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Environmental Crime Legal Framework In Guinea

The Constitution of Guinea contains provisions for the protection of the environment. Article 16 of the constitution reads: “Every person has the right to a healthy and lasting environment and the duty to defend it. The State sees to the protection of the environment”.

Article 17 states: “The transit, the importation, the storage, the dumping on the national territory of toxic waste or pollutants, and all agreements relative to the matter constitute a crime against the Nation. The applicable sanctions are specified by the law”.

Article 21 ensures that all citizens “have the right to the preservation of their patrimony, of their culture and of their environment”.

Featured Legislation

1989: The Environmental Protection Code (N°022/PRG/89) was instituted, establishing the fundamental principles intended to manage and protect the environment against all forms of degradation; protect and enhance the use of natural resources; and fight against various types of pollution and nuisances and improve living conditions.

1992: The Framework Land Tenure Law was passed, establishing an elaborate land privatization and registration system.

1994: The Water Code (L/94/005/CTRN) was adopted, coordinating water policies in order to achieve a rational management of water resources at national level.

1995: The Mining Code (L/95/036/CTRN) was adopted to regulate the mining sector in order to promote investment and ensure a better understanding of the soil and sub- soil of the Republic of Guinea. The legislation also seeks to encourage the exploration for and development of mineral resources so as to promote Guinea’s economic and social development.

1998: The Wildlife Code was enacted (Law Lo L/99/038/AN), setting out the policy on the protection of wildlife and their habitats as well as the regulation of hunting of unprotected species.

1999: The Forest Code (L/99/013/AN) was signed, ensuring the protection and sustainable management of forests. The Forestry Administration is responsible for implementing any measures necessary for the protection, sustainable development of Guinean forests and trees outside forests, the conservation of plant diversity, the mitigation of the impacts of climate change and the certification of forest products harvested.

2001: The New Rural Land Policy was signed, recognizing customary property rights to land, protecting the rights of vulnerable or socially marginalized groups at the same time as it promotes productive investment.

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

  • During a 2019 conference, the head of the United Nations anti-crime agency warned the Security Council of increasing rates of maritime crime involving vessels, cargoes, crews and illicit money flows from many regions in the Gulf of Guinea. The aim of the conference, according to the agency, is coordinated efforts to foster the development of a sustainable “blue economy” on the high seas because recent data suggest that transnational environmental crimes in countries like Guinea fuel conflicts; deny the country millions of dollars of revenue and contribute to the spread of human trafficking. Moreover, piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea is closely tied to illegal fishing worldwide and migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean. Guinea, in particular, features natural hydrocarbon and living marine resources and is an important route connecting Africa with Europe and the Americas. Today, the Gulf faces increasing environmental criminality, prompting the creation of multinational and regional coordination centres which will coordinate the restoration of the environment damaged by hydrocarbon exploitation; the political inclusion of marginalized people in multiracial and multi tribal societies; and a strategic framework for the implementation of agreements signed on the suppression of criminal activities at sea.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Environment, Water and Forestry: