Last updated on:
Tuesday, 18 August 2020

On July 19, 2006, Act 27/2006 of July 18 came into force, governing the rights to access to information, public involvement and access to justice on environmental matters. The Act, which adapts Spanish law to the Aarhus Convention and Community legislation on the matter, incorporates a whole series of legislative provisions designed to put into practice rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice on environmental matters.

On environmental matters, the convening of Sectoral Conference meetings enables coordination between the General State Administration and the regional Administration, as well as smooth relations with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (also present at the Sectoral Conference), and also facilitates relations between the general and local levels of Administration. The Sectoral Conference is the highest cooperation body, comprising the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment (and the State Secretary of Environment which is integrated in that Ministry, and the heads of the environmental departments of the Autonomous Regions and cities of Ceuta and Melilla, plus a representative of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP).

The Environment Advisory Council (CAMA in Spanish), is the main institutional channel for civic involvement in plans, projects, drafting and monitoring of general environmental policy promoted by the Environment Ministry. It was included in Act 27/2006. By turning this regulation into law, its status has been raised, thereby endowing the body with greater stability. Since 2004, the Council includes: 5 non-governmental environmental protection organisations, 2 union organisations, 2 business organisations, 2 consumer and user organisations, 3 professional farming organisations and the National Federation of Fishermen´s Associations.

The main role of the Council includes issuing reports on draft laws and royal decrees; advice on state plans and programmes, issuing of reports and proposals on environmental matters, and coordination between public and private initiatives.

The Climate National Council  (Royal Decree 1188/2001) brings together several Ministries, the Autonomous Communities (regional governments), the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, researchers, social partners and non-governmental organizations.

Its tasks are related with processing, monitoring and evaluating the Spanish strategy of climate change, making proposals and recommendations for defining policies and control measures against climate change adaptation measures or strategies.

Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Council is the public participatory body in the field of nature conservation and biodiversity. Its composition, functions and rules of procedure are regulated through the Royal Decree 948/2009 modified by the Royal Decree 649/2011. Among other functions, the State Council informs the rules and plans related to the natural heritage and biodiversity; takes note of the annual reports on the situation of the Spanish Natural Heritage and Biodiversity; encourages the dialogue and collaboration with administrations, institutions and economic and social actors involved in the sustainable use of biodiversity; and advise, when required, on technical and scientific matters in preparation to international meetings on biodiversity conservation.

National Park Network Council (Act 5/2007 and Royal Decree 12/2008) for Environment Minister and representatives of state administration, Autonomous Communities, Local authorities, NGOs and presidents of boards of trustees of the national parks

Genetically Modified Organisms Interministerial Council  (Royal Decree 178/20) which ensures the participation for representatives of industrial sectors, ONGs, farming organisations and consumer organisations.

Waste Coordination Commission (Act 22/2011), gathers the General State Administration, Autonomous Regions and Local Authorities.

Boards of Trustees of the National Park Net (Royal Decree 1760/1998), comprises representatives of the General State Administration, Autonomous Regions , Local Authorities and different social organisations and bodies.

National Biosafety Commission (Act 9/2003 Royal Decree 178/2004), representatives of the General State Administration, Autonomous Regions and people and institutions which are experts in the subject.

Technical Commission for Prevention and Reparation of Environmental Damage (Royal Decree 2090/2008), for representatives of the General State Administration, Autonomous Regions and Local Authorities. 
In order to ensure civil society participation in other environmental matters, the Ministry organizes meetings of a number of other participation bodies: the National Water Council, River Basin Waters Councils, National Large Dams Committee, Inter-ministerial Commission for Climate Change, National Woodlands Council, National Commission for Nature Protection. In addition, a meeting between the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Secretary of State for the Environment on the one side with the most relevant  environmental NGOs present in Spain on the other, takes place every 45 days, to following-up the state of Spanish environment.