7018. Benin general

The NCEA and the environmental authority of Benin (ABE) have worked together several years. In September 2016, the NCEA met with the Minister of Environment in Benin. He invited the NCEA to assist his EPA in securing good EIA’s for the financing his government is applying for. He stressed the fact that the new government is ambitious, and for this requires funding. And the government realizes very well that any external funding will require sound analysis of environmental and social sustainability. The challenge of the Benin ministry of environment is the challenge that many environmental services face: strict legislation requires high quality expertise for its implementation. Without that, results may be lower than expected. The support of the NCEA is therefore twofold: help in developing capacity at the Benin EPA (ABE) but also provide specific international expertise for evaluating EIAs for large projects.

Significant details

The NCEA visited Benin in 2011 to explore possibilities for a West African regional programme. At that time, the opportunities for EIA strengthening activities were limited. In 2013, however, a reconnaissance mission of the NCEA to Benin led to a renewed momentum for cooperation between the NCEA and ABE as well as ABPEE (the association of EIA professionals in Benin). The first activities under this renewed cooperation have been undertaken in early 2014, in the form of a mapping of the EIA system in Benin and a follow-up mission to discuss its results.

Ideas for future activities, building on the outcomes of the 2014 mapping, were:

  • Independent quality review of EIAs and possibly independent advice on ToR or reviews of EIA/SEA;
  • Activities under a regional EIA programme coordinated by the WAAEA (West African Association for Environmental Assessment);
  • Capacity development activities for an inter-ministerial team implementing the Embassy of the Netherlands' water management programme in Benin, which may require SEA and/or lead to activites that require EIA.

In 2014, the NCEA secretariat adviced the ABE about the development of a new Decree on Environmental Assessment (EIA, SEA, Environmental Audits, Environmental Audiences and Environmental Inspection). In May 2015 the new Decree was adopted by the Cabinet. In june 2015, when a working group was in Cotonou to advice about the new port of Sèmè-Podji, the NCEA led a training workshop about environmental management of ports, and did a model inspection of the port of Cotonou.

In March 2015, an Aid-Mémoire was signed between ABE and CNEE to develop a joint multi-annual programme for capacity building on environmental assessment. In September 2016, an MoU was signed between ABE and the NCEA for this cooperation programme. The programme aims to develop capacity on environmental assessment in Benin. In this framework, the NCEA will also provide expertise for the evaluation of EIAs for large projects.

Following the signing of this MoU, the NCEA gave an initial training in environmental assessment. The training took place in Cotonou and was attended by a large group of EIA professionals.

Earlier, the NCEA advised on review of an EIA for natural gas exploration at sea; on review of an ESIA for the construction of a hydropower dam; and on ToR for and review of an EIA for a new seaport east of the economic capital Cotonou.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

mr G. de Gooijer

Technical secretary: mr S.G. Nooteboom

Further details

Started: 01 Jan 2011
Completed: Ongoing

Country/region/theme: Benin

Last modified: 21 Dec 2017