|Profile||Background | EIA profile | SEA profile|
|See also||Webpages (5) | Projects (4) | Library (19)|
Country contact on EIA
Contact details for the country contact on EIA.
ACAMEE: Cameroon Association for the Environmental Assessment
Post Box: 30465 Yaoundé-Cameroun
Telephone: (237) 22 20 39 89 / 96 47 05 00 / 74 16 31 05
History of EIA
Brief description of the history of the EIA system in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.
From a legal point of view, the Law 94/001 of 20th January 1994, which lays down requirements for the management of forestry, wildlife and fisheries, firstly explicitly required environmental assessment in Cameroon. It was limited to projects that may affect the equilibrium of the forest though. The framework law No 96/12 of 5 August 1996 on environmental management then introduced with its article 17 the principle of environmental impact assessment on a broader scope. It determines that an EIA is required for any project that may affect the environment. Subsequently, several other sectorial laws like the Mining Code explicitly mentioned the need to conduct EIA.
At the regulatory level, the term EIA was introduced through Decree No. 84-797 of 17 July 1984 which gives provisions regarding the Ministry of Planning and Territorial Administration. In fact, the first paragraph of Article 53 of this decree explicitly assigns the responsibility for conducting EIA for development projects to a department of that ministry. This decree and subsequently following ones, however, did not provide any details on the types of projects that are subjected to EIA or on procedural requirements. Decree 2005/0577/PM of 23 February
2005 finally specified the procedures for carrying out environmental impact studies. Several ministerial orders followed including one that included a list of projects that are subjected to EIA. Since February 2013, it is the Decree No 2013/0171/PM, which lays down rules for conducting environmental and social impact studies. It explicitly mentions the social aspect of the impact study, as it is referring to Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) rather than to Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA). This Decree also legally introduced Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as tools for environmental assessment.
At the organizational level, in 1996 the Permanent Secretariat of the Environment (PSE) was established. It was responsible for impact assessments within the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MINEF). In 2005, the PSE became the Ministry of the Environment and Nature Protection (MINEP). Since a government reform in 2012, the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is in charge of ESIA.
Year of introduction of EIA legislation
NB: this field is only meant for the world map. It is a hidden cell that is not published on the website. If available, mention the year when detailed national EIA regulations were issued. If such regulations do not exist and if EIA practice is based on an enabling law, then list the year when the enabling law for EIA was put in place. For exceptional cases where sector relevant EIA procedures were introduced before generally applicable ones, mention the year when these sectoral EIA procedures were issued.
Legal framework for EIA
Name of first enabling legislation that sets a framework for EIA.
Environmental management law no. 96/12 of 05 august 1996.
Year of introduction of enabling law
Year when the enabling law for EIA was issued
Approving authority of enabling law
Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.
The order has been issued by prime minister.
First national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) for EIA
First national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
Decree 2005/0577/PM of 23 February 2005 firstly layed down the procedures for carrying out EIA. It was replaced by Decree 2013/0171/PM February 14, 2013
Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) for EIA
Year when when the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
Approving authority of first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) for EIA
The authority that approved the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
The order is issued by prime minister.
Recent updates and additions to the EIA legislation
Revisions of the EIA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed EIA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional EIA-related legislation that has been published since the first legislation is listed.
- Decree No. 2001/718/PM September 03 2001 on the organization and functioning of the Interministerial Committee for the Environment and Decree 2006/1577/PM of 11 September 2006 amending and supplementing certain provisions of Decree No. 2001 / 718/PM of 3 September 2001 on the organization and functioning of the Interministerial Committee for the Environment
- Order No. 0070/MINEP of 22 April 2005 laying down the different categories of operations whose implementation is subject to an EIA
- Order No. 00004/MINEP of 3 July 2007 laying down the conditions for the registration of consultants to conduct environmental impact assessment studies and environmental audits
- Order No. 00001 MINEP of 13 February 2007 establishing the general content of the terms of reference for environmental impact assessment studies
- Decree No. 2008/064 of 4 February 2008 laying down the procedures for administering the National Fund for the Environment and Sustainable Development
- Since 2013, Decree No.2013/0171/PM of February 14, 2013 lays down rules for conducting environmental and social impact studies. It was signed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
Sector specific procedures or regulations on EIA
Any existing sectoral procedural or content regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.
