Greening the Judiciary in Cameroon

More than 50 Cameroonian judges are participating in “Environmental Law and Litigation” workshops in the mountain city of Buea, in southwest Cameroon. The November 20-21 workshop, followed by one being held this week, are hosted through a partnership of ELAW; the Foundation for Environment and Development (FEDEV); and Cameroon’s Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development. ELAW staff and other international experts are participating remotely.

Nchunu Justice Sama, FEDEV’s Executive Director, says the workshops have been a terrific success.

“Environmental law is a new field in Cameroon and we are pleased to share our expertise with judges drawn from the bench and the department of public prosecution across the region.”

The broad list of workshop topics includes Fundamental Principles of Environmental Law; Human Rights and Environmental Justice; the Environmental Impacts of Mining, Climate change; and much more.

ELAW Executive Director Bern Johnson welcomed participants by Zoom, along with presenters from the ELAW team: Staff Scientists Dr. Meche Lu and Dr. Mark Chernaik, and Africa Law Associate Bernard Ngalim. In addition, Ernie Niemi, President of Natural Resource Economics, shared his expertise calculating the costs of the environmental, social, and other impacts of proposed projects.

ELAW partners at Greenwatch in Uganda have also conducted judicial trainings this year. They helped FEDEV enlist, as workshop guest speaker, the Honorable Justice Kenneth Kakuru who serves on Uganda’s Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.

The positive response to the workshops has inspired FEDEV to pursue additional training opportunities in 2021.

Nchunu reported:

“Participants left with abundant satisfaction with respect to the enhanced knowledge, experience, skills and materials in the area of environmental law and litigation. It was equally a great opportunity for networking among participants and resource persons both in-person and via the online portals used by foreign experts.

We aim to host similar workshops for lawyers, investigators, and environmental inspectors. These and similar seminars for all major stakeholders involved in the dispensation of environmental justice will create a conducive atmosphere for stakeholder collaborative action and synergy promoting environmental justice.”

We will keep you informed of our progress in 2021, greening the judiciary around the world.


Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide