3: Zoning Regulations
Ch 10: Uniform Building Code

Regulations:

24: Ecosystem Protection and Development
26: Environmental Safety and Land Management

Australia

See http://www.environment.gov.au/about/legislation.html for federal and state legislation.  For information on cases as well as statutes generally refer to www.austlii.org/. Federal laws include:

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

Cook Islands

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Environment Act 2003
Fisheries Protection Act 1976Land Use Act 1969
Marine Pollution Act 1974 (NZ)
Marine Resources Act 1989
Noise Control Act 1986
Pesticides Act 1987Plants Act 1973
Prevention of Marine Pollution Act 1998
Rarotonga Environment Act 1994-1995

Rarotonga Environment Amendment Act 1998
Rarotonga Environment Amendment Act 1999

Re-Use of Bottles Act 1988
Wandering Animals Act 1976

Fiji

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Birds and Game Protection Act [Cap 170]
Endangered and Protected Species Act 2002

Endangered and Protected Species Regulations 2003

Environment Management Act 2005
Fisheries Act [Cap 158]

Fisheries (Protection of Turtles) (Amendments) Regulations 2004

Forest Decree 1992
Land Conservation and Improvement Act [Cap 141]
Land Development Act [Cap 142]
Litter Decree 1991
Natural Disaster Management Act 1998
Rivers and Streams Act [Cap 136]
Ozone Depleting Substances Act 1998
Town Planning Act [Cap 139]

France

For laws generally including application of the French Environmental Code to its Pacific territories see: www.legifrance.gouv.fr/.

French Polynesia

See www.environnement.pf Agir - Textes juridiques. See also dmi.net/min/pm/tex/polynesie.html.

Guam

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site.

For environmental laws see www.guamepa.govguam.net/regs

Important environmental laws include:

Guam Code Annotated: Title 10 - Health & Safety
Ch 45: Guam Environmental Protection Agency Act
Ch 46: Water Resources Conservation Act
Ch 47: Water Pollution Control Act
Ch 49: Air Pollution Control Act
Ch 51: Solid Waste Management and Litter Control
Ch 53: Guam Safe Drinking Water Act
Ch 54: Environmental Pollution Control Act
Ch 76: Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act

Guam does not have a single document called the Constitution. Instead the Organic Act of Guam, 64 Stat. 384, 48 U.S.C. 1421, et. seq. and related federal laws provide the framework for the government of Guam.

Kiribati

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Environment Act 1999
Fisheries Ordinance [Cap 33]
Land Planning Ordinance [Cap 48]
Recreational Reserves Act 1996
Special Fund (Waste Material Recovery) Act 2004
Wildlife Conservation Ordinance [Cap 100]

Marshall Islands

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental statutes include:

Alternative Energy Fund Act 1989 [Title 35 Cap 3]
Coast Conservation Act 1988 [Title 35 Cap 4]
Endangered Species Act 1975 [Title 8 Cap 5]
Littering Act 1982 [Title 35 Cap 2]
Marine Mammal Protection Act 1990 [Title 33 Cap 5]
National Environmental Protection Act 1984 [Title 35 Cap 1]
Planning and Zoning Act [Title 10 Cap 2]
Public Lands and Resources Act [Title 9 Cap 1]

Micronesia, Federated States of

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. National laws can be found onsmlaw.org./fsm/code/index.htm (eg, Title 23: Resource Conservation, Title 25: Environmental Protection) as well as national regulations (eg, Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Earthmoving Regulations). In addition each State has its own Constitution, Code and regulations.

Important environmental laws include:

National laws and regulations

Marine Resources Act 2002

Marine Resources Amendment Act 2001

Title 23. Resource Conservation

Chapter 1. Marine Species Preservation (§§ 101-116)

Chapter 3. Endangered Species Act (§§ 301-317)

Title 25. Environmental Protection

Subtitle 1 Trust Territory Environmental Quality Protection Act

Chapter 1. General Provisions (§§ 101-104)

Chapter 2. Environmental Protection Board (§§ 201-208)

Chapter 3. Enforcement (§§ 301-309)

Chapter 4. District Advisory Boards (§§ 401-413) Subtitle 2 Federated State of Micronesia Environmental Protection Act

Chapter 5. General Provisions (§§ 501-503)

Chapter 6. FSM Environmental Protection Board (§§ 606-610)

Chapter 7. Enforcement (§§ 701-708)

Regulations:

Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

Part I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Part II. RESPONSIBILITIES

Part III. EIA PROCESS

Part IV. INITIAL ASSESSMENT

Part V. COMPRHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Part VI. CONTENTS OF ENIVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT STATEMENT

Part VII. APPEAL FROM AGENCY ACTION

Earthmoving Regulations

Part I. GENERAL PROVISON

Part II. EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION CONTROL

Part III. PERMITS

Part IV. RIGHT OF ENTRY

Part V. ENFORCEMENT

Part VI. SEVERABILITY

Part VII. REPEALERS

Chuuk State

Title 22. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

Chapter 1. Chuuk State Environmental Protection Act

Chapter 3. Littering

Chapter 4. Fire Control

Kosrae State

Title 11. LAND AND ENVIRONMENT

Chapter 11. Marine Life

Chapter 12. Rivers and Streams

Chapter 13. Protection of Environment

Chapter 14. Antiquities

Chapter 15. Pig Control

Chapter 16. Wildlife

Pohnpei State (pending)

Yap State

Title 18. Conservation and Resources

Division 3. CONSERVATION

Chapter 10. Wildlife Conservation

Chapter 11. Fruitbats

Division 4. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Chapter 15. Environmental Quality Protection

Nauru

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Fisheries Act 1997

Fisheries Regulations 1998

Lands Act 1976

Marine Resources Act 1978

Wild Birds Preservation Ordinance 1937

New Caledonia

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site.

For New Caledonia and Provinces legislation see www.juridoc.gouv.nc then: Le droit - Autres textes - législatifs et réglementaires - Accès thématique - Environnement.

New Caledonia was annexed by France in 1853 and became an Overseas Territory in 1958. Its current status is set down in the New Caledonia Act 1999 (la loi organique du 19/03/99). The Act identifies four territorial authorities: the French State, New Caledonia, the Provinces (Loyalty Islands, North and South) and the  Municipalities and spells out the powers accorded to each authority. The three provinces are given most of powers in environmental matters:

Province des Iles (comprising the 3 Loyalty islands)

Province Nord

Délibération relative aux installations classées pour la protection de l'environnement

Code de développement de la Province Nord

Code de développement de la Province Nord - Synthèse

Code de développement de la Province Nord - Annexe 1

Code de développement de la Province Nord - Annexe 2

Province Sud

New Zealand

For environmental statutes and treaties refer to www.mfe.govt.nz/laws. For the Environment Court refer to: www.justice.govt.nz/environment/. Cases under the Resource Management Act can be found at: www.rma.net.nz/. For statutes or cases generally, refer to:www.legislation.govt.nz/.

Some important statutes include:

Climate Change Response Act 2002

Environment Act 1986

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000

Biosecurity Act 1993

Conservation Act 1987

Fisheries Act 1996

Forests Act 1949

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978

Marine Reserves Act 1971

National Parks Act 1980

Native Plants Protection Act 1934

Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996

Plants Act 1970

Resource Management Act 1991

Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941

Trade In Endangered Species Act 1989

Wildlife Act 1953

Niue

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Domestic Fishing Act 1995

Environment Act 2003

Mining Act 1977

Water Resources Act 1996

Wildlife Ordinance 1972

Northern Mariana Islands

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site; legislation can be searched on the website of the "Commonwealth Law Revision Commission".

Palau

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site.

Useful Information can be gleaned from "Ministry of Justice" and "Ministry of Resources":www.palaugov.net/president/president.html.

Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution of the Republic of Palau provides:

Major governmental powers ... may be delegated by treaty, compact, or other agreement between the sovereign nation or international organization, provided such treaty, compact or agreement shall be approved by not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of each house of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and by a majority of the votes cast in a nationwide referendum conducted for such purpose, provided, that any such agreement which authorizes use, testing, storage or disposal of nuclear, toxic chemical, gas or biological weapons intended for use in warfare shall require approval of not less than three-fourths (3/4) of the votes cast in such referendum.

Some relevant information:

Title 24 of the Code addresses Environmental Protection and is broken into the following Divisions:

DIVISION I ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Chapter I Environmental Quality Protection Act 
Chapter 2 Trust Territory Environmental Quality Protection Act

DIVISION II WILDLIFE PROTECTION

Chapter 10 Endangered Species Act 
Chapter 12 Protected Sea Life 
Chapter 13 Illegal Methods of Capture
Chapter 14 Protected Land Life

DIVISION III PRESERVES AND PROTECTED AREAS

Chapter 30 Ngerukewid Island Wildlife Preserve
Chapter 31 Ngerumekaol Spawning Area
Chapter 32 Natural Heritage Reserve System

Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) Regulations

The purpose of  the Environmental Quality Protection Act is to ensure protection of the environment while promoting sustainable economic development. The Act created the Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB), a semi-autonomous agency of the Republic, responsible for the protection and conservation of the environment. EQPB oversees regulations regarding: (1) Earthmoving, (2) Marine and Freshwater Quality (3) Pesticides (4) Environmental Impact Statements, (5) Air Pollution Control.

Papua New Guinea

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. The Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea provides:

4.  Natural resources and environment.

We declare our fourth goal to be for Papua New Guinea's natural resources and environment to be conserved and used for the collective benefit of us all, and be replenished for the benefit of future generations.

WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR—

(1) wise use to be made of our natural resources and the environment in and on the land or seabed, in the sea, under the land, and in the air, in the interests of our development and in trust for future generations; and

(2) the conservation and replenishment, for the benefit of ourselves and posterity, of the environment and its sacred, scenic, and historical qualities; and

(3) all necessary steps to be taken to give adequate protection to our valued birds, animals, fish, insects, plants and trees.

Important environmental laws include:

Conservation Areas Act 1978

Crocodile Trade (Protection) Act 1974

Crocodile Trade (Protection) Regulation 1980

Dumping of Wastes at Sea Act 1979

Environmental Contaminants Act 1978

Environmental Contaminants (Pesticides) Regulation 1988

Environmental Planning Act 1978

Environmental Planning Regulations1992

Environment Act 2000

Fauna (Protection and Control) Act 1966

Fauna (Protection and Control) Regulation 1968

Fauna (Protection and Control) Bagiai Wildlife Management Area Rules 1977

Fisheries Management Act 1998

Fisheries Management Regulation 2000

Forestry Act 1991

Forestry Regulation 1998

International Trade (Fauna and Flora) (Fauna) Regulation 1982

International Trade (Fauna and Flora) Act 1979

Land Act 1996

Mining Act 1992

National Parks Act 1982

National Parks Regulation 1984

National Water Supply and Sewerage Act 1986

Oil and Gas Act 1998

Physical Planning Act 1989

Physical Planning Regulation 1990

Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Act 1979

Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Regulation 1980

Public Health Act 1973

Water Resources Act 1982

Water Resources Regulation 1982

Samoa

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Lands, Surveys and Environment Act 1989

National Parks and Reserves Act 1974

Noxious Weeds Ordinance 1961

Planning and Urban Management Act 2004

Plants Act 1984

Samoa Water Authority Act 2003

Stevenson Memorial Reserve and Mount Vaea Scenic Reserve Ordinance 1958

Water Act 1965

Solomon Islands

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Environment Act 1998

Environmental Health Act [Cap 99]

Fisheries Act 1998

Forest Resources and Timber Utilisation Act [Cap 40]

Mines and Minerals Act [Cap 42]

National Parks Act [Cap 149]

River Waters Act [Cap 135]

Town and Country Planning Act [Cap 154]

Wild Birds Protection Act [Cap 45]

Wildlife Protection And Management Act 1998

Tokelau

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Biosecurity Rules 2003

Marine Pollution Act 1974 (NZ)

Marine Pollution Regulations 1990

Marine Pollution (Dumping and Incineration) Regulations 1982

Marine Pollution Rules 1998

Tonga

Legislation can be found on http://legislation.to/cms/home.html. or the Paclii site for both legislation and cases. Important environmental laws include:

Birds and Fish Preservation Act [Cap 125]

Environmental Impact Assessment Act 2003

Fisheries Regulation Act [Cap 122]

Forests Act [Cap 126]

Garbage Act [Cap 101]

Minerals Act [Cap 133]

Noxious Weeds Act [Cap 128]

Parks and Reserves Act [Cap 89]

Pesticides Act 2002

Petroleum Mining Act [Cap 134]

Tuvalu

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Conservation Areas Act 1999

Foreshore and Land Reclamation Ordinance [Cap 26]

Marine Pollution Act 1991

Pesticides Act 1990

Plants Ordinance [Cap 39]

Wildlife Conservation Ordinance [Cap 47]

Wreck and Salvage Amendment Act 1990

(At independence all Ordinances were redesignated Acts)

United States of America

US environmental laws can be accessed at  http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/index.html. The National Environmental Policy Act  (NEPA) 1969-70 (NEPA) is the basic national charter for protection of the environment. Other major federal laws include:

Clean Air

Water Pollution

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability

Emergency Planning

Endangered Species

Oil Pollution

Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) 1990

Solid Waste Disposal

Toxic Substance Control

For a search of State laws refer towww.constructionweblinks.com/Industry_Topics/Laws_and_Regulations_--_Full_T/laws_and_regulations_--_full_t.html.

Vanuatu

Article 7(d) of the Constitution of the Republic of Vanuatu provides:

Every person has the following fundamental duties to himself and his descendants and to others ... (d) to protect the Republic of Vanuatu and to safeguard the national wealth, resources and environment in the interests of the present generation and of future generations;

Legislation and cases can be found on the Paclii site. Important environmental laws include:

Derelict Vessels (Disposal) Act [Cap 9]

Environmental Management and Conservation Act 2002

Forestry Act [Cap 147]

National Parks Act 1993

Physical Planning Act [Cap 193]

Water Resources Management Act 2002

Wild Bird (Protection) Act [Cap 30]

Conventions are given the force of law in their entirety at the national level by way of Act of Parliament, eg, Convention on Biological Diversity (Ratification) Act 1992.

Wallis and Futuna

Act No. 61.814 of 29 july 1961 confers on Wallis and Futuna the status of French Overseas Territory. There are four established authorities: the French State, the Territory, the Wards, and in Wallis only, the Districts. Traditional institutions co-exist alongside these authorities, in Wallis, the Uvea Kingdom and in Futuna the Kingdoms of Sigave and Alo.

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