7293. Lac Nokoue – Benin - D2B18BN01

Invest International has funded a strategic plan for the development and improvement of the Lac Nokoué and Porto Novo region in the south of Benin. Throughout the process, the NCEA coached the steering committee on aspects related to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Coaching started in the summer of 2021 and has been completed in the summer of 2023.

Significant details

Planning for Lac Nokoué started with the proposal of a dredging project, to be financed by RVO. In March 2019, the RVO has requested a process advice from the NCEA on the 'Document de Cadrage', which detailes the tasks to be completed by the consultant. The NCEA's main advices conclusions were to clearly structure the ESIA and project phases and to find synergy between the studies for this project, and those which had been conducted for the SEA for the OmiDelta programme. 

In 2019, the decision was made to take the project to a more strategic level. Rather than developing a single project + ESIA, a strategic development plan + SEA was to be prepared. This plan would allow for high level consideration of the different challenges and opportunities in the region, as well as mobilize more donor resources. In the same time period, the project management passed from RVO to Invest International. 

Upon request of the local head of the steering committee, ADELAC, the NCEA's role changed from reviewer to coach. As coach, the NCEA participated in various SEA-related activities and provided commentary and advice to the members of the steering committee. Specifically, the NCEA was involved in the following activities:

  • Participated in the formal start of the SEA process,
  • Organized a workshop on public consultations,
  • Participated in the restitution of public consultations workshop,
  • Provided advice and comments to the steering committee throughout the SEA process,
  • Facilitated the closing workshop where the steering committee approved the Lac Nokoué development plan. 

The process was considered a succes by all actors, as it allowed for a more strategic consideration of the development options for the Lac Nokoué region. This improved ownership with local authorities and will facilitate the mobilization of funding by donors. The SEA helped to map the potential impacts and the mitigation measures necessary, as well as providing additional structure to the strategic planning process. The role of the NCEA as independent facilitator at the closing workshop was appreciated by all parties. 

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Trudi van Ingen

Technical secretary: Stephen Teeuwen, MSc

Further details

Country: Benin

Last modified: 27 Oct 2023