November 28, 2011

EANECE Concludes Successful Principles Training Course

Filed under: Africa, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 1:18 pm

On 14-18 November, 2011, the East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE) in partnership with the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) conducted a regional training on the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Course and the Facilitators Course for the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement.

The training was held in Mombasa, Kenya, and brought together 24 participants from various government agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Among the participants were environmental inspectors, attorneys, planners, police officers and managers of compliance and enforcement programs. The courses were facilitated by a team of highly qualified and experienced trainers from the USA, Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya.

The Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement training course, which ran from 14-16 November, is designed to enable participants to develop their own management approach to an environmental problem, to draft enforceable requirements where appropriate, to design a unique compliance strategy and enforcement program, and to role-play in a negotiation session to resolve a specific enforcement case.  At the end of the course, all the participants were optimistic that they will be able to apply the common principles to their specific environmental challenges and design efficient strategies to use their national laws to their most effective outcomes.

The Principles course was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment in response to requests from new enforcement programs and has been taught to thousands of participants in different countries and environmental programs worldwide.  It presents a compilation of international experience on the fundamental principles for designing and implementing environmental compliance and enforcement programs and is designed for delivery in a wide variety of cultural settings.

On 17-18 November, 12 participants out of the 24 who had successfully completed thePrinciples course proceeded to undertake the Facilitators Course for the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Training. The aim of the Facilitators course was to build capacity for future delivery of the Principles courses and other related courses in East Africa. It is expected that with some additional mentoring, this team of facilitators will be able to replicate the Principles course in many organizations across East Africa.

 “I am extremely excited because EANECE’s goal for joint capacity building for environmental compliance and enforcement in East Africa has finally materialized through this training. We also achieved our other goals of networking and information sharing. I thank the USEPA and INECE for sponsoring this event. It is my dream that we will in the near future be able to have other similar training in East Africa and, that each EANECE member country will one day be able to replicate these courses nationally and within their member organizations.”  — Dr. Robert Ntakamulenga, EANECE Executive Committee Member, at the official closing of the Principles Course.

October 28, 2011

Report from the Exchange of Nigerian Inspectors to Antwerp and Bremen Ports

Inspector Exchange Participants

From 10-14 October 2011, Nigerian officers visited their colleagues in Antwerp, Belgium, and Bremen, Germany. This exchange was facilitated by INECE in collaboration with the involved authorities in Antwerp, Bremen, and Nigeria.

The objective of the event was to learn mutually about the procedures and practice regarding the inspection of international waste shipments in the ports. Such inspections are important to detect and prevent those shipments that are illegal.

Through a mixture of presentations, discussions and practical demonstrations and exercises, the involved officers got acquainted with several essential approaches and the challenges they present.

Important recurring issues were the following:

(more…)

October 14, 2011

Nigerian Port Inspectors Exchange with Colleagues in Antwerp and Bremen

Filed under: Africa, Europe, seaports — Tags: , , — inece @ 6:25 pm

Port of Antwerp by Serge Van Cauwenbergh

Together with Belgian and German authorities, INECE currently is co-facilitating a 4 day exchange of Nigerian inspectors to the ports of Antwerp, Belgium, and Bremen, Germany. Due to its central location, the port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, in terms of total freight shipped, and the port of Bremen is the fourth largest.

The objective of this event is to learn mutually about the procedures and practices with regard to illegal export and import of waste commodities. Important aspects covered during the exchange will be issues like discrimination between waste and reusable materials, effective collaboration between involved authorities, and return of illegal shipments to country of origin.

Sharing the practical experiences, know-how and challenges, and exchanging the relevant information, are important steps to become more effective in the international fight against illegal waste shipments and dumping.

October 10, 2011

Ghana’s Akoben Program Releases Facility Ratings

Filed under: Africa, Strategic Management & Indicators — Tags: — inece @ 7:44 pm

On 6 October, Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency disclosed the environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings of fifty manufacturing and eleven mining companies using a five color performance scale (Gold-excellent, Green-very good, Blue-good, Orange-unsatisfactory and Red-poor). This initiative is called the AKOBEN environmental rating and disclosure program which was officially launched last year. These ratings are annually disclosed to the public and the general media, and it aims to strengthen public awareness and participation.

In moving forward, the Ghana EPA has enlisted fifty new companies in the rating program and further plans to expand the coverage of the AKOBEN program to hotels, hospitals and oil suppliers. It is also developing an environmental rating system for clean cities. Additionally, the Ghana EPA plans to add resource management and climate change aspects to the criteria for GREEN rating. As a result, performance evaluation will also include specific indicators of energy use, energy efficiency, CO2 emissions from energy use and land use changes, water use, water conservation and land management.

For more information, see:

September 26, 2011

INECE Mourns Loss of Environmental Visionary Wangari Maathai

Filed under: Africa, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 7:48 am

Washington, DC, September 26, 2011 – Wangarai Maathai, climate luminary and Africa’s first female Nobel Peace Prize winner passed away on September 25th, 2011.

Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

She was 71 years old. Ms. Maathai was recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

INECE Director Durwood Zaelke stated, “The environment lost one of its most heroic defenders with the passing of Wangari Maathai. She inspired so many of us to protect our planet. Wangari gave us courage and she gave us hope and even humor. While her work and her memory will carry on, we will all be a bit lonelier and sadder without her infectious spirit and radiant smile that always made us want dance or sing while we worked to fought on.”
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August 10, 2011

East African Network Launches New Website

Filed under: Africa, INECE Secretariat — Tags: — inece @ 3:30 pm

The East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE) has launched a new web site,  http://www.eanece.org/index.php, to promote the activities and results of the network.

