International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies


Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Chad

    Chad’s constitution features various provisions to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the environment:

    Article 51 states “Every person has the right to a healthy environment”. Article 52 reads:

  • "The State and the Autonomous Collectivities must ensure environmental protection
  • The conditions of storage, handling and disposal of toxic wastes or pollutants from national activities are determined by the law
  • The transit, importation, storage, burying, or dumping of foreign toxic wastes or pollutants on the national territory is prohibited"

  • Finally, Article 57 stipulates that the “protection of the environment is a duty for all. The State and the Autonomous Collectivities ensure the defense and protection of the environment. Any damage caused to the environment must be made the object of a just reparation”.

Featured Legislation

1967: Law No. 23, 24, and 25 were passed, reflecting principles of freehold tenure introduced by colonialists; the laws also require landholders to register ownership rights, and provide for the expropriation of land by the state.

1994: Law No. 36 was enacted, ensuring that forests on public land belong to the state, and mandates forest conservation measures. The law also regulates timber harvesting, transport and marketing at the national level.

1995: The Mineral Code was brought into force, governing Chad’s mineral resources.

1998: Law No. 14 was introduced to provide for a balanced, rational forest management policy that permits economic use of forest resources and upholds general principles for environmental protection.

2009: Decree No. 904/pr/pm/merh/2009 (regulating pollution and environmental nuisances) was posited. This Decree defines the rules relating to pollution and environmental nuisances, in accordance with Title V of Law No. 014/PR/98 of August 17, 1998, defining the general principles of environmental protection, without prejudice compliance with the relevant international Conventions, Protocols and Agreements to which the Republic of Chad is a Party. The protection of the environment against any form of degradation, alteration and its sustainable management, as well as the improvement of the framework and the living conditions of the population are of public order.

2009: Order No. 3826/PR/PM/MERH/2009 (on the creation, powers and composition of an organizing committee for N’Djamena meetings on the environment) was posited. This decree establishes, responsibilities and composition of an organizing committee for N’Djamena meetings on the environment, whose main mission is to ensure the practical organization of all meetings on the environment, in particular: the meeting of experts and Ministers on the initiative of the Great Green Wall; the consultative meeting of African parliamentarians from Central Africa on disaster risk reduction related to climate change.

1999: The Water Code was signed, setting out the management of water resources and water access for stock-breeding, agriculture, and human consumption. Under the Code, all naturally-occurring surface and subsurface water is considered to be in the public domain.

1999: The Petroleum Revenue Management Law (Law No. 001/PR/99) was approved to govern the allocation of revenue from petroleum reserves.

2001: Decree No. 215 established a National Land Observatory to improve understanding of land-related problems in order to support the development of effective land-related policies and legislation.2002: Law No. 7 was introduced to empower rural communities in natural resource management and environmental protection.

2003: Decree 10-PR-MP-2003 was formulated, giving a consortium (Esso Exploration, Petronas Carigali, and Chevron Petroleum Chad) exclusive rights to explore liquid hydrocarbons and gas reserves in the country.

2008: Law No. 14 governs the country’s forest, wildlife and fisheries resources. Law No. 14 also provides for the division of public forests into areas managed by central and local authorities.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • Located in the far west of Chad and the northeast of Nigeria, Lake Chad, has shrunk by 90 per cent, leaving approximately 10 million people across the region in dire need of emergency assistance. According to The United Nations, the Lake Chad crisis is one of the worst in the world, as rich aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity is now under threat and human health is compromised. The lake has been supporting drinking water, irrigation, fishing, livestock and economic activity for over 30 million people in the region, sustaining indigenous, pastoral and farming communities; however, the effects of climate change have resulted in massive environmental and humanitarian crises. For example, Lake Chad once featured a surface area of 26,000 square kilometres in 1963, but is now reduced to less than 1,500 square kilometres. If certain regions in Chad did not benefit from rainfall, communities would simply relocate to other regions to farm or graze their herds, but with heavy military restrictions implemented to counter insurgency efforts, communities are no longer free to migrate across the country. This is exacerbated by social conflict in the region which undermines food and nutritional security, pushing communities into the arms of terrorist groups. Economic crisis; divisive reforms; poor governance; rising inequality and burgeoning corruption among the ruling political elite have led to a violent conflict trap between state security forces and armed opposition groups – namely, Boko Haram who has displaced nearly 2.5 million people across the neighbouring countries.
  • Intersections between human security, biosecurity and transnational environmental crime have been recognized by the international community. Conservationists working with the Environment and Rural Development Foundation suggest that a robust and integrated management approach is needed in Chad, drawing upon sustainable management of natural resources and regional stabilisation to reduce people’s vulnerability. The UN Security Council and other peacebuilding agencies will attempt to integrate the linkages of environmental, social and political issues in their peacebuilding efforts to formulate climate and conflict-sensitive livelihood models which will aim to empower communities. Some suggestions include the introduction of climate-smart crops such as millets, tubers and cereals, which hold the potential of ameliorating the socio-economic situation in Chad, sustainably diversifying rural income.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries: Mr. Valery Djingaye,