Some other sectoral laws require EIA among which:
- Law 94/001 of 20 January 1994 on forestry, wildlife and fisheries
- Law No. 98-15 of 14 July 1998 concerning the establishments classified as dangerous, unhealthy or inconvenient;
- Law on water
- Law No. 98-022 of 24 December 1998 governing the electricity sector;
- Law No. 665 of December 07 1999 relating to Petroleum Code;
- Law No. 001 du 16 April 2001 on the mining code in the Republic of Cameroon;
- Law No. 2002-013 of 30 December 2002 on the gas code in the Republic of Cameroon;
- Decree No. 99/818 PM. of 09 November 1999 laying down the implementation and operation of establishments classified as dangerous, unhealthy or inconvenient.
- Decree No. 2002/648 PM of 26 March 2002 laying down detailed rules for the application of Law No. 001 of 16 April 2001 relating to the Mining Code.
Any government issued guidelines on EIA (general, or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describe the legal status of the guidelines.
- Guide for the implementation and evaluation of environmental impact assessment in Cameroon (2008)
- Manual for the general procedure of environmental impact assessments and audits (2010)
Objective of EIA
The objective of EIA as stated in the above described legal basis.
According to Article 17 of the framework law related to Environmental Management (1996), the EIA assesses the direct and indirect effects of a project on the ecological equilibrium of the settlement area or any another region, the environment and quality of life of people and the impact on the environment in general following the requirements of the Terms of Reference.
Scope of EIA application
Describes which types of activities require EIA (public and/or private activities; national and/or foreign initiated project; or all such projects)
All projects that affect the environment are subjected to EIA. Decree 2013/0171/PM of February 14, 2013, introduced alongside the comprehensive EIA and the simplified EIA and the environmental impact statement (EIS). Order No. 00001 MINEP of 13 February 2007 establishing the general content of the terms of reference for environmental impact studies should be reviewed to adapt to this new categorization.
Exemptions from EIA application
Describes any (groups of) activities identified in the regulation that are exempted from the requirement to do EIA (e.g. military or emergency activities).
The existing regulation does not provide for exemptions as such, but Article 23 of the 2013 Decree states that the EISA concerning projects that have to do with national security or defense are not subjected to the public hearing procedure.
Institutional setting for EIA
Central EIA authority
Is there a central authority in charge of implementing EIA? Is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g ministry)? What are its tasks related to EIA?
Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is the central EIA authority
Other key (governmental) parties involved in EIA, and their roles
Lists other key parties (e.g. a review commission, knowledge institute) that have a role in many or all EIAs.
- Ministry of Environment is in charge of the procedure;
- Sectoral Administrations advise on the terms of reference, reports and participate in the surveillance and monitoring
- The interministerial Committee on the Environment must give an opinion on the quality of reports prior to their approval by the Minister
Mandate for exemption of EIA obligation
Describes if there is a legal mandate for a competent authority to make exemptions of EIA obligation. And if yes, under which conditions (e.g. national security, disasters or no conditions/when deemed necessary).
A mandate for exemptions is not defined formally, but it is implicitly assumed that it is the MINEPDED.
(De)centralisation of EIA mandates
Describes if EIA mandates are (de)centralised. Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for EIA processes are delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decentralization refers to the reassignment of decision-making authority on EIA to government units on a sectoral basis.
The new decree n0 2013/0171/PM of 14 February 2013 assigns responsibility to municipalities to decide on the issuance of the environmental compliance certificate for projects subject to impact statement after having consulted the responsible local services of MINEPDED.
Overview EIA procedure
Characterizes the overall EIA procedure. If relevant, interesting aspects of the EIA procedure are mentioned such as: which procedural steps are part of the EIA procedure? How are they linked to each other? Are there different levels of assessment distinguished, for instance light EIAs and full EIAs? Does the legal text provide specifications regarding the timing of the start of the EIA procedure within the project life cycle and what are they? If available, links to flowcharts that demonstrate the overall EIA procedure are added. Also, the main milestone documents (e.g. scoping report, review report, ect) that are outputs of the EIA process are listed if this knowledge is available.
In Cameroon, a simplified Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the summary ESIA and the comprehensive ESIA (similar procedures as for SESA) are distinguished. The EIS is made for small-scale projects or business / facilities that are not subject to an audit or ESIA but are likely to have significant effects on the environment. Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) applies to the projects of medium and high scale that may have adverse effects on the environment.
For the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the following stages are considered:
- Drafting of terms of references to be approved by the relevant municipality
- Elaboration of the Environmental Impact Statement
- Review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- Decision of the municipality after advice from the local responsible of MINEPDED services
For the process of ESIA / SESA the following steps are required:
- Screening (not mandatory)
- Preparation of ToR to be approved by the MINEPDED after the advice of the relevant sectorial administration
- Preparation of the ESIA / SESA report with public consultations
- Review of ESIA report / SEA and public hearing
- Decision of the Minister in charge of the environment on the quality ESIA / SESA report
Screening requirement and authority
Describes if a formal screening decision required, and if so, which authority is responsible for this decision. Is this decision published?
While the ministerial order 0070/MINEP of 22 April 2005 lays down the different categories of operations whose implementation is subject to an EIA, this order would have to be adapted to the Decree of 14 February 2013.
Screening should thus be done following a ministerial order that is yet to be published. It will determine the type of projects that are subjected to ESIA and SEA.
Describes the screening process: steps in screening, the stakeholders involved and outcomes of the process, status of screening advice of different stakeholders, etc. Also describes any prescribed methods for screening. If preliminary EIA's / light EIA's / Initial Environmental Evaluations (IEE) are done in this country, then this section describes which criteria determine whether a preliminary or a full EIA is requested. Links to screening lists and criteria are provided.
The Decree provides that the list of activities subject to impact statement is determined by the municipality after the motivated opinion of the locally responsible services of MINEPDED. (Article 18-2).
The list of activities that are subjected to ESIA / SESA will be determined by order of MINEPDED.
Provision for sensitive areas
Are specific requirements formulated for environmentally sensitive areas? (e.g. no minimum thresholds, full EIA instead of partial EIA)
Supplementary requirements to the EIA can be demanded for sensitive areas. Criteria are defined on case-by-case basis.
Contents of the starting document
Describes the required content of the starting document (if any) that the proponent should submit to the competent authority for EIA screening. Mentions if the starting document is published.
Screening is not formally defined. Thus there is no formal document that is required at this stage.
Maximum number of (working) days allowed between submission of the starting document and the screening decision.
There is not a formal deadline for the screening
Is a formal scoping step required as part of the EIA process?
Scoping is formally required.
Describes who carries main responsibility to undertake scoping and what the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties during the process are. Specifically, is there independent formulation and/or review of the scoping document, approval of the scoping document? Are any methods prescribed, e.g. participation, checklists. What guidance is provided?
Before starting his EIS, the promoter must have the related draft ToRs approved. In this regards, he submits them to the municipality of the locality where the project would be implemented, in addition to a general project file containing a request to conduct the EIS along with the related draft ToR and the payment of examination fees of the file. Two copies of the file are sent to locally responsible of the services of MINEPDED. According to the existing order, the draft ToRs are approved by the ministry in charge of the environment in other to obtain the authorisation to conduct the study.
The sponsor shall submit to the competent administration and MINEPDED in addition to the general project file his request for the conduct of the ESIA with the ToR of the study and a receipt of payment, against the deposit slip, of examination fees amounting to FCFA 1500000 (Summary ESIA) 2,000,000 FCFA (comprehensive ESIA).Article 8 (3) of the Decree prescribes that the MINEPDED shall provide a standard model of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the EIS, the ESIA and SESA depending on the activities. This should be done after consulting the CIE. Thus, an adaptation of the MINEP order No. 00001 of 13 February 2007 establishing the general content of the terms of reference for EIA is expected.
Contents of the scoping document
Explains if there are there specific requirements for the content of the scoping document, and if so, what these are.
In case of an application for making an EIS, the promoter’s file should contain: (i) the general dossier with information on the project or activity, (ii) a request for completion of the EIS mentioning the social relevance of the project, social capital, the respective sector of the activity and the number of jobs provided through the project, (iii) the ToRs of EIS accompanied by a descriptive checklist describing and supporting the project, with the emphasis on preservation of the environment and the reasons for choosing the site, (iv) the receipt of payment of examination fees to be determined by the municipalities.