Please visit the new site to learn more about this important initiative.

You also can follow EANECE on Facebook.

EANECE is an informal network of government agencies which have in their mandate environmental management, compliance and enforcement responsibilities in the East African nations of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. EANECE was established in May, 2010 at a conference held at the United Nations Complex, Gigiri, Nairobi. 

July 22, 2011

Kenyan president torches 5 tons of illegal ivory to focus attention on poaching

Filed under: Africa, biodiversity — Tags: — inece @ 10:34 am
Image (c) Barbara Lee Shaw

Image (c) Barbara Lee Shaw

From the Kenya Wildlife Service: 

Kenyan President  Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday 20 July 2011 set ablaze five tonnes of ivory …[to demonstrate that] Kenya would like to stand counted as a country in the forefront in wildlife conservation.

“Through the disposal of contraband ivory, we seek to formally demonstrate to the world our determination to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in ivory,’’ Kibaki told several hundred conservationists at the Kenya Wildlife Service paramilitary training school in Tsavo West National Park.“We must all appreciate the negative effects of illegal trade to our national economies. We cannot afford to sit back and allow criminal networks to destroy our common future.’’

…The action, which was part of the first ever African Elephant Law Enforcement Day celebrations, was …meant to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the African elephant across Africa. Speaking on behalf of the Lusaka Agreement Governing Council, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, Uganda’s Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, said the collective message to poachers and traders in illegal wildlife was that “their days were numbered.”

Dr Noah Wekesa, Kenya’s Minister for Forestry and Wildlife said the message had been sent to all in the illegal trade chain “to abandon this business and be part of conservation efforts.”He proposed that in future, confiscated ivory should be disposed off in its country of origin to “send a powerful message to poachers that this business is not acceptable in their country.”

Dr Wekesa said Kenya was in the final stages of passing a new wildlife policy and bill which has heavy penalties that would serve as a deterrent to poaching and ensure that “illegal wildlife trade has no safe haven within our region.”

For the full article, see the Kenya Wildlife Service Website.

See also, more information on the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day.

February 18, 2011

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator to Focus Environmental Governance in Kenya

Filed under: Africa — Tags: — inece @ 4:45 pm

Delegates at the Launching Conference of EANECE, Kenya, May 2010

A U.S. EPA press briefing announces Administrator Lisa Jackson’s agenda for travel to Kenya and Ethiopia on Friday, 18 February 2011 to engage in bilateral and multilateral meetings aimed at building relationships with key African counterparts and other environmental leaders.

Part of Administrator Jackson’s meetings will include joining the director general of Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority to speak on environmental initiatives and to participate in a roundtable with the East Africa Enforcement Network.

The East African Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (EANECE) was established in 2010 by the governments of five East African countries — Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, in partnership with INECE — to promote the rule of law, good governance, and sustainable development through efficient and effective implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation and policies.

For more information, see http://inece.org/eanece/.

January 28, 2011

Nigeria Workshop Explores Role of Civil Society in Environmental Governance

Filed under: Africa, Environmental Crime — Tags: — inece @ 4:35 pm

From The Nation

The Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Ngeri Benebo, has said addressing environmental degradation requires collective efforts.

She stated this at the zonal workshop for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and NESREA Green Corps (NGCs) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Benebo noted that the people’s actions and inactions could bring about series of environmental degradation, ranging from pollution of air, land, water, to loss of biodiversity, stressing that the people were both culprits and victims of the situation.

She said: “As government, private sector, NGOs, civil society, individuals and the general public, we all have responsibility in protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development. The government cannot tackle these problems alone. Everyone of us, irrespective of our gender, class or creed, is a stakeholder in our national efforts to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.”

Benebo stressed that civil society organisations could meaningfully contribute to environmental governance by focusing attention on issues which would inform and alert citizens on environmental crimes, thereby improving the quality of public compliance to environmental policies and regulations.

She noted that at state, federal and international levels, the civil society organisations had played key roles in the protection of the environment and in the promotion of sustainable development.

Full article: The Nation

January 11, 2011

Ghana EPA Launches Environmental Performance Rating Disclosure Programme

Filed under: Africa — Tags: , — inece @ 9:56 pm

On 25 November 2010, an Environmental Performance Rating Disclosure (EPRD) Programme was launched after five years of work between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and mining and manufacturing companies. The first disclosure covered 11 mining and 49 manufacturing companies.

The EPRD is dubbed the AKOBEN Programme, which won a poster session at IAIA09. AKOBEN is a local Adinkra symbol which stands for vigilance and wariness. It also signifies alertness and readiness to serve a good cause. The program is an initiative of the Ghana EPA to assess performance of companies to ensure compliance with environmental standards and implementation of commitments made in the environmental impact statements (EIS) and EIA follow-up. It uses a five-color rating scheme —  gold, green, blue, orange, and red — which indicate environmental performance ranging from excellent to poor.

The programme uses seven criteria: legal requirements; hazardous toxic waste on-site management, spills and accidents; compliance with environmental quality standards (toxic and non-toxic and noise pollution); environmental monitoring and reporting; best practices environmental management; complaints management and community relations; and corporate social responsibility.

The launch was performed on behalf of the Vice President, Mr. John Dramani  Mahama, by Ms. Victoria Addy, a Member of the Council of State who stated: ”we must ensure that our economic move does not happen at the cost of environmental degradation that will deprive our future generations of environmental and natural resource assets.”

The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey,  said “the aim of the ratings is to encourage companies to adopt prudent environment management practices in their operations and combat environment pollution in the country.”

For details, see http://www.epaghanaakoben.org/.

Article submitted by Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana.

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