FEDEV at the helm of environmental protection for sustainable development

.                  Attending participants 

Climate change, pollution, spacie existence, disease prevalence, natural resource extinction, mismanagement of natural resources, problem of waste management and a host of others have caused FEDEV (Foundation for Environmental and Development) to train some Lawyers in the North West and Center regions on "Environmental Law and Litigation" and how to manage cases related to environmental protection, in collaboration with the Cameroon Bar Association.

FEDEV having as aim "Enhancing the capacity of Lawyers on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development", saw the lapses in Lawyers implementing the law, litigation and limitations in the society in enhancing nature,  took upon themselves to drill lawyers reawakening in them the skills to better the society by enhancing justice and sustainable development. 

The two-day workshop held in Bamenda between Thursday September 9 and Friday 10, 2021, saw several lawyers answering present and demonstrating their willingness to be impacted with knowledge on subjects matters including Human Rights and Environment interface, Navigating the environmental impacts of extractive industries: Lessons, Environmental Impact Assessment: National & International Obligation, The Challenges to Environmental Litigation in Cameroon and proposals, Evidence in Environmental matters, Environmental Litigation in Uganda, Fundamental Principles of Environmental Law, Public Interest Environmental Litigation in Cameroon, Climate Change, Governance, Policy & Society
from Latin America, Social media as a tool for Environmental lawyers, Trans-national hdddxdddxddddde for Environmental harm and human rights 
violations, Damages in Environmental Matters: Social and external for the way forward. 

Holding under the supervision of high ranking officials of the law in the region, such as President of Court Appeal for North West region representing the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and keeper of the seal who encouraged the participants to dwell with environmental issues for nature protection. 

Speaking to The Observer237.com shortly after the workshop, Bar. Nchunu Justice Sama Executive Director of FEDEV hinted on the need for the activation of Environmental laws in the country for sustainable development and to protect nature

Bar. Nchunu Justice Sama Executive Director of FEDEV

"All these problems are coming to us and its like nature telling us we have crossed the red line and so there is therefore need for those who are actors in the judicial sector to be empowered in order to implement the existing laws that we have. We have huge body of laws regulating environmental issues, the constitution, various national legislation, international agreements defined by Cameroon and it is imperative we activate these laws for environmental protection to address the current challenges plaguing us"

Over 100 magistrates were trained last year and this year it was on top priority for FEDEV to extend the knowledge to lawyers who are on ground and deal directly with the common man. 

According to Bar Mbah Eric Mbah Representative of the president of Cameroon Bar association, lawyers should specialise in such issues for the better. He went ahead to state that it is difficult to handle such cases related to the state which at times causes difficulties in decision making as a law practitioner. 

Bar. Mbah Eric Mbah representativeof the president of Cameroon Bar association

"Gone are the days when basically laws were divided into civil law or the criminal law, there are many domains of legal practice now that no practitioners can master all. So I think part of it is because a lot of us magistrates and lawyers are still in generalities. 
Now that we are beginning to move into specialisation, more of us will get into environmental protection law, cyber criminality and lot more
The reason for getting into some aspects is the fact that the legal field is so vast and there is no specialisation. 
One of the major difficulties we face as magistrates are issues related with the state like the facilitators said let's do our part and allow the rest."

At end, FEDEV plans to hold same workshop in the South West region  in the days ahead for lawyers who are in other regions of Cameroon to drill them the importance of environmental protection and how to handle such cases. They also plan to organise a multi stakeholders workshop next year and eventually the creation of national network for environmental lawyers. 

Certificates were later handed to some participants who have pledged to to work and enhance environmental law and  to be more involved in environmental issues. 

In an appraisal statement Bar. Akum Daniel of the Akum Daniel and Co chambers in Bamenda says it was a worthwhile and timely workshop. 

Bar. Akum Daniel

"The workshop has been very instrumental in building up my knowledge on environmental issues. I had acquired some knowledge on environmental issues when I did my post graduate degree, the seminar has come to beef up my knowledge on environmental issues. There are some practical issues that arose here which we didn't have in our course in the university  which we will be able to handle them now. 
It act as some sort of sensitizatiom of lawyers on environmental issues. These issues actually surround us and without such workshops, people will be moving around getting messed up with environmental issues without being conscious that these are issues that could be tackled easily. My consciousness has been awaken because I will be more sensitive to issues of the environment and will readily take up these issues before the law court."

Foundation for environment and development was created in 2002 and received it's reception for operation in April 2003. It is an association aimed at encouraging and supporting developmental ideas by promoting technical assiatance

Anye Nde Nsoh

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