Updated to: 16 February 2015Download as PDF
Contact & history
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
Country's planning system
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
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
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 President of the Republic approved the framework law.
First national detailed SEA regulation
Decree No 2013/0171/PM
Approving authority of first detailed SEA regulation
The Decree was signed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
Recent updates and additions to the SEA legislation
Current enabling legislation for SEA
Environmental management law no. 96/12
Current national detailed regulation for SEA
Decree No 2013/0171/PM
Sector specific procedures/regulations
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
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) applies to policies, plans and programs or projects with multiple components.
Exemptions 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)
An ESIA-based approach is chosen for SEA. The processes followed for SEA generally overlap with the ones for ESIA.
SEA tiering with EIA
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
Central SEA authority
The Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) is the central SEA authority.
(De)centralisation of SEA mandates
There is no decentralisation of SEA mandate.
Initiator of the SEA
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.
Overview SEA procedure
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
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
Year of first SEA
1998: Environmental Assessment of Transport Sector Program.
Annual no. of SEAs
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
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.
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- 1998: Environmental Assessment of Transport Sector Program.assessment of environmental
- 2004: Social and environmental impacts assessment of the Forest and Environment Sector Program (PSFE)
Cameroon Association for Environmental Assessment (ACAMEE)