Angola: Environmental Protected Areas Regulations

Law 8/20, of 16 April 2020, – the “Environmental Protected Areas Regulations” – created a National Network of Protected Areas (Rede de Áreas de Conservação Ambiental). Regulations of Law 8/20 have now been enacted by way of Presidential Decree 50/24, of 2 February 2024. Below are the Regulations highlights:

  • Protected Areas may be created in any part of Angolan territory and the Economic Exclusive Zone by proposal of the Ministry of Environment. A Protected Area must be instituted by way of a statute;
  • Protected Areas are classified as follows:

(i) Natural Reserves;
(ii) Natural Parks;
(iii) Natural Monuments;
(iv) Habitat or Species Management Sites;
(v) Protected Landscape.

  • Natural Reserves are sub-classified as follows in terms of the human occupation and economic activities that may be carried out therein:

(i) Full Natural Reserve – No human occupation may exist;
(ii) Partial Natural Reserve – Human occupation and economic/military activities may exist, except hunting and fishing;
(iii) Special Natural Reserve – No human occupation may exist, except for sustainable activities in support of local communities.

  • No hunting, fishing or natural resources extraction activities can be carried in Natural Parks, except for scientific purposes or a State’s strategic economic activity.
  • Natural Monuments include trees, lakes, rocks or mountains with an important ecologic, aesthetic, historical or cultural value.
  • Habitat or Species Management Sites include swamps, wetlands, river estuaries, reservoirs, bays and coastal areas in general.
  • Natural Reserves and Natural Parks are administered by the Ministry of Environment.
  • Natural Monuments, Habitat or Species Management Sites and Protected Landscape are administered by the Provincial Governments or municipalities.
  • Protected Areas may be open to ecotourism activities, except Full Natural Reserves.
  • Ecotourism activities are subject to 15-year concession contracts for National Parks, and 10-year concession contracts for Natural Reserves.
  • Certain public infrastructures may be build/installed in Protect Areas, including electricity transmission lines, telecom antennas, wildlife observatories, tourism piers, border control installations, gas stations, airstrips, roads, etc.
  • The following constitute serious violations of a Protected Area:

(i) Illegal exploitation of natural resources;
(ii) Unauthorized hunting;
(iii) Commercial fishing;
(iv) Large scale deforestation;
(v) Carbon extraction;
(vi) Industrial/large scale agriculture;
(vii) Forest fires;
(viii) Any corrupt activities.

  • Each Protected Area must adopt a symbol from a representative species of the area.
  • Protected Areas must be clearly marked and identified, and may be fenced in certain circumstances.
  • Each Protected Area is ruled by a 10-year Management Plan.
  • Each Protected Area has its own budget funded by the following resources:

(i) Allocations from the State Budget;
(ii) Fines;
(iii) Fees, including from ecotourism concessions;
(iv) Gifts and donations;
(v) Other revenues from national/international protocols and agreements aimed at promoting biodiversity.

Rui Amendoeira, OneLegal Partner.



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