Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Environment Management

Filename: 1998-MOUCooperationEnvironmentManagement.EN.txt

 The Memorandum of Understanding between the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Uganda for Cooperation in Environment Management

Source:, downloaded 20120423



THE GOVERNMENTS of the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda, referred to below as the partner States:

CONSCIOUS of the need for the Partner States to cooperate in the rational management and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources to ensure sustainable development;

DESIROUS to consolidate the achievements attained by the Partner States in the development and harmonization of national framework environmental laws, national laws on environmental impact assessment, management of non-hazardous and hazardous wastes, toxic and hazardous chemicals, wildlife and forest resources, legal aspects for the management of the Lake Victoria eco-system and formulation of environmental standards, all with a sub-regional content and with substantial support of the Dutch Government under the UNEP/UNDP/DUTCH Joint Project on Environmental Laws and Institutions in Africa-the East African Sub-regional Project;

RECOGNIZING the efforts made by the partner States to upgrade the Agreement for the Establishment of a permanent Tripartite Commission for Co-operation of 30th November, 1993 into a treaty for close economic union with a common market, a monetary union and an eventual political federation under which cooperation on environment and natural resources management will be one of the key subjects; and

AWARE that a protocol on environment management under the Treaty may take some time to be developed.


Article 1- Definitions

For purposes of this Memorandum of Understanding:

(a) "Partner States" means the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda.

(b) "Project" means the UNEP/UNDP/DUTCH Joint Project on environmental Laws and institutions in Africa-East African sub-regional Project funded by the Dutch government.

(c) ‘Treaty' means the proposed treaty establishing the east African community.

Article 2 - Objectives

1. The objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding are to:

(a) establish interim arrangements for continued consultations, capacity building and networking on environmental policies, laws and strategies;

(b) undertake joint programmes and activities including information sharing and harmonization of relevant environmental laws under the Project;

(c) provide a basis for the Partner States to co-operate with competent specialized international organizations and other governments in the field of environment management pending the adoption of a protocol under the Treaty;

(d) promote the development and implementation of environmentally sound principles, international agreements, instruments and strategies for environment and natural resources management among the Partner States.

2. The above-mentioned objectives will be met through the implementation of a number of agreed measures and actions as provided in this Memorandum of Understanding.

Article 3 - Protocol On Environment Management

1. The partner States recognize the urgent need for the development of a protocol on common areas for cooperation and harmonization in the area of environment and natural resources management under the auspices of the Treaty.

2. The partner States will jointly request the Executive Director, UNEP and other competent international agencies and governments to assist in initiating and facilitating consultations, towards the development and implementation of a protocol on environment management under the auspices of the Treaty.

Article 4 - Establishment Of Interim Institutional Arragement

1. The partner States hereby establish an Interim Sectoral Committee on Environment composed of the Permanent Secretaries responsible for the environment in the respective countries who shall be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreed measures and actions in this Memorandum of Understanding.

2. The Interim Sectoral Committee on Environment may meet as frequently as necessary and shall regulate its own procedure and determine the venue for the meeting(s).

Article 5 - Establishment Of Interim National Focal Points

1. The Partner States hereby designate the following institutions as National Focal Points-

(a) The National Environment Secretariat for the Republic of Kenya:

(b) The Division of Environmental for the United Republic of Tanzania;

(c) The National Environment Management Authority for the Republic of Uganda.

2. The National Focal Points shall-

(a) as appropriate, consult with and coordinate the participation of national institutions and agencies on matters related to the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding;

(b) hold at least two sub-regional meetings every year and shall determine their own rules of procedure;

(c) draw their own agenda towards the promotion of the objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding, make recommendations and report to the Interim Sectoral Committee.

Article 6 - General Matters On Cooperation And Harmonization

1. The Partner States agree to cooperate in:

(a) Strengthening and/or expanding on-going development activities that demonstrate sound environmental management practices;

(b) Developing and/or strengthening cooperation in the development of common water quality control programmes based on harmonized water policies, standards and monitoring system;

(c) Developing and applying common measures to reduce and control general environmental degradation and promoting sustainable use of natural resources;

(d) Developing common strategies to combat desertification, control problems associated with desertification and coordinate efforts concerning the problems of land-use practices, as well as efficient use of water resources, especially in relation to flood and drought prevention, control and management;

(e) Stock assessment and optimum utilization and conservation of fisheries resources.