Likewise, in case of an application for an ESIA, the ToR shall contain the following information: (i) a general description of the project or activity, (ii) a request for completion of the ESIA mentioning the social relevance of the project, social capital, the respective sector of the activity and the number of jobs provided through the project, (iii) the ToRs of ESIA accompanied by a descriptive checklist describing and supporting the project, with the emphasis on preservation of the environment and the reasons for choosing the site, (iv) the receipt of payment of examination fees as provided for in Article 17 of the 2013 Decree.
Number of (working) days for the decision on approval of the scoping document by the competent authority.
The locally responsible of the services of MINEPDED have 15 days to give its opinion. If the municipality does not react within 30 days after the deposit of the draft ToRs, the latter shall be deemed approved.
The competent authority has 10 days to send its comments in relation of the ToRs to MINEPDED. The MINEPDED has 20 days from the date of receipt of the motivated advice of the competent authority, to take its decision regarding the approval of the ToR. After this time, the terms of reference shall be considered approved.
Assessment and reporting
Steps and roles of stakeholders in the assessment and status of the input of the stakeholders. Also sets out methods for assessment of the environmental impacts of the activity, if prescribed, and whether the assessment covers environmental, social, economic and/or transboundary effects.
An EIS is done before the implementation of the project or before a business or facility that are subjected to it are run.
The realization of the EIS is under the responsibility of the promoter of the project or activity which is to be undertaken. An EIS can be conducted by anyone with the required expertise and who may be hired by the proponent for it.
It can be assumed that the impact statement must be made after a rigorous and relevant scientific approach.
Once the EIS is finalized, the proponent shall submit the report to the municipality (number of copies not specified) and pay the fees for the report review whose amounts and methods of collection would be determined and specified by relevant municipalities (Article 19 -2 of the Decree).
ESIA (summary and comprehensive)
In case the ToRs are approved, the proponent conducts the ESIA based on the set of specifications of the ToRs which mention the contents of the ESIA based on its category, the level of analysis required, responsibilities and obligations of the proponent.
The conduct of summary and comprehensive ESIA is to be entrusted, at the choice of the proponent, to a consultant, a consulting firm, a non-governmental organization or an association approved by the MINEPDED with a priority given nationals in the case of equal qualifications.
Any impact study must involve the participation of the public through public consultations.
Once the report is prepared, the promoter shall submit 22 copies of the report against a receipt to the competent administration (2) and to MINEPDED (20).
Alemagi, D., Sondo, V.A. and Ertel, J. (2007) Constraints to environmental impact assessment Practice: a case study of Cameroon. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. September 2007, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 357-380.
Contents of the EIA report
Explains what should be contained in the EIA report. Specifies if a potential Environmental Management Plan is part of the EIA report or if it is a separate document that contributes to the EIA process.
According to the 2013/0171/PM Decree of 14 February 2013 and the general guide to conduct EIA of May 2008, the basic content of EIS, comprehensive and summary ESIA is as follows:
- The summary of report in a simple language
- The description of the project or facility
- The description of the state of the site and its physical, socio-economic, biological, and human environment
- Identification of possible effects of the implementation of the project or facility on the natural and human environment
- Measures to avoid, reduce, eliminate or compensate the damaging effects on the environment and the corresponding expenditure estimates
- The program of education and information as well as reports of consultations with local communities
- The terms of reference of the EIS
- A review of the legal and institutional framework
- The summary report in a simple language
- The description of the environment of the site and region
- The project description
- The review of the legal and institutional framework
- The report of the field visit
- An inventory and description of project impacts on the environment and proposed mitigation measures
- The terms of reference of the study
- The environmental and social management plan
- The relevant references
- The summary of the specific information required in a simple language;
- Description and analysis of the initial state of the site and its physical, biological, socio-economic and human environment
- Description and analysis of all natural resources and socio-cultural elements that may be affected by the project, as well as the reasons for choosing the site
- Description of the project and the reasons for his choice among the alternatives
- The review of the legal and institutional framework
- Identification and evaluation of possible effects of the implementation of the project on the natural and human environment;
- Indication of the measures to avoid, reduce or eliminate harmful effects on the environment
- The program of education and information as well as minutes of meetings with the population, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, opinion leaders and other organized groups involved in the project
- The environmental and social management plan of the project with the control mechanisms including its environmental monitoring plan and, where applicable, the compensation plan
- The terms of reference for the study, as well as references
Overview of the review process, including: steps in the process and roles of the stakeholders, status of the input of the stakeholders. Is the process open to public? Review method: internal review, external review, panel/commission (permanent or temporary), are the review results documented? Are the review criteria general or case by case? Are the review results documented? Is a potential review report published?
