Experts gather around the issue of mining in Cameroon and the Waza Logone Plain in particular
From 26 to 29 November 2013, the city of Maroua in the Far North region of Cameroon, provided the setting for an Expert Meeting on mining in Cameroon chaired by the Governor of the region, focusing on the issue of oil exploration and exploitation in the Waza Logone Flood Plain.
The meeting aimed to:
♦ Disseminate and share good practices in the conduct of mining activities;
♦ Develop an advocacy strategy to enhance mining operations in Cameroon;
♦ Share the experiences of other regions;
♦ Strengthen collaboration through discussions on mechanisms to ensure public information/ consultation /participation in the conduct of mining activities (awarding of permits, monitoring environmental and social legal compliance and implementation of activities / ESMPs, etc.).
♦ Pave the way for inter-sectoral, multi-stakeholder collaboration and establish a platform for cooperation and dialogue among stakeholders on extractive activities;
♦ Work with YCLDC (a Chinese company) to ensure compliance with the law and adoption of best practices in addition to legal requirements.
The meeting was attended by representatives of central and regional services of sectoral ministries such as those of Mines, Environment, Forestry and Wildlife, Regional planning and Development, Surveys and Land Affairs, Fisheries and Rural Development and the National Hydrocarbon Company (SNH). Equally in attendance were the Managers of the Waza Bouba Ndjidda and Kalamaloué national parks, the mayors of the Logone Birni and Zina councils, development and conservation partners (IUCN, WWF , UNESCO, EITI LCBC Ramsar Convention Secretariat); institutions of higher learning including the Institut Supérieur du Sahel, Ecole de Faune de Garoua, representatives of extractive companies (YCLDC and GEOVIC) , leaders of national and local organizations supporting development and conservation efforts namely CSCTA , CARPA , CED , SEAAC , Celpro ; traditional authorities including the chiefs of the Madiako and Ngame districts , media representatives, managers of WLFP conservation and development projects and programs including the MINFOF-UINC-HIPC project, qPDRI -CL, PRODEBALT and faith-based and religious organizations such as the CDD , the Service National Justice et Paix and CAVT.
Cameroon similar to many Congo Basin countries, aims to leverage natural resources, particularly those in its soil, to foster its emergence. However, exploitation of these minerals has consequences (externally) at economic, social and environmental level and therefore calls for compliance with and implementation of a minimum of national and international measures and standards, and adoption of best practices in the field.
In light of the Plain’s importance and the potential negative impacts of oil mining on its ecological functions and by extension, on the local populations, stakeholders in the sustainable management of the Waza Logone Plain were prompted to hold the meeting. The stakeholders included the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Cameroon Association for Environmental Education (CSCTA) and the Institut Supérieur du Sahel (ISS). The gathering was organized with the financial support of the Netherlands Committee for IUCN, IUCN (Framework Agreement with France and Cameroon Programme) and WWF.
At the end of the deliberations, it came out that it was necessary among other things to set up a framework for stakeholder collaboration across the Plain, adopt best extractive industry practices and establish a consultation mechanism at district, communal and regional level.
At national level, strong recommendations were put forward for different stakeholders at various levels, including the establishment of an independent committee of experts to review impact studies.
In the IUCN’s view, the meeting helped lay the groundwork for a sub -regional program on the subject of mining with initial activities already identified.
The meeting ended with a tour of the Plain allowing participants to get firsthand knowledge of local realities and interact with the populations. In light of recent events in the Far North region of Cameroon, the organizers took the necessary security measures to cover the entire stay. Security was thus provided by the national gendarmerie of the province and the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR).
For more information on the content of this article, please contact Ms. Camille Jepang (Camille.Jepang @ iucn.org)
Please download below the terms of reference of the meeting: Contribution à la Gouvernance de la Plaine d’Inondation du Logone et des Programmes de son Développement, Maroua, Cameroun -
UICN_TdR_ reunion d'expert-Bn 18 oct francais.pdf (389.4 Ko)
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