Article 7 - Development And Enforcement Of Environmental Legislation

1. The Partner States agree to cooperate in developing, enacting and harmonizing their national framework and sectoral environmental laws, implementing regulations and guidelines on-

(a) The right of the people of the Partner States to a clean, decent and healthy environment;

(b) Environmental impact assessment processes and procedures;

(c) Lake Victoria ecosystem and other shared natural resources such as rivers and wetlands especially those significant as habitats of flora and fauna;

(d) The management of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, toxic or hazardous chemicals and substances including their transboundary movement;

(e) The management of forest resources including shared mountain ecosystem;

(f) The management of wildlife resource including their transboundary movements;

(g) The management of transboundary range lands especially those that have adverse significant impacts on the environment;

(h) A mechanism for compliance with and enforcement of the environmental pollicies, laws and strategies in the region;

(i) full involvement of their people in the sustainable use and management of environment and natural resources;

(j) Management of marine and coastal environment, including pollution control.

2. The Partner States agree to constantly review and reform their existing environmental legislation to accommodate changes in socio-economic needs, industry, technology and the environment.

Article 8 - Management Of Lake Victoria Ecosystem

The Partner States agree to;

(a) Initiate, develop, implement and harmonize policies, laws and programmes to strengthen regional coordination in the management of the resources of the Lake Victoria ecosystem, including fisheries, water quality and quantity, land use, mining, wetlands and other resources for the common benefit of their people;

(b) Regulate, control and where necessary, prohibit the introduction of alien genetic materials including exotic species of flora and fauna;

(c) Cooperate in the management of pollution and other hazards resulting from agricultural and municipal wastes, industrial discharges, shipping and other transportation activities.

Article 9 - Management Of Forest Resources

1. The Partner States agree to-

(a) Adopt common policies for, and exchange information on, the development, conservation and management of forest resources including commercial plantations, forest reserves as well as joint promotion of common forest practices such as tree planting, afforestation in order to reduce the depletion of natural forests and avoid desertification;

(b) Review existing national policies and legislation on forests to reflect modern concepts on multiple economic, social and ecological role of forests;

(c) Develop common protection and management regimes for forests that straddle national borders and develop common strategies to appropriately assess and control the introduction of alien and exotic species;

(d) Promote point programmes for research, training of personnel and exchange of information concerning the management of forests resources including renewable alternative sources of energy;

(e) Adopt harmonized national polices, laws and institutions which impact on forestry, including agriculture, wetlands and wildlife as a basis for effective sub-regional harmonization;

(f) Institute new techniques or measure which enhance compliance and provision of incentives and partnerships with local people.

Article 10 - Management Of Wildlife Resources

1. The Partner States agree to:

(a) Harmonize national policies and laws for the conservation and management of wildlife, reserves, parks, marine parks, sanctuaries, antiquities and museums;

(b) Develop and harmonize user rights outside and inside protected areas to avoid discrepancies in enforcement across borders;

(c) Share and exchange information and coordinate policies on wildlife management and development;

(d) Jointly demarcate common transboundary migratory corridors for effective wildlife management, where necessary and appropriate;

(e) Promote wildlife farming and ranching through effective incentives.

2 The Partner States shall, individually or jointly, take all appropriate measures to protect and conserve rare or fragile ecosystems as well as rare, threatened or endangered species of wild fauna and flora and their habitants.

3 The Partner States shall further, individually or jointly, take appropriate measures to define conditions for re-introduction of depleted or extirpated species of wild fauna and flora.

4 The Partner States shall, in areas under their jurisdiction, establish or strengthen protected areas and regulate or prohibit activities likely to or which have adverse impacts on the species, ecosystems or biological processes.

Article 11 - Management Of The Marine And Coastal Environment

The Partner States agree to-

(a) Cooperate to prevent, reduce and combat pollution of the marine and coastal environment and to ensure sound environmental management of the natural resources of the marine and coastal environment;

(b) Cooperate directly, or with the assistance of competent regional and international organizations, in scientific research, monitoring and the exchange of data and other scientific information related to the management of the marine and coastal environment.

Article 12 - Management Of Wastes And Hazardous Waste

The Partner States agree to-

(a) Have a common definition of hazardous wastes based on the Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Importation into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa, 1991;

(b) Co-operate and adopt common policies against illegal trafficking and dumping of hazardous wastes, toxin or hazardous chemicals and substances;

(c) Develop common strategies for the management of wastes including use of landfills and incinerators;

(d) Co-operate in sharing technological knowledge on waste minimization through cleaner production methods, law waste production systems, reclamation, re-use and recycling;

(e) Share information on hazardous wastes including their transboundary impacts, importation, exportation, manufacture, transportation, storage and use;

(f) Formulate common applicable guidelines and standards on the management and control of hazardous, domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes, and on the treatment and discharge of such wastes.

