Central African Republic

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EIA profile

Updated to: 16 February 2015

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EIA background

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Country contact on EIA

Contact details for the country contact on EIA.

ACAPEE: Central Africa Association for Professionals in Environmental Assessment
Telephone : (236) 70468205 / (236) 75 50 34 03
E-mail: acapee@acapee.org; fimamoandji@yahoo.fr; paul.doko@acapee.org;   jbaliguini@yahoo.fr
Website: http://www.acapee.org

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.

The central Constitution (Act No. 04392 of 27 December 2004) guarantees the rigorous and transparent management of the environment as resolute condition for sustainable development. Within the constitutional framework on the environment, the opportunity is given to local authorities and all citizens to protect the heritage of the nation.

The History of formal environmental management in CAR dates of Decree 89/043 of 23 February 1989, which established a national committee on environmental issues. This was followed by Order 90/003 of 9 June 1990, incorporating the environment into development planning. The Code of Wildlife Protection was adopted in 1984, and the Forest Code was adopted in 1990 (and later replaced by a new Forest Code in 2008). But since the Rio Declaration in June 1992 on Environment and Development, the CAR legislation in this field has evolved leading to the development of the Environmental Code in 2007. The purpose of that 2007 Code, registered under the law No. 07.018 of December 28, empowers Ministry of the Environment and Ecology (MEE) to be responsible for the administration and management of the environment. Since 2011, four draft texts dealing specifically with decrees (and the orders announced) related to the application of the framework law were drafted to regulate the ESIA, SEA, the Environmental Audit and Public Hearing. They are yet to be signed and published.

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 base

2007

Legal framework for EIA

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Framework/Enabling law

Name of first enabling legislation that sets a framework for EIA.

Environmental Code of the Central African Republic: Law No. 07.018 of 28 December 2007

The Environmental Code of 2007 provides in its section 7, the requirements relating to EIA. These provisions relate to the purpose of the EIA, the people and structures empowered to conduct EIA, the type of appreciation to be given to an EIA.

Approving authority of enabling law

Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.

The President of the Republic

Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation for EIA

Year when when the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.

The Environmental Code of 2007 determines that special regulatory measures will establish different categories of EIA, methodology and procedures of EIA as well as conditions for public participation related the EIA. The draft decree for the implementation of the framework law on how to achieve the ESIA was presented at the International Seminar of SEEAC in Bangui in 2012. Its effective promulgation is eagerly awaited.

Approving authority of first national detailed regulation for EIA

The authority that approved the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.

Detailed reglementation not yet available

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-re

Introduction of environmental code in 2007. Replacement of sectoral provisions with new EIA provisions that cover all activities.

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.

The Wildlife protection act, mining act and law on radioactive minerals require an EIA report in case of building activities. No specific regulation or procedural requirements included.

Current enabling legislation for EIA

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

Environmental Code: Law No. 07.018 of 2007

Current national detailed regulation for EIA

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

No national detailed regulations for EIA available.

Guidelines

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.

Guidelines are mentioned in the enabling law, but do not (yet) exist.

Objective of EIA

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

The framework law provides that the EIA allows to appreciate the direct and indirect impacts of projects or of physical works on the ecological balance of the settlement area, the environment and quality of life of people.

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 development projects and works that may influence or bring risks to the environment are subject to EIA, as described in the regulations. This indicates that all activities are part of it, public and private (national and international) ones.

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).

Not specified.

Institutional setting for EIA

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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?

The institutional framework for the management of the environment in the CAR has evolved considerably over time, beginning with the inclusion of an environmental unit within the Ministry of Water and Forests in the late 1980s and ultimately leading to the establishment of a separate ministry, the Ministry of Environment and Ecology (MEE) in 2009. On 12 June 2013, the MEE became the Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Sustainable Development.

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.

Three semi-autonomous environmental agencies (the NEF, the ACEDD and CNEDD) that operate under the Ministry of the Environment, are in the process of being established. They are mentioned in the Environmental Code, but their status is not yet explicitly defined. The first draft statutes prepared by the MEE indicates that responsibilities will be as follows:

National Environment Fund (NEF): According to the Environmental Code, the Fund will finance activities in the field of the environment and will be financed by general taxes and fees. This fund will be created to monitor on behalf of the government programs of protection, management and conservation of biodiversity and to fund public education and awareness programmes.

Central Africa Agency for the Environment and Sustainable Development (ACEDD): According to the draft statutes of the Agency, it has the primary function of directing the technical and scientific processes underlying environmental assessment, including the establishing of environmental standards.

National Commission for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CNEDD): Thedraft statutes of the CNEDD provides eight working groups in many areas and will be  responsible for sectoral policies related to the environment, ecology and sustainable development, approving the terms of reference of EIA for projects that are considered as having environmental impacts, ensuring that environmental principles are taken into account in decisions on sectoral policy and acting as a national center for environmental expertise.

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).

Not specified in legislation.

(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 decen

No information is available on EIA decentralization at regional or local levels.

EIA procedure

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Screening

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?

There is no formal screening decision.

Screening process

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 and which criteria determine whether a preliminary or a full EIA is requested

In the environmental code of 2007, screening is not integrated. The code provides for regulatory documents regarding screening. These documents, however, do not yet exist.

