The Environmental Categorization Table aims to categorize environmental projects according to their sector, subsector and activity; are works or projects subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment process, as well as classifying them according to their potential Environmental Impact. The activities, works or projects are ordered according to the Regulations of the National System of Environmental Impact Assessment (SINEIA) in force, in four (4) different categories (1, 2, 3 and 4). To achieve this categorization, the factors or conditions that are relevant are taken into account, depending on their dimensions, known characteristics of activities in operation, nature of the actions carried out, their potential environmental impacts or their environmental risk. These categories were approved as follows in the reform according to ministerial agreement 0740-2019:
- Category 1 corresponds to projects, works or activities considered of Low Potential Environmental Impact or Low Environmental Risk.
- Category 2 corresponds to projects, works or activities, considered Moderate Potential Environmental Impact or Moderate Environmental Risk.
- Category 3 corresponds to projects, works or activities, considered of High Potential Environmental Impact or High Environmental Risk.
- Category 4 corresponds to projects, works or activities, considered of Very High Potential Environmental Impact or Very High Environmental Risk. Development megaprojects are considered as part of this Category.
The reform to the Environmental Categorization Table also defines and delimits what the Environmentally Fragile Areas are. Which are considered as a geographical space that, depending on its geo-fitness conditions, capacity for land use or ecosystems that comprise it, or its sociocultural particularity, have a limited load capacity and, therefore, technical limitations for its use and for the realization of projects, works, industries or any other activity.
The Categories of the Environmental Categorization Table were defined considering the thresholds or limits derived from the review of similar tables or lists previously in force in the country, as well as the review of Central American regional proposals. All this as part of a systematic review process carried out by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MY ENVIRONMENT +) in conjunction with a group of experts in the field according to each Sector. The Environmental Categorization Table will be reviewed and, if necessary, reformed, with a maximum periodicity of 4 years.