According to Article 20 of the Framework law on the management of the environment, any impact assessment gives rise to a reasoned decision of the Administration in charge of the environment, after the advice of the Interministerial Committee for the Environment (CIE).
A mixed team (Competent Authority and MINEPDED) goes to the field for (i) to verify qualitatively the information contained in study and obtain the opinion of the people concerned (ii) establish an evaluation report to be transmitted to CIE in a minimum of 15 days for a summary ESIA and 20 days for a comprehensive ESIA.
MINEPDED forwards to CIE the report of the ESIA, the report of the assessment of the EIA made by the MINEPDED, and the report of the assessment of records of public consultations and public hearings for consideration. When the CIE is summoned to examine an EIA report, it analyzes the report in terms of form and content. CIE concludes its review with an advice report, which summarizes the major findings or observations that captured the attention of members at the end of the evaluation of the report. The opinion of the CIE is essential prior to the approval of an EIA by the Minister for the Environment.
Also the competent authority conveys its comments to MINEPDED after receipt of the report.The MINEPDED then decide on the admissibility of the ESIA and notify the promoter 20 days upon receipt of the mixed committee report. The inform the proponent of the admissibility of the report and have it published in the press, radio, etc. or they formulate comments for making the ESIA admissible.
Describes if the EIA is checked by external parties, and if so to what extent these represent required disciplines/expertise. Also sets out if measures have been taken to ensure that reviewers are impartial?
It may happen that the CIE does not have sufficient expertise to assess some reports that are transmitted. To overcome this difficulty and in accordance with the decree creating the CIE, the Chairman of CIE may call on outside experts for their skills on the items on the agenda to participate in the committee without voting . This allows the CIE, in addition to benefit from the knowledge and analyzes of experts in relevant fields of the environment to improve its analysis of EIA reports and to strengthen the capacities of its members in EIA.
Number of (working) days for review of the EIA by the competent authority.
The municipality has 30 days from the date of receipt of the EIS to give an answer to the proponent after receiving the advice of the local responsible services of the MINEPDED.
CIE has 20 days to give its opinion on the report. After this period, its opinion shall be deemed favourable.
Integration of EIA into decision-making
Describes what kind of decision-making processes the EIA is intended to support. We look specifically at the decision on EIA approval, and how this relates to envirionmental approval for the project, and other project approval decisions (permits) needed before a project can proceed. This category describes which decisions are influenced by EIA and how they are linked to each other. For example, EIA can be integrated in a decision on an environmental approval/environmental clearance which then in turn is related to the project approval decision. EIA can also be directly linked to the project approval decision. Or perhaps the legal requirements don't specify which decisions should be based on EIA. If available and applicable, the following additional information is provided: Does an EIA report approval automatically lead to the issuing of the environmental approval document or are these decisions taken separately? Is the environmental approval/EIA approval a condition for project approval? Does the legislation specify that EIA information has to be considered in the project approval decision?
Three answers are possible after the impact statement was examined:
- Favorable decision: the attestation of conformity is issued by the municipality to the promoter
- Conditional decision: the municipality tells to the promoter by writing which measures have to be taken to comply and receive the attestation of conformity
- Non-favorable decision: prohibition of implementation of the project or suspension of activities concerned.
The approval of the EIA report is a prerequisite for the decision on the project. In practice, the approval of the EIA report means the granting of environmental compliance certificate.
The decision is based on the following documents: the EIA report, the evaluation report of the mixed team as an outcome of the review process, the public participation documents and the recommendations of the CIE.
The Minister decides on the Impact study. three cases are possible:
- Favorable decision: an environmental compliance certificate is issued
- Conditional decision: the minister tells by writing the promoter what to do to comply and get the environmental compliance certificate
- Non-favorable decision: it implies the prohibition of the implementation of the project.
Describes which authority/authorities is/are responsible for each of the main decision-making processes on EIA (EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval). It is explained if those decisions are taken by the same or different authorities.