Provision for sensitive areas

Are specific requirements formulated for environmentally sensitive areas? (e.g. no minimum thresholds, full EIA instead of partial EIA)

In the wildlife protection Act of 1984, EIA requirements are formulated for protected areas.

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.

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline Screening

Maximum number of (working) days allowed between submission of the starting document and the screening decision.

Not specified in legislation.

Scoping

Scoping requirement

Is a formal scoping step required as part of the EIA process?

The enabling law refers to regulatory documents on scoping. Such documents do not (yet) exist.

Scoping process

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?

Not specified in legislation.

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.

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline scoping

Number of (working) days for the decision on approval of the scoping document by the competent authority.

Not specified in legislation.

Assessment and reporting

Assessment process

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.

The impact assessment process is the responsibility of the proponent. Assessment and reporting needs to be carried out by a person that is qualified and acknowledged by the Ministry in charge of the environment. No specific steps are mentioned for it in the legislation. An assessment must include only environmental effects.

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.

The enabling law only refers to a specific EIA regulation which should specify such requirements but does not (yet) exist.

Review

Review process

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

The enabling law only refers to a specific EIA regulation which should specify such requirements but does not (yet) exist.

Review expertise

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?

No information.

Timeline Review

Number of (working) days for review of the EIA by the competent authority.

Not specified in legislation.

Decision-making

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.

The approval of the EIA report implies that the environmental license will be granted. EIA report needs to be submitted before decisions are made but legislation provides no information on what to do with the results.

Competent authority

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.

According to the environmental code the, the ministry in charge of environment is always responsible for EIA decision making. In the mining act, there are provisions that in case of mining, the Ministry of Mining (MMEH) is responsible.

Decision justification

Sets out requirements for justification of the consideration of the EIA information in decision-making (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval).

According to Environmental code of 2007, justifications are made in writing.

Decision publication

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 justification has to be published but it is not specified to what extent the public has access to it. The enabling law prescribes that the decision statement of the EIA approval should be published, but no further requirements are specified.

Timeline decision-making

Maximum number of (working) days available to the competent authority to make the EIA based decision (EIA approval, environmental clearance and/or project approval).

Not specified in legislation.

Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance monitoring

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 p

The proponent of mining activities is required to submit a programme to protect and manage the environment, but no programme requirements are specified. The enabling law on the environment formulates follow up and monitoring requirements of the programme.

External monitoring

Are there monitoring requirements that involve external parties, such as citizen monitoring (for example, through a complaints procedure), or third party auditing?

There are no specific provisions given for external monitoring.

Non-compliance penalties

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)

Activities can be suspended when the terms of reference are not respected. No specific conditions are specified for that.

Payment system

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)?

The realization of EIA is the responsibility of the proponent of the activity, which needs to pay for the costs of the assessment. No processing fees are paid.

Public participation

Public participation requirements for EIA process stages

Describes for which of the EIA process stages public participation is required.

According to the enabling law, the Draft EIA reports  and results are subjected to public participation. No detailed provisions are given regarding it.

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.)

No information

Public participation guidance

Has any guidance on participation been provided?

No information

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?

Enabling law prescribes that the decision statement of the EIA approval should be published, no further provisions specified.

Information dissemination

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.

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline for public comments

The number of (working) days available for the public to make comments on the EIA decision document.

Not specified in legislation.

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)

Not specified in legislation.

Public comments

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?

Not specified in legislation.

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?

Not specified in legislation.

Legal recourse

Possibilities for appeal

What are the legal recourse options to challenge EIA decisions are provided for within the legal framework?

In enabling law some provisions for appeal are included. No specific information on EIA appeal, or which court processes the appeal.

Decisions that can be appealed

Which EIA decisions can be appealed?

No information.

Who can appeal

Who can make an appeal (in other words, has legal standing)?

No information.

EIA practice

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Annual no. of EIAs

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

Less that 10 EIAs per year (estimated).

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 publicly accessible?

No information

Practice reviews

Any EIA 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.

Very short reference to Central African Republic in report on integrating EIA and forest management plans can be found in a 2006 publication by Bitondo:

Bitondo, D. (2006): Improving the synergy between Environmental Impact Assessment and Forestry Management Plans for biodiversity conservation and management.

Accreditation of consultants

Is there and accreditation system operational in the country to certify consultants to do EIAs?

No information.

Professional bodies

Professional bodies relevant to EIA practice in the country, such as EIA Associations, Environmental Expert Associations, etc are listed here.

ACAPEE: Central African Republic Association of Evaluation Assessment Professionals.

Non-governmental EIA guidance

Lists any EIA manuals and good practice publications (including checklists, case studies) that have been published by parties other than government.

Collaboration of the administration in charge with the Central African Republic Association of Evaluation Assessment Professionals.

Capacity development

Ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events) are mentioned here.

The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment runs the Support Programme to National Associations for Environemental Assessment in Central Africa (PAANEEAC). This regional programme supports the EIA-associations in 7 Central African countries, including CAR.

EIA links

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Links to laws/regulation

Any relevant links to laws or regulations are included here.

Environmental Code of the Central African Republic: Law No. 07.018 of 28 December 2007