Cameroon

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SEA profile

Updated to: 16 February 2015

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SEA background

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Country contact on SEA

Contact details for the country contact on SEA.

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
Email: acamee@yahoo.fr 
Website: acameeonline.org
 

Country's planning system

Brief description of planning practice, specifically whether it take place more often at centralised or decentralised level, what kind of national level planning and sectoral planning takes place, etc.

In Cameroon, strategic planning is done at national, local and sectoral levels.

At the national level, Cameroon inaugurated five-year development plans after its independence. This practice was interrupted in the late 1980s through the adoption of structural adjustment plans during the economic crisis. With the achievement of the completion of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, Cameroon has returned to strategic planning in the context of the development of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in the early 2000s. To enhance the economic recovery,  a long-term vision for the development of Cameroon in the next 25 to 30 years has been formulated in 2007, with the support of civil society, the private sector and development partners. On the basis of this "Vision 2035" a Strategy Paper for Growth and Employment (SPGE) was developed in 2009. It is designed for a decade, but as a strategic planning document, it may be revised and adjusted to the national socio-economic development and international environment, through an iterative and participatory process.

At the local level, regional and local authorities develop Local Development Plans, on the basis of the powers as conferred on them by the laws on decentralization.

In terms of sectoral development, most departments develop their own development strategy which is in line with the options of national development. Those sector strategies include among others: the Strategy for Rural Sector Development (DSDSR), the Transport Sector Strategy, the development plan for the electricity sector, the mining sector strategy which is currently being finalized, etc.

History of SEA

Brief description of the history of SEA in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.

The Decree No 2013/0171/PM lays down rules for conducting environmental and social impact studies (ESIA). This Decree also legally introduced Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA). Provisions made for ESIA generally also apply for SESA.

Legal framework for SEA

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Framework/Enabling law

Name of first enabling legislation that sets the framework for SEA.

The framework law on the environment is the fundamental law which governs the management of the environment in Cameroon. This law only implicitly prescribes SEA through Article 14 which states that the Authority in charge of Environment ensures the integration of environmental considerations into all economic plans and programs, energy, land and others.  Article 40 specifies that requirement as far as urban planning and public and private land subdivision are concerned.

Approving authority of enabling law

The authority that approved the enabling law for SEA.

The President of the Republic approved the framework law.

First national detailed SEA regulation

First national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) for SEA, through which SEA was operationalized.

Decree No 2013/0171/PM

Approving authority of first detailed SEA regulation

The authority that approved the first detailed SEA regulation (procedural requirements)

The Decree was signed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government.

Recent updates and additions to the SEA legislation

Revisions of the SEA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed SEA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional relevant SEA-related legislation that has been published since the first legislation is listed.

Not yet.

Current enabling legislation for SEA

Name of current enabling legislation for SEA and link to it.

Environmental management law no. 96/12

Current national detailed regulation for SEA

Name of current national detailed regulation for SEA and link to it.

Decree No 2013/0171/PM

Sector specific procedures/regulations

Any existing sectoral procedure/regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.

Not yet.

Guidelines

Any government issued guidelines on SEA (general or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describes the legal status of the guidelines.

Not yet.

Objective SEA

The objective of SEA as stated in the above described legal basis.

According to the Decree (2013), the objective of the SEA is to evaluate environnemental effects of a policy, plan, programm or a project with multiples components.

Scope of SEA application

Describes for which planning processes (at policy, programme and plan level) SEA is required.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) applies to policies, plans and programs or projects with multiple components.

Exemptions from SEA application

Are any specific types of plans explicitly excluded from SEA application?

Strictly speaking, there are no provisions for exemptions from SEA application. However, those policies, plans, programs and projects with multiple components which are related to national security and defense, are free of  public consultation and public hearing procedures (Decree No 2013/0171/PM, Article 23)

SEA approach

Describes the current overall SEA approach. Specifically: Has the country's SEA procedure been modeled on the existing EIA approach? Or has a separate SEA approach been developed?

