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 enhancing nature,  the Non-governmental organization has surfaced to drill lawyers reawakening in them the skills to better the society by enhancing justice and sustainable development. 

The two-day workshop held between Thursday September 9 and Friday 10, 2021, saw several lawyers answering present and demonstrating their willingness to be impacted with knowledge on subject 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 liability 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, such as President of Court Appeal for North West region representing the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and keeper of the seal participating lawyers have been encouraged to dwell with environmental issues to protect nature  


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 


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 us 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 deals 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 


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


"Gone are the days when basically laws were decided 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 organise a multi stakeholders workshop next year and to hold same workshop in the South West region to drill lawyers of other regions. There will be the creation of national network for environmental lawyers

Certificates were later handed to some participants with the following resolutions and challenges highlighted 



Challenges 

Decree of Application required after a law has been promulgated 
An unenabling tax system 
Ratification of treaty on IEA
Difficulties with the execution of environmental judgements especially from ADM Courts 
Absence of green judgements 
Lack of awareness of environmental laws


Recommendations 

Decree of implementation should be drafted simultaneously with the law
International treaties should have precedence over national laws
Creating of environmental courts and training of specialized (Green)  judges 

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 assistance. 

By 
Anye Nde Nsoh

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