Equatorial Guinea

International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies

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Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Equatorial Guinea

    Article 6 of the Constitution of Equatorial Guinea reads: “The State encourages and promotes culture, artistic creation, scientific and technological research and sees to the conservation of nature, cultural heritage of the artistic and historical riches of the Nation”. Equatorial Guinea has developed various strategies and policies primarily aimed at ensuring the rational and sustainable management of its land and natural resources.

    Some of the strategies and policies include:
  • The National Environmental Management Plan (Plan Nacional del Manejo de Medio Ambiente - PNMMA)
  • Forest and Sustainable Biodiversity Management Policy
  • National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (PANA)
  • National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation (Estrategia nacional y plan de acción para la conservación de la diversidad biológica - ENPADIB)
  • National Action Plan for the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems of Equatorial Guinea
  • National Hydrological Plan

Featured Legislation

1997: Forestry Law No. 1/1997 was signed, governing the use and management of forests.

2000: Law No. 4/2000 was brought into force to regulate wildlife, hunting and protected areas.

2000: Law No. 1/2000 was introduced. This Law reviews some forestry fees in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, in order to guarantee rational use, comprehensive management, as well as control of wild resources. The rates applied for wood destined for export will be paid as follows: 1) 16% for round wood and 9% for processed wood, plus fixed rates, will be paid to the Public Treasury; 2) 10% for round wood and 1% for processed wood will be paid into the FONADEFO account.

2003: Law No. 7/2003 on environmental regulation established the legal framework for environmental management in Equatorial Guinea. The law regulates the basic standards for the preservation and protection of natural environments, including the quality of their components (air, water, soil, etc.). This law also led to the creation of the National Institute for the Environment and Nature Preservation (Instituto Nacional de Conservacion del Medio Ambiente INCOMA).

2003: Law No. 10/2003 was enacted to monitor fishing activities.

2004: Decree No. 130/2004 was created to govern the management of fishery resources in Equatorial Guinea’s marine and inland waters.

2007: Law No. 3/2007 was passed, regulating the waters and coastlines of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The law is the core instrument governing the management of inland surface water resources, rivers, ponds, lakes, groundwater, as well as the sea and its shores.

2013: The Interactive Forest Atlas of Equatorial Guinea was unveiled. This document is the summary document of the interactive version of the Interactive Forest Atlas of Equatorial Guinea, which aims to provide readers with a summary of the status and context of forest land allocation in the country’s recent history, through its platform’s unique exchange of forestry information. The Atlas is a forest information system located in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAB) and managed by a joint team made up of representatives of the National Institute for Forestry Development and Protected Areas System Management (INDEFOR-AP) and the Institute for World Resources (WRI), for its constant updating.

2019: The Mining Law was tabled. The purpose of this Mining Law of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is to establish the legal regime for the activities of prospecting, exploration and exploitation of mineral resources and other geological resources, as well as to regulate the activities related to the management of said resources and to mining operations to guarantee their sustainability, safety, rationality and profitability. Excluded from the scope of this Law are the development and enrichment of radioactive minerals and the production and use of precious stones or noble metals, which will be governed by its regulations.

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

  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment is expressing concerns over the proliferation of development projects in Equatorial Guinea. Said projects have threatened soils and vegetation cover in recent years, prompting the government to take a more active role in governing extraction activities. Specifically, The extraction of sand and other aggregates used for construction impacts mangroves and the coastline on the island of Bioko. Mangroves are especially important in Equatorial Guinea because they host an array of species, providing nesting and breeding habitat for fish and shellfish, migratory birds, and sea turtles. According to the National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation, the itinerant logging and slash and burn agriculture practiced by the population has caused negative impacts on the soils and vegetation cover of Equatorial Guinea. Local communities are engaging in conservation efforts to preserve surrounding mangroves and their dense network of roots and surrounding vegetation because these small trees along coastal salines filter and trap sediments, heavy metals, and other pollutants.
  • On 2 June, 2021: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) declared that it will launch a program entitled “Restoration of Ecosystems” in Equatorial Guinea. The purpose of this project is to strengthen technical and institutional capacities and techniques in the agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector, responding to the requirements to improve the transparency of the Paris Agreement. The government wishes to advance the implementation of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and increase the transparency of its reports under the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). The program will also formalize institutional structures and arrangements to integrate and plan activities related to transparency in the AFOLU sector, informing and making decisions that improve forest management. Finally, efforts will be made to advance the tenets of environmental justice by promoting the participation and incorporation of women, as well as institutionalization of processes in order to generate data and reports.

References and Further Reading

Contacts

Ministry of Fisheries and Environment of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Contact Hermes Ela: henvoela@yahoo.es