Mentions if the decision (on EIA approval and/or environmental approval) is linked to certain documents (e.g. environmental management plan, permit conditions) in order to facilitate the management of environmental risks during project implementation. Also describes if commitments of the proponent are incorporated into legally binding instruments.
Sets out requirements for justification of the consideration of the EIA information in decision-making (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval).
Does the decision (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval) have to be published? Also, is the decision justification published as well?
The Minister is not required to publish its decision.
Maximum number of (working) days available to the competent authority to make the EIA based decision (EIA approval, environmental clearance and/or project approval).
The Minister has 20 days after notice of the Interministerial Committee for rendering its decision.
In case of silence from MINEPDED, the impact study is deemed admissible.
Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement
Is compliance monitoring required to check if the project is implemented as described in the EIA documents and/or if mitigation of environmental impacts complies with applicable standards and other measures set out in the EIA documents? Who is responsible for ensuring compliance? How does this authority ensure compliance (for example, through inspections)? And what requirements are there for the proponents to provide information to this authority (for example through environmental monitoring reports)?
Any project for which an environmental assessment (EIS, ESIA) is done, is subject to the administrative and technical supervision of the competent authorities. This supervision focuses on the effective implementation of the ESMP included in the EIS and the ESIA. In each Division of the country, a Committee for the technical and administrative supervision of ESMP exists.
The promoter is required to produce an interim report on the implementation of the ESMP. On the basis of this report, additional corrective measures may be adopted by the MINEPDED after consulting the CIE to account for effects not initially or insufficiently appreciated in the impact studies.
Are there monitoring requirements that involve external parties, such as citizen monitoring (for example, through a complaints procedure), or third party auditing?
The MINEPDED may use private expertise for monitoring, surveillance and monitoring of ESM, as prescribed by the regulations on public procurement.
Are there penalties that the authority responsible for compliance can apply if environmental conditions are not met? What are these? (for example, fines, suspension of license)
According to article 7 of the 2013 Decree 2013, a proponent of a project which is required to perform an ESIA, SEA or EIS can be sanctioned as provided by laws and regulations.
Are there any requirements to monitor if the impacts in reality are as they were predicted in the EIA, with the purpose of evaluating the EIA itself and improving future EIA practice?
Is the proponent required to pay a fee when applying for an EIA? Is this fee linked to a permitting fee, or separate? If yes, when is this paid and to whom (to the agency that issues the license or to a central agency)?
Administrative fees for the evaluation of ToR or the report are to be determined by the municipalities.
For Summary ESIA
Review of ToRs 1.5 million FCFA and Review ESIA report 3 million FCFA
For comprehensive ESIA/SEA
Review ToRs 2,000,000 FCFA and Review report 5,000,000 FCFA
Public participation requirements for EIA process stages
Describes for which of the EIA process stages public participation is required.
Two forms of public participation is required for ESIA by law: public consultations during the assessment stage and public hearings during the review stage.
Public participation arrangements
Relevant information regarding the arrangements for public participation are provided here (e.g. who is responsible for it, who is consulted, does the legislation mention consultation or participation, for which project should consultations be held, are public hearings held etc.)
Public consultation is a meeting during the conduct of ESIA in the areas affected by the project. 30 days prior to the first consultation, the proponent is required to forward to the representatives of the concerned people the programme of the consultations which was approved by MINEPDED. It contains dates and places of meetings, a descriptive and explanatory memorandum of the project and the objectives of the consultation program. Wide dissemination of the program is made and for any public consultation meeting the minutes are signed by the promoter and representatives of the population. Copies of these minutes are attached to ESIA report.
After notification of the admissibility of the report or in case of silence MINEPDED a broad public consultation is made: the public hearing. The public hearing is a form of advertising of the ESIA report to record any objections and allow people to comment on the findings of the study. The public hearing process culminates in a report made by the ad’hoc committee formed for this purpose. The report is submitted to the CIE and is part of the evaluation process. People are invited to the dates and places of reading rooms provided with registers to keep a record of all their observations, comments and suggestions on the ESIA report / SEA.
Public participation guidance
Has any guidance on participation been provided?
There is no specific guidance on public participation.
Access to information
Which of the information that is generated in the EIA process is available to the public? Specifically, which reports and decision statements?
