Several laws under different ministerial departments each regulate mining in

Several laws under different ministerial departments

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Several laws under different ministerial departments each regulate mining in Cameroon, with each playing a specific role: notably the mining code, tax code, other laws governing the fiscal regime, and laws governing the environment. In 2003, the government established CAPAM (Government Support Scheme for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining) as a vehicle to help formalize the sector [25]. The primary purpose of CAPAM is to assist and promote ASM [31-33] in an area where there are conflicting interests including conservation, alternative rural livelihoods, and large-scale mining concessions [25]. Cameroon Government involvement in the ASM sector is through the Divisional Delegations and CAPAM. The former is responsible for licensing, while the latter is the government’s main buying agent; but there is little evidence of coordination between these two government bodies where their remits are either undocumented or inexistent [25]. In relation to policy formation, implementation, and monitoring, this is not unusual in Cameroon as has been documented elsewhere in relation to waste management [34], land contamination, and environmental degradation [24]. While CAPAM is providing support to some miners, the lack of a coordinated approach within a wider sustainability agenda is likely to be unsuccessful in the medium to long-term [25]. 3.1.1. Mining code The Mining Code of 2001 adopted and promulgates Law No. 001 of 16 April 2001, and its Application Decree No. 2002/046PM of 26 March 2002 regulates the mining sector in Cameroon. The mining code was voted by the national assembly and promulgated by the head of State under Law No. 001 of 16 April 2001 (Republic of Cameroon, 2001) and Application Decree No. 2002/046PM 26 March 2002 (Republic of Cameroon, 2002) signed by the prime minister. This law revoked any other existing law that regulated the mining sector before then, notably Law No. 64/ LF/3 of April 1964 governing mineral substances and Law No. 78/24 of December 1978 fixing the fiscal regime for collecting mining revenue. The new law is more detailed than the old one. Made up of 116 articles, we notice significant advancement in several domains such as protection of the environment, recognition of the status of artisanal miners, and encouragement of foreign investment [31]. In Chapter 1, Article 2, artisanal mining is defined as "any mining activity consisting of extracting and concentrating mineral substances by means of manual and less mechanized methods and techniques" [21, 28]. The law limits the site of artisanal exploitation to be a quadrilateral with a side not greater than 100 m, and not greater than 30 m in depth [28]. Article 4 of Cameroon’s mining code states that all national lands are open to mining except for areas excluded by law. In article 62, the mining code requires the approval from the “competent” government authorities for operations to be conducted in or around national parks, and protected areas subject to international agreements. In the case of all protected areas in
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Anselme Kamga et al./ Journal of Mining & Environment, Published online Cameroon, the competent authority is the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife [35]. In article 5, the
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  • Natural environment, Environmental impact assessment, Journal of Mining & Environment

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