Côte d'Ivoire

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Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Côte d'Ivoire

    The New Constitution of the Republic of Côte D’Ivoire states in its preamble that the country is committed to:

  • Preserving the integrity of the national territory
  • Safeguarding sovereignty over national resources and ensuring an equitable management thereof for the well-being of everyone
  • Promoting equality between men and women
  • Promoting transparency in the conduct of public affairs
  • Defending and preserving cultural heritage
  • Contributing to climate protection and to maintaining a healthy environment for future generations

  • Article 40 reads: “The protection of the environment and the promotion of the quality of life are a duty for the community and for each natural or legal person. The State is committed to protecting its maritime space, its waterways, its natural parks as well as its historic sites and monuments against any form of degradation. The State and public communities [must] take the necessary measures to safeguard the fauna and flora. Where there may be a risk of harm that could seriously and irreversibly affect the environment, the State and public communities are required to assess the potential harm and to adopt the necessary preventive measures by applying the precautionary principle.”

    The National Environmental Agency (NEA) was created by Decree No. 97-393 of 9 July 1997. Its mission is to:

  • Coordinate the execution of environmental development projects
  • Build and manage a portfolio of environmental investment projects
  • Ensure that environmental concerns are taken into account in development projects and programmes
  • Ensure the establishment and management of a national environmental information system
  • Implement the impact assessment procedure and the assessment of the environmental impact of macro-economic policies
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with networks of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Develop environmental profiles and local authority management plans
  • Perform environmental audits of works and companies
  • Educate, inform and communicate awareness around the protection of the environment

Featured Legislation

1995: The National Environmental Action Plan was developed, highlighting ten focal areas relating to:

  • Pustainable agriculture
  • Preservation of biodiversity
  • Management of human settlements
  • Coastal zone management
  • Industrial pollution and nuisances
  • Integrated water management
  • Enhancement of energy resources
  • Research, education
  • Training and awareness raising
  • Sharing of environmental information
  • And promotion of an institutional and legal framework

1996: The Environment Code (Law No. 96-766) was signed, defining the environment as being “the ensemble of all physical, chemical and biological elements as well as the socio-economic factors likely to have a direct or indirect, immediate or eventual effect on the environment, living organisms and human activities.”  Article 53 states that cultural heritage is an integral part of the environment as well.

1996: Decree 96-894 was passed, outlining rules and procedures for conducting EIAs for development projects and promoting the consideration of environmental constraints in the development, implementation and execution of development projects.

2005: Decree No. 2005-03 was enacted, overseeing environmental audits.

2008: Order No. 01164 was enacted, providing regulations for the control of discharges and emissions from classified installations.

2012: Decree No. 2012-1047 was created to fix the modalities of applying the polluter pays principle as defined in the Environment Code.

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

  • In 2019: The 1996 Environmental Code Act was reformed in response to the effects of climate change; coastal erosion problems and flooding. Séka Séka, the nation’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development is proposing tougher law enforcement, providing the country with the tools it needs to participate in international agreements and ratify international treaties such as the Paris Agreements. The new reforms came about through a two-day workshop, which was organised by the National Agency for Environment and Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the World Bank. 40 participants, including representatives of ministries, technical and financial partners and members of civil society, deliberated on ways of making the Environment Act more up-to-date. Some key objectives of the meeting include the creation of a steering committee; a scientific committee and general coordination among stakeholders.
  • The coordinator of the West African Coastal Management Programme (Waca) is making a plea for the creation of environmental courts and an environmental task force as a response to recent data which reveal that the nation’s annual deforestation rate is 8.9%. At this rate, the country may potentially lose its entire national forest cover by 2034. The legacy of environmental injustice and racism has left an indelible stain on the country’s environmental track record, as communities are still recovering from the Probo Koala case, in which a Swiss company illegally dumped tonnes of toxic waste in Abidjan in 2006: Killing 17 people and causing health problems for more than 100,000 others.. What is needed, activists argue, is multisectoral code that integrates environmental components such as deforestation, marine erosion, agriculture and aspects of climate change – environmental crimes not taken into account by the former environmental code of 1996.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests: http://www.environnement.gouv.ci/mail.php