An international seminar on the “State of Environmental Assessment in Central Africa” draws crowds to Bangui

Participative exchanges in the form of discussions panels and general synthesis sessions led to conclusions, resolutions and recommendations formulated by participants including, inter alia, the establishment of an instrument akin to the Espoo convention in a context of subregional integration, the need for each country to have an efficient surveillance, monitoring, inspection and sanctions enforcement system, sensitisation of all environmental assessment actors …

 

Bangui (Central African Republic) - from 8 to 9 November 2012 – Under the Distinguished  Patronage of the Minister of Environment and Ecology (MEE) of the Central African Republic was held in the conference room of AZIMUT Hotel in Bangui, the 4th International Seminar of the Secretariat for Environmental Assessment in Central Africa (SEEAC). Organised by the Secretariat for Environmental Assessment in Central Africa (SEEAC) in collaboration with the Central African Association of Environmental Assessment Professionals (ACAPEE), the Seminar’s central theme was: “State of Environmental Assessment in Central Africa”.

 

The opening ceremony was punctuated by four speeches, delivered by: (1) Mr PAUL DOKO, Incumbent Chair of SEEAC; (2) Mr Rémy MUKONGO SHABANTU, Representative of the Secretary General of ECCAS; (3) Mr Reinoud POST, Representative of the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment; and (4) Mr François NAOUEYAMA, Minister of Ecology and the Environment of the Central African Republic.

 

The meeting in Bangui saw two highlights: (1) The SEEAC General assembly held from 6 to 7 November 2012 and; (2) The 4th International Seminar held under the theme “State of Environmental Assessment in Central Africa”.

 

The overall objective of the SEEAC General Assembly was to take stock of activities conducted by SEEAC and its national member associations and plan the future accordingly. An event placed high on the agenda was the meeting of administrations in charge of environmental assessment aimed at establishing the Network of Administrations in Charge of Environmental Evaluation in Central Africa (RACEEAC). The deliberations yielded conclusions, resolutions and recommendations to revamp SEEAC and materialise the RACEEAC initiative.

 

The International Seminar which is increasingly recognised as one of the biggest annual events in Central Africa, attracted resource persons from various institutions and diverse backgrounds.

 

The deliberations of the International seminar were articulated around five presentation sessions dealing respectively with (1) the legal and institutional framework of environmental assessment in Central Africa, (2) the state of surveillance, monitoring, inspection and enforcement of environmental sanctions, (3) the role of Environmental Assessment as a tool for the integration of sustainable development, (4) Environmental Assessment and stakeholder involvement, and (5) the state of funding mechanisms for government tasks related to the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

 

Presentations were followed by participative exchanges in the form of discussion panels and a general synthesis session which resulted in conclusions, resolutions and recommendations from attendees including among others the establishment of an instrument comparable to the Espoo convention in a context of subregional integration, the need for each country to have a surveillance, monitoring, inspections and sanctions enforcement system, sensitisation of all environmental assessment actors and popularisation of good practices; the need to operationalize Strategic Environmental Assessments with a view to integrating the demands of sustainable development in the Central African countries’ quest for emergence; The need for each country to have an efficient surveillance, monitoring, inspection and sanctions enforcement system; effective feedback from national studies on financing mechanisms for government tasks related to the Environmental Impact Assessment process;

 

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