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

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

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

2007

Legal framework for EIA

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Framework/Enabling law

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

The President of the Republic

Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation for EIA

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

Detailed reglementation not yet available

Recent updates and additions to the EIA legislation

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

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

Environmental Code: Law No. 07.018 of 2007

Current national detailed regulation for EIA

No national detailed regulations for EIA available.

Guidelines

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

Objective of EIA

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

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

Not specified.

Institutional setting for EIA

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Central EIA authority

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

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

Not specified in legislation.

(De)centralisation of EIA mandates

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

EIA procedure

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Screening

Screening requirement and authority

There is no formal screening decision.

Screening process

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

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

Contents of the starting document

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline Screening

Not specified in legislation.

Scoping

Scoping requirement

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

Scoping process

Not specified in legislation.

Contents of the scoping document

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline scoping

Not specified in legislation.

Assessment and reporting

Assessment process

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

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

Review

Review process

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

Review expertise

No information.

Timeline Review

Not specified in legislation.

Decision-making

Integration of EIA into decision-making

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

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

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

Decision publication

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

Not specified in legislation.

Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement

Compliance monitoring

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

There are no specific provisions given for external monitoring.

Non-compliance penalties

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

Payment system

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

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

No information

Public participation guidance

No information

Access to information

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

Information dissemination

Not specified in legislation.

Timeline for public comments

Not specified in legislation.

Costs for public

Not specified in legislation.

Public comments

Not specified in legislation.

Public comments in decision-making

Not specified in legislation.

Legal recourse

Possibilities for appeal

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

No information.

Who can appeal

No information.

EIA practice

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Annual no. of EIAs

Less that 10 EIAs per year (estimated).

Central EIA database

No information

Practice reviews

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

No information.

Professional bodies

ACAPEE: Central African Republic Association of Evaluation Assessment Professionals.

Non-governmental EIA guidance

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

Capacity development

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

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