Article 13 - Pollution Control And Management

1. The Partner States agree to cooperate in the prevention, reduction, control and management of all forms of pollution including atmospheric, land, industrial, agricultural water pollution and pollution resulting from shipping activities, as well as from urban and rural activities. Where feasible, the partner states shall develop joint strategies for pollution control and management including recycling and reception technologies and facilities.

2. The Partner States further agree to develop measures on disaster preparedness and management as well as for pollution emergencies and other related natural disasters including measure to prevent them and/or mitigate their consequences on the environment.

3. The Partner States further agree to take appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and control pollution resulting from activities under their jurisdiction and to prevent or mitigate any transboundary impacts.

Article 14 - Development And Harmonization Of Environmental Impact Assessment

1. As part of their environmental management policies, the partner States agree to develop technical guidelines and regulations on environmental impact assessment to assist and regulate planning and implementation of all developmental activities likely to have significant impacts on the environment;

2. Each partner State agree to enact legislation to regulate environmental impact assessment including enabling public participation at all stages of the process related to environmental impact assessment;

3. The Partner States further agree to develop common programmes and procedures for the dissemination of information on the operation and use of environmental impact assessment as a necessary regulatory measure for sustainable development;

4. The Partner States further agree to develop a harmonized system of categorization or criteria for environmental impact assessment, regulation and enforcement so as to ensure consistency among themselves especially to avoid discrepancies in investment policies.

Article 15 - Development And Harmonization Of Environmental Standards.

The Partner States agree to:

(a) Adopt a common definition of environmental standards, develop common methodologies including criteria and measurement, to avoid discrepancies in socio-economic development;

(b) Develop common and effective environmental standards and regulations for the management of discharges and emissions on land, water, air and to develop criteria necessary to maintain or enhance the quality of the environment and reflect the needs of socio-economic development.

Article 16 - Capacity Building And Supporting Measures

1. To realize the objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding and the implementation
of the measures agreed upon, the Partner States agree that priority or emphasis will be put on strengthening existing institutions and programmes, including national environmental training institutions.

2. The Partner States agree to:

(a) Promote public awareness programmes and access to information as well as measures aimed at enhancing public participation on environmental management and issues;

(b) Establish resources centres on environmental management including environmental law, forestry, wildlife, pollution management, environmental information environmental impact assessment, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes management, toxic and hazardous chemicals, environmental standards, water and land resources management;

(c) Develop, strengthen and harmonize capacity building in environmental management especially environmental policy, law, and institutional enhancement;

(d) Develop measures, policies and laws which will grant access, due process and equal treatment in administrative and judicial proceedings to all persons who are or may be affected by environmentally harmful activities in the territory of any of the Partner States;

(e) Harmonize their definition of environmental offences, judicial and administrative procedures to promote consistency in compliance and enforcement;

(f) Develop common economic and social instruments, such as incentives, self regulation, insurance schemes, consumer empowerment, restoration funds and polluter pays principle, as a means enhancing sustainable environmental management;

(g) Assist each other in situations of environmental emergencies and accidents.

3. The Partner States agree to grant rights of access to the nationals or residents of the other Partner States to their judicial and administrative machineries to seek remedies for transboundary environmental damage.

4. The Partner States agree:

(a) Not to carry out any activity that may have significant transboundary environmental impact or harm without prior consultations, timely notification and provision of adequate technical information and data.

(b) To negotiate in good faith to prevent or mitigate any possible adverse consequences.

5. The Partner states agree to jointly request the Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other competent international development agencies and foreign governments, to assist, where appropriate, with the implementation of agreed measures and actions as shown in this Memorandum of Understanding.

Article 17 - Dispute Settlement

1. In the event of a dispute between two or more Partner States concerning the interpretation or application of the present Memorandum of Understanding, the parties concerned shall seek a settlement of the dispute through negotiation.

2. If the concerned Partner States cannot reach agreement by negotiation as requested by any of them, the matter shall be referred to the dispute settlement mechanisms provided for under the Agreement for the Establishment of a permanent Tripartite Commission for Co-operation, 30th November, 1993.

Article 18 - Amendment Of The Memorandum Of Understanding

This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended, modified or varied at any time in writing by agreement of all the Partner States.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized to that effect, have signed this MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING this 22nd day of October 1998.


For the Government of the Republic of Kenya

For the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania

For the Government of the Republic of Uganda