GWL: Advocating for IWRM in the Central African Republic’s revised Environmental Code

Through the Global Water Leadership Program in a Changing Climate program (GWL) in CAR, the Ministry of Energy Development and Water Resources, with the support of the Central African Republic Country Water Partnership (GWP-CAR), organized a national workshop on December 18–19, 2023, in Bangui, CAR, to reflect on and contribute to the revision of the country’s Environmental Code.

The workshop brought together about forty participants, from government institutions, CSOs, and NGOs to brainstorm on the link between the water and environment sectors, identify inconsistencies, and formulate recommendations to ensure that the concerns of the water sector are considered in the revised version of the environmental code. The GWL-led root cause identification process revealed gaps in the legal text code of the water and environment sectors. The ongoing revision of the environmental code provided an opportunity to advocate for water. 

During his opening speech, the Chief of Mission at the Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Sylvain Guebanda, highlighted the code revision process and the relevance of the reflection workshop, stating, “Given the interconnectedness between the environment and water, stakeholders in the water sector must come together to reflect on and ensure that water management is a part of this revision process.”

The workshop featured presentations and group work to identify entry points to reinforce the link between the two sectors. In his presentation on the environmental code review process, the national consultant in charge of the revision process,  Mr. Emmanuel Ngoumbango, reminded participants that since its adoption in 2007, the law has become obsolete and overdue for revision. To facilitate this, the Ministry of Environment mobilized funding from UNDP CAR for the revision process, and a first draft of the updated version of the code is available pending national validation by stakeholders and adoption by the government and national assembly. 

The revised version comprises seven titles, eleven chapters, thirty sections, and 114 articles. Modifications have been made to Chapter 1 on the scope and definitions, Chapter 2 on the Fundamental Principles of Environmental Management, Title II on environmental management, Title IV on climate change, renewable energies, and energy conservation, and Title V on education, information, and environmental research. In the Q and A session that followed, participants raised concerns about the consideration of the water sector in the revised law, and the integration of the Lake Chad Basin’s water charter, amongst others. 

At the end of the workshop, participants formulated recommendations to the committee in charge of the revision process to ensure the concerns of the water sector were considered in the finalization of the environmental code. These include:

  • Take greater account of the impact of climate change on water resources.
  • Involve the water sector in the composition of the pollution control agency;
  • Resolve the problem of policy fragmentation in the various sectors;
  • Take greater account of aspects relating to transboundary water.


The GWL program is being implemented in the Central African Republic by GWP-Central Africa in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Water. GWL is funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).