|On November 2 and 3, 2006, nearly 250 participants came together in Yaoundé, Cameroon for a Forum of Information on the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project (CCPP), co-organized by three stakeholder groups: the Comité de Pilotage et de Suivi des Pipelines (the Pipelines Steering and Monitoring Committee or CPSP), the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO) ; and a coalition of four non-governmental organizations involved in monitoring activities connected to the pipeline (CED, CARFAD, FOCARFE and RELUFA).
The Forum of Information was organized to open the doors of the growing tripartite collaboration to other audiences and stakeholders, to:
- Exchange views on the various activities undertaken by the three co-organizing groups;
- Confer on the main issues related to the pipeline;
- And discuss the priorities and shape this new stakeholder platform would take especially with relation to better managing the environmental and social issues related to the petroleum sector in Cameroon.
| L-R: Mohammed Bekhechi, World Bank; Pierre Mboka, FOCARFE (representing a coalition of NGOs); Adolphe Moudiki, President of the CPSP|
The need for closer collaboration was one of the main findings at a “Lessons Learned” workshop held in the context of the World Bank’s Implementation Completion Report for the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project in October 2005. Participants at that meeting expressed the desire for more information-sharing and concertation among stakeholders.
Participants at the Forum included over 20 individuals from non-governmental organizations representing civil society, nearly 20 chieftains and individuals from villages along the pipeline, journalists, university students and professors, World Bank representatives, consultants, and government officials involved in the activities of the pipeline, such and the Ministry of Environment of Protection of Nature, the Ministry of Forestry, and the National Oil Society, among others.
|Members of the Chadian delegation look on as Jacky Lesage, Director General of COTCO speaks.|
The co-organizers also sponsored the attendance of a delegation of eight Chadian stakeholders, including Assistant National Coordinator of the Petroleum Project, Mr. Paul Mbainodoum,and representatives of the two main civil society umbrella groups involved in pipeline-related activities in Chad: the Commission Permanent Pétrole-Nationale (Permanent Petroleum Commission -National chapter or CPPN) and the Groupe de Recherches Alternatives et de Monitoring du Projet Pétrole Tchad-Cameroun (Group for Alternative Research and Monitoring of the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Project or GRAMP/TC).
Forum participants listened to presentations on
technical aspects of the project and how it meets requirements of the environmental management plan;
the CPSP’s mission and structure, monitoring of pipeline activities, environmental compensation in the form of two national parks, and their recently-developed website;
NGOs’ activities in monitoring environmental and social compensation; and
the objectives of the World Bank-financed Environmental and Petroleum Sector Capacity Building Project (CAPECE), and its achievements—including the National Accidental Oil Spill Response Plan, the Environmental Management Information System, a data collection and mapping of the health situation and existing infrastructure along the pipeline (carte sanitaire), and project-financed training.
There were many questions during the discussion sessions related to compensation claims, which pointed to the need for continued collaboration between CSOs, COTCO and the CPSP, in identifying, evaluating and closing outstanding claims, and better communication on this and other aspects of the project.
|Celestine Ritonga of the Nkoltara Village expressed her views regarding compen-sations during the Stakeholder Information Forum|
The second day was dedicated to the ongoing collaboration between the NGOs, COTCO and CPSP on social compensation claims and a discussion on the direction the stakeholder platform would take.
The following recommendations emerged from the discussions and were presented to the assembly at the close of the forum:
· COTCO and the CPSP will put in place a process to collect and deliver to the Republic of Cameroon all the information generated by the project including preliminary studies;
· COTCO will present the results of its comparative study on socio-economic conditions before and after the construction of the pipeline;
· COTCO will present the results of its analysis on the use of individual compensations by the populations affected by the activities of the pipeline;
· COTCO and the CPSP, in collaboration with NGOs, will undergo an evaluation of the effectiveness of the EMP’s mitigation measures, to better respond to the populations’ concerns expressed through official complaints;
· A capacity-building program will be developed and delivered to improve NGOs’ ability to follow the activities of the pipeline and continue their independent assessments;
· It was strongly recommended that the CPSP put in place, with the World Bank’s support, measures to sustain over time the benefits acquired through the CAPECE program;
· Explore how to evaluate the capacities of NGOs involved in monitoring activities of the pipeline, to possibly include them in the training component of the CAPECE;
· Reinforce the ongoing cooperation platform by organizing yearly information forums implicating all stakeholders (namely the CPSP, COTCO, NGOs, and the World Bank) and all mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation concerning activities linked to the Pipeline; and
· Continue the activities linked to the Pipeline’s closure on compensation claims.