An ESIA-based approach is chosen for SEA. The processes followed for SEA generally overlap with the ones for  ESIA.

SEA tiering with EIA

Are there any provisions for tiering of EIA and SEA?

The relationship between the SEA and the ESIA is not clear, however, Article 4 of the decree (2013) states that the proponent of a policy, plan, program or project with multiple components can do an SEA. However, in the context of the implementation of each project or each component, the developer carries out an environmental and social impact assessment.

Institutional setting for SEA

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Central SEA authority

Is there a central authority in charge of the SEA system as a whole, responsible for issuing guidelines etc? If so, is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g. ministry)?

The Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is the central SEA authority.

(De)centralisation of SEA mandates

Are SEA mandates (de)centralised? Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for SEA processes is delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decentralization refers to the reassignment of decision-making authority on SEA to government units on a sectoral basis.

There is no decentralisation of SEA mandate.

Initiator of the SEA

Who initiates the SEA? Should the plan owner initiate and undertake the SEA or is an environmental authority responsible for undertaking the SEA. If an authority is responsible, which authority and at which level?

According to the Decree No 2013/0171/PM, the initiator of the SEA is the promoter of the policy, the plan, the program or the project with multiples components from the moment onwards when he decides to comply with the regulation by applying for an SEA to the MINEPDED.

SEA procedure

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Establishing context

Overview SEA procedure

Short text characterizing the overall SEA procedure. If relevant, interesting aspects of the SEA procedure are mentioned such as: which procedural steps are part of the SEA procedure and are they based on procedures defined for EIA (screening, scoping ect)? How are they related to each other? Does the legal text provide specifications regarding the timing of the start of the SEA procedure within t

The process followed for SESA is largely based on the ones determined for a comprehensive ESIA.
It thus consists of the following steps (as for ESIA):

  • 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

Remark: The SEA process is not further elaborated within this SEA part as the respective information can be found under the EIA part of this country profile.

Implementing the SEA

Content of SEA report

If documentation is required, what should be contained in the SEA report?

The SEA report should contain as follows:

  • The summary in plain English and French language
  • The description of the policy, plan or program and its alternatives
  • The description of the institutional and legal framework in relation to the policy, plan or program
  • The description and analysis of the receiving environment of the policy, the plan or the program
  • Identification of the key stakeholders and their concerns
  • The evaluation of the potential environmental impacts
  • The prescription and recommendations and relevant measures of environmental management in an environmental management plan (EMP)

Informing and influencing decision-making

Monitoring

SEA practice

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Year of first SEA

Mentions if SEA practice is carried out in a country. Information is provided regarding the beginn of SEA practice, even if there is/has been no legislation available (yet). If possible, the year when the first SEA was conducted is given (to be precise the year in which the SEA report was finalized).

1998: Environmental Assessment of Transport Sector Program.

Annual no. of SEAs

Gives an estimation for the number of SEAs that are produced annually in this country.

No statistics on the annual number of SEA is available for the moment, as the provisions for SEA are very recent (in 2013).

Central SEA database

Is there a central database or library where information on SEAs is kept (i.e. where all SEAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information publicly accessible?

Within the framework of joint project between MINEPDED and ACAMEE, an environmental assessment information management system (SIGEES) was developed and is being tested (in 2013). It provides space for information on SEA.

Practice reviews

Any SEA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental agencies or others) are listed here. Where relevant, links to studies are included, and the main conclusions of the studies are summarised.

No information is available.

Case studies

SEA case studies on which information is available are listed here, including a link to case documentation, if available.

  • 1998: Environmental Assessment of Transport Sector Program.assessment of environmental
  • 2004: Social and environmental impacts assessment of the Forest and Environment Sector Program (PSFE)

Professional bodies

Professional bodies relevant to SEA practice, such as SEA Associations, Planning Associations, etc are listed here.

Cameroon Association for Environmental Assessment (ACAMEE)

SEA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Links to relevant SEA laws or regulations.

Website Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development: http://www.minep.gov.cm/