The EIA report which is publicly available at the time of the public hearing. Conditions for the availability of the other documents and decisions to the public are not specified.
How can the public receive the information that is publicly available? Are there public announcement on the proceedings? How/where are these published? Is information made available locally? Is information sent on request? etc.
EIA reports are available on a central point, at the department of EA of the MINEP in the capital Yaoundé.
Timeline for public comments
The number of (working) days available for the public to make comments on the EIA decision document.
There is no official timeline for public participation. But it is said that the ad hoc committee created to draft the report on public participation should do so within 30 days.
Costs for public
Are there any specified costs public parties will incur if they partake in EIA?(e.g. costs for the receiving report, costs of losing an appeal, etc. Costs associated with travel to meetings or such are not included here)
No information. It remains that they are fully covered by the sponsor.
What options do the public have to provide their comments. Should comments be written, or may they also be verbal? To which agency should they provide their submissions?
In practice, reading rooms are provided with registers in which all the comments of the public are recorded. These are the registers which are transmitted to the ad hoc committee to present an evaluation report of the public hearing.
Public comments in decision-making
Do the EIA and/or project approval decisions have to be justified on the basis of public participation results? Do legal texts indicate how public participation results should be used and to which decision-making processses they should contribute?
The report of the ad hoc committee on the public hearing is submitted to CIE and is part of the evaluation of the quality of the report.
Possibilities for appeal
What are the legal recourse options to challenge EIA decisions are provided for within the legal framework?
Administrative appeals are possible
Decisions that can be appealed
Which EIA decisions can be appealed?
Legal appeals are possible at all stages and for all decisions relating to EIA.
Who can appeal
Who can make an appeal (in other words, has legal standing)?
Any stakeholder can appeal.
Annual no. of EIAs
What is the estimated number of full EIAs that are produced annually?
Central EIA database
Is there a central database or library where information on EIAs is kept (i.e. where all EIAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information accessible?
No data base does exist
Accreditation of consultants
Is there and accreditation system operational in the country to certify consultants to do EIAs?
The ministerial order No. 00004/MINEP of July 3, 2007 sets the conditions for approval of consultants to carry out studies and environmental impact audits. It will have to be reviewed to be adapted to the new decree. This order specifies that foreign consultants must necessarily for joint ventures with one or more authorized national consultants.
Here any EIA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental or other parties) are listed. Links to studies are included, if relevant, and if possible, the main conclusions are summarised.
Several practice reviews have been published, including:
- Alemagi, D., Sondo, V.A. and Ertel, J. (2007) Constraints to environmental impact assessment Practice: a case study of Cameroon. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. September 2007, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 357-380.
- Bitondo, D. (2000) Environmental assessment in Cameroon: state of the art. In: Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Volume 18, number 1, March 2000, pp 33-42.
- Tekeu, J.C. (2004) Rapport sur la Pratique des Etudes d’Impact Environnemental (EIE) au Cameroun. Addis Ababa: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
- Cyrille Valence Ngouana Kengne , Serge Emeran Menang Evouna & Dieudonné Bitondo (2013): Public hearings in environmental and social impact assessment for energy sector projects in Cameroon, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, DOI:10.1080/14615517.2012.759454
- Bitondo, D. et André, P. 2007. Contextual phases in the institutionalisation of the environmental assessment of road development in Cameroon. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 25 (2), June 2007, pp 139-148.
Professional bodies relevant to EIA practice in the country, such as EIA Associations, Environmental Expert Associations, etc are listed here.
Non-governmental EIA guidance
Any EIA manuals, good practice publications (including checklists, case studies) that have been published by parties other than the government are listed here.
ACAMEE made available to MINEPDED an information system for environmental data management (SIGEES) within the framework of a joint project.
Ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events) are mentioned here.
There are relevant capacity programs by:
- PRECESSE: Environmental and Social Capacity Building for the Energy Sector Project
- CRESA: Regional Study Center specialized in Agriculture-Forestry
- MOGED: Knowledge for the Use of Environmental Tools for Development
- The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment runs the SEEAC programme. This regional programme supports the EIA-associations in 7 Central African countries, including Cameroon.
Links to laws/regulation
Any relevant links to laws or regulations are included here.
Other relevant links on EIA
Any other relevant links (for example to country specific guidance documents) are included here.