POOR ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE IN CAMEROON. CASE OF BUEA MUNICIPALITY
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Recent years have seen an appreciable growth in the level of understanding of the dangers facing the national and international environment and an extensive range of environmental problems is now the subject of serious international concern. These include atmospheric pollution, marine pollution, global warming and ozone depletion, the dangers of nuclear and other extra-hazardous substances and threatened wildlife species. Such problems though emanating from a single state have an international dimension in two obvious respects. First, pollution generated from within a particular state often has a serious impact upon other countries. Despite these attempts made by the government to control environmental pollution, environmental pollution still prevails in Cameroon especially in areas like Buea. This is because though these laws have been adopted, the implementation measures are lagging behind with much of the blame going to lack of adequate resources to combat environmental pollution, as well as lack of environmental specialists. This research therefore ends by proposing that the Cameroon government should prioritize environmental impact assessment measures while always taking into consideration the precautionary and the preventive principle to control environmental pollution in the country
Environmental Governance comprises the rules, practices, policies and institutions that shape how humans interact with the environment. Good environmental governance takes into account the role of all actors that impact the environment. From governments to NGOs, the private sector and civil society, cooperation is critical to achieving effective governance that can help us move towards a more sustainable future.
Much of the history of Western civilizations has been characterized as exploitation, destruction, and no caring for the environment. Various arguments have been advanced to explain the roots of our environmentally destructive tendencies, including our religions, our social and economic structure, and our acceptance of technology Brownile J(2008). In the first chapter of Genesis, people are commanded by God to subdue nature, to procreate, and to have dominion over all living things. This anthropocentric view of nature runs through the Judaeo-Christian doctrine, placing humans at the pinnacle of development and encouraging humans to use nature as we see fit.Perhaps the problem is with science and technology.
Recent years have seen an appreciable growth in the level of understanding of the dangers facing the international environment and an extensive range of environment problems is now the subject of serious international concern A. Kiss and J.-P (2004). These include atmospheric pollution, marine pollution, global warming and ozone depletion, the dangers of nuclear and other extra-hazardous substances and threatened wildlife species M. Carwardine (1990). Such problems have an international dimension in two obvious respects. First, pollution generated from within a particular state often has a serious impact upon other countries. The prime example would be acid rain, whereby chemicals emitted from factories rise in the atmosphere and react with water and sunlight to form acids. These are carried in the wind and fall eventually to earth in the rain, often thousands of miles away from the initial polluting event. Secondly, it is now apparent that environmental problems cannot be resolved by states acting individually. Accordingly, co-operation between the polluting and the polluted state is necessitated.
However, the issue becomes more complicated in those cases where it is quite impossible to determine from which country a particular form of environmental pollution has emanated. This would be the case, for example, with ozone depletion. In other words, the international nature of pollution, both with regard to its creation and the damage caused, is now accepted as requiring an international response.
While modern societies face growing concern about global environmental issues, developing countries are experiencing complex, serious and fast-growing pollution problems of their own. The potent combination of industrialization, urban development and mass consumption trends is exacerbated by foreign companies operating with little regard for the impact on the local environment.
Environmental pollution is more than just a health issue; it is a wider social issue in that pollution has the potential to destroy homes and communities. Pollution problems are also closely tied to the mode of development in developing countries. Despite this, many developing countries either have not developed environmental pollution control measures, or have not provided adequate implementation structures to ensure that policies are effective. Cameroon is one of such developing countries.
Environment pollution is a wide-reaching problem and it is likely to influence the health of human populations is great.
The protection of the land from Industrial pollution continues to be an environmental onus for the Cameroonian society today. This is evidenced in urban areas with relatively high industrial concentration. This work sought to critically identify and present a detail analysis of the efforts made by the government and all relevant stakeholders towards reducing the emission of industrial effluents on the local terrestrial environment Asangwe, C. K. A,(2008). It was observed that despite the existence of some impressive regulatory prescriptions charted out by the government in recent decades, continuous weak governance, inadequate human and financial resources, the presence of very few waste incineration plants and ineptitude regulatory implementation mechanisms amongst others, all pose serious impediments and challenges. The project thus outlines some of these defects and recommends suggestions whereby all stakeholders can concert together to wholly address and ameliorate the situation Asangwe, C. K. A,(2008).
It is no longer a question of vague threats; people are being affected now and it’s impacting our economy, our conditions of life and our potential for development. Pollution of all sorts has been the main problem in Cameroon and frameworks have been adopted to address the issues. Despite these pollution still suffices and has a converse effect on the society. This has led to the problem in this research.
Compared to many western nations, and like much of Africa, environmental governance is a recent practice in Cameroon. Sectoral legislations have been adopted to regulate different aspects of the environment in a piecemeal fashion. It was not until after the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, which emphasized the need to apply a holistic approach to environmental management, that the Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down forestry, wildlife, and fisheries regulations and the Law No 96/12 of 5th August 1996 relating to Environmental management (a framework law) were adopted. The framework law outlines the general legal framework for environmental management in Cameroon. This law is grounded on the principles of precaution, prevention and corrective action, pollutes and pays responsibility, participation, and subsidiary. It also prescribes environmental impact assessment (EIA) for all projects that can lead to environmental degradation in Cameroon. Cameroon has equally acceded into many international treaties on prevention of environmental pollution and other environmental problems. Despite this frameworks preventing environmental pollution, environmental pollutions still remains one of the main environmental problems in Cameroon thus calling into question the effectiveness of these national and international frameworks on the protection of the environment. This research is therefore motivated by the desire to examine the factors propelling the increase in environmental pollution in Cameroon while proffering solutions to the stated problem
How effective is environmental governance in Cameroon?
What is environmental pollution– properly managed in the Buea Municipality?
What are the causes of environmental pollution in the Buea Municipality?
What are the challenges faced in the control of environmental pollution in Cameroon?