Chapter VIII. Water, Environment and Natural Resources
Laws shall regulate the management, protection, exploitation and investment of natural resources in accordance with this Constitution. Due consideration should be made to transparency, competitiveness, environmental and water protection, consultations with the citizens and engaging them in environmental, economic and social impacts assessment concerning the exploitation and investment of natural resources.
Protection of Fish Populations
The State shall protect the fish population and federal law shall regulate fishing activities, including:
- Formulation of a policy for marine resources and fish wealth, in a manner that ensures protection, prevention of overfishing and protection of traditional fishing rights.
- Setting standards and conditions for licensing of fishing.
- Provision of mechanisms and define responsibility and roles of each wilaya, region and the federal government concerning the organization of fishing.
The wilaya shall be responsible for the development and management of fish resources within the scope defined by law.
- Water resources are ultimately owned by the people of Yemen. The State shall be responsible for the preservation of water resources and shall secure the people’s need for water of good quality and that is distributed equitably. Water resources may not be subjected to private ownership.
- A federal law shall establish an integrated system of water resource management, including the sustainability of water basins, surface water, catchments, water flows and protection thereof from pollution and transgressions. The law shall define the powers of the regions, wilayas, cities and districts in the area of water resources.
- The wilayas, cities and districts shall assume the responsibility of local water supply provision in accordance with federal law.
- Unlicensed drilling of deepwater wells is a crime punishable by law.
The State shall protect the environment and endeavors to safeguard its elements and components from pollution, degradation and the maintenance of the natural balance and biodiversity, including marine, coastal and islands environments.
Federal legislations for environmental protection shall include the following:
- Natural reserves, rare species, wetlands and migratory birds to protect biodiversity.
- Protection of fresh waters, coastal waters and marine waters in Yemen, including coral reefs and the eco-systems in the islands, especially in the Socotra archipelago.
- Regulation of the import, transport, storage, use and disposal of radioactive and hazardous materials and any other substances harmful to the environment.
- Develop an environmental law for urban planning and construction in line with regional and international standards.
The entry or storage of toxic, nuclear and radioactive waste or storage thereof, temporarily or permanently, in the territories of the Republic is prohibited. A breach of this provision is a crime not subject to the statute of limitation.
It is prohibited to own or privatize coasts, beaches and natural reserves. The law shall regulate the exploitation and use thereof.
The law shall determine the body responsible for the protection of the environment in the Republic, its powers, modality of work and penalties for the harmful impacts on the environment. The law shall prescribe the responsibilities for environmental protections and the legislative and executive powers of the regions, wilayas, and districts with due consideration that the devolution of powers should be to the lowest possible level capable of effectively and efficiently managing these responsibilities.
Management of Natural Resources
A federal law shall establish an independent national council for natural resources to be composed of representatives of the federal government, regions and wilayas, and shall have the following functions:
- Formulation of public policy in the field of investment and management of natural resources.
- Propose draft legislations and regulations on natural resource management, including oil, gas and minerals.
- Study the economic, social and environmental impact of exploitation of natural resources, particularly oil, gas and minerals, and presentation of proposals for dealing with the negative impacts.
- Enable the producing wilayas and regions to manage their natural resources efficiently.
- Presentation of periodic reports on its activities to the House of Representatives, the Federal Council and the councils in the regions and wilayas.
- Any other functions prescribed by law.
The management, development and awarding of exploration and development contracts is the responsibility of the producing wilaya with the participation of the regional and Federal authorities. Oil, gas and mineral affairs, and the awarding of contracts for exploration and development, shall be managed by an independent national body, in which the federal government, regions and wilayas shall be represented. It shall have branches in the regions and wilayas as needed. The law shall define the responsibilities and the role of each respective government.
The wilaya shall assume the responsibility for local service contracts for oil and gas in coordination with the region.
A federal law shall set out the criteria and a formula for revenue sharing and natural resources, including oil and gas, ensuring:
- Transparency and equitable distribution.
- Taking into account the needs of the producing wilayas and regions.
- Allocation of a share of the revenues to the Federal Government.