International Treaties

Sustainable Development

Environmental Law

Case Studies


Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Niger

Niger’s constitution contains provisions for environmental protection, beginning with Article 35, which states:

“Any person has the right to a healthy environment. The State has the obligation to protect the environment in the interest of present and future generations. Each one is required to contribute to the safeguarding and to the improvement of the environment in which he lives. The acquisition, the storage, the handling and the disposal of toxic wastes or pollutants originating from factories and other industrial or handwork [artisanales] sites, installed on the national territory[,] are regulated by the law. The transit, importation, storage, landfill, [and] dumping on the national territory of foreign pollutants or toxic wastes, as well as any agreement relating [to it] constitute a crime against the Nation, punished by the law”.

Article 36 reads: “The State and the other public collectivities see to the fight against desertification”.

Lastly, Article 37 ensures that The national and international enterprises have the obligation to respect the legislation in force in environmental matters. They are required to protect human health and to contribute to the safeguarding [of it] as well as to the improvement of the environment.

Featured Legislation

1972: Decree Noº 72-88 was introduced. This decree prohibits hunting in all its forms, but it explicitly maintains the provisions of decrees 65-108/MER/MI and 66-101/MER/MI relating to the destruction of birds and vermin.

1992: Ordinance Noº 92-044 was approved. This ordinance establishes phytosanitary legislation in Niger, ensuring the control of the movement of plants, plant products and other articles that may cause the spread of harmful organisms.

2000: The Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Act was passed. This Act establishes the Niger-Delta Development Commission as a body corporate which shall be governed by a Governing Board. The Commission shall:

  • (a) formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger-Delta area
  • (b) conceive, plan and implement in accordance with rules and regulations, projects and programs for the sustainable development of Niger-Delta.

2001: Law No. 2001-001 was instituted, ensuring that petroleum products imported into Niger are subject, before stripping, to a systematic quality control by the national laboratory for the analysis of petroleum products under the conditions determined by this law.

2001: Order No. 09/CAB/PM was ratified, establishing, within the Prime Minister’s office, the steering committee of the Niger food security policy support project.

2003: ​​Décret Noº 2003-145 was signed. The legislation oversees the production, transport and distribution of drinking water in urban and semi-urban areas entered into on March 20, 2001 between the Republic of Niger, the Société de patrimoine des eaux du Niger (SPEN ) and the Société d’exploitation des eaux du Niger (SEEN), the latter is responsible for operating the public service for the production, transport and distribution of drinking water in urban and semi-urban areas.

2005: Order No. 50 was created to guide the creation, organization and financing of the support project for the establishment of the energy information system of Niger or SIE Niger. This organization is responsible for collecting and processing information on energy in order to formulate proposals for national guidelines, policy and strategy.

2010: Ordinance No. 2010-09 was adopted. This ordinance determines the terms and conditions for the management of water resources throughout the territory of Niger.

2010: Following the development of the Rural Development Strategy (SDR) and the National Agricultural Investment Program (PNIA), Niger has put in place an Investment Plan to plan and mobilize financial resources for the implementation of the NAIP. This Plan is structured around several areas.

2012: Plan Forestier National NIGER (2012-2021) was unveiled. To address forest degradation, desertification and poverty, Niger has adopted the National Forest Plan (PFN_2012-2021), based on a programmatic and eco-regional approach, a participatory context of globality and integration aimed at sound management of forest ecosystems (supply) and satisfaction of household needs (demand).

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

  • Oil-reserves in the Niger-Delta are a bastion of corruption, human rights violation and ecological devastation. Oil spills have become an awful reality for citizens who have tried to protest against criminal negligence of their pipeline infrastructure, which has led to the hazardous practice of burning around the clock. Threats to human health have increased, as leaking natural gas has become rampant, polluting air quality in many areas. Oil conglomerate Shell has come under criticism for its role in the Delta, causing countless environmental disasters. Environmental activists have uncovered arrangements between Shell and the corrupt military of Niger, leading to the creation of repressive local military regimes. Contamination of soil and water in the Niger-Delta is primarily Shell’s fault; however, immense political and financial power has enabled the multinational to evade prosecution, dodging its responsibility to the people of Niger. Shell has denied responsibility and is unwilling to dedicate itself to clean the Niger-Delta, perpetuating a vicious cycle of environmental destruction and human rights abuses.

References and Further Reading


Delta Ministry of Environment, Climate Change Department: Mrs. Felicia Adun,