Capacity Building Workshop for the Engagement of Community -Based Monitoring groups in Batouri

Since 2009, Cameroon has been committed to its vision of attaining emergence by 2035. As of the year 2020, the country launched the second phase of the emergence plan by validating its National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (SND30) which presents the mining sector as a key sector for achieving the objectives of economic growth and the improvement of living conditions. Alongside the SDN30, Cameroon has a legal code that regulates mining activities for the preservation of the environment, including the protection of the local population. Moreso we can cite the Constitution of Cameroon which, in its Preamble, mentions the State’s resolution to “exploit its natural resources in order to ensure the well-being of all by improving the level of livelihoods of the people without any discrimination”. In addition to that, the Law on the Mining Code of Cameroon, promulgated in 2016, contains many provisions contributing to mining being carried out for the benefit of populations.

 To attain these objectives, the legislative and regulatory framework applicable to the mining sector in Cameroon obliges mining operators to respect environmental and social obligations for the well-being of neighboring communities and the protection of the environment. Unfortunately, mining activity continues to have negative impacts on local populations. A clear example is the case of Batouri, a locality of the Kadey division, east region of Cameroon, where semi-mechanized mining industries do not comply with the environmental and social obligations due to them under their activities.

Based on this observation, the Network for the Fight against Hunger (RELUFA) and the Center for Environmental Protection and Defense of Community Interests (CEPEDIC), with the financial support of the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP-USA) have opted to work alongside communities, particularly those in Batouri, to help them defend their rights in line with mining processes. The ultimate objective is to get these local actors to become effectively involved in monitoring the environmental and social obligations of semi-mechanized mining industries on the field and to support them in their advocacy with the authorities.

In view of the importance of effective monitoring of these communities, RELUFA and its local partner, CEPEDIC deemed it necessary to organize a workshop on community engagement in monitoring the environmental and social obligations of the semi-mechanized mining industry. This workshop which took place on the 24th of May 2023 is the extension of a series of workshops for the above-mentioned stakeholders initiated in 2022. The workshop has permitted participants to be versed in the importance and challenges of community-based monitoring of the environmental and social obligations of semi-mechanized mining industries and has also bolstered courage in the minds of these local actors to defend the interests of their communities at all costs.


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