PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT BY IMPLEMENTING THE BEST INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

NACHTIGAL, A PROJECT COMMITTED TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Since its inception, the Nachtigal project has been strongly committed to environmental protection.
In December 2014, it obtained the Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Ministry of the Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development.
Then, in order to be aware of and better control the impacts of the Project on the natural environment, a detailed Environmental and Social Management Plan was drawn up and validated in July 2016. This plan includes studies on the physical environment and additional inventories.

These studies have shown that the Nachtigal Project will have moderate environmental impacts due to the run-of-river operation of the structure and the limited size of the reservoir. They also enabled impact avoidance and reduction measures to be analysed, and compensation measures for residual impacts to be defined.

PRESERVING FISH ECOSYSTEMS

NHPC is committed to the preservation of fish species in the Sanaga River.

Studies were carried out between 2017 and 2020. These studies have enabled the development of measures to reduce and compensate for the impacts that will be implemented throughout the construction and operation of the works. An instream flow will be permanent at the dam.

It has already been demonstrated that the impact of the Nachtigal Project on the fish ecosystem is limited. Indeed, most of the migratory fish populations of the Middle Sanaga River use the tributaries for their reproduction.

SPECIAL ATTENTION PAID TO PROTECTED AQUATIC PLANTS

NHPC is involved in a programme to improve knowledge abput aquatic plants for better impact management.
In 2014, risks of impacts on two protected aquatic plant species, were identified: Ledermanniella thalloidea and Ledermanniella sanagaensis. These plants are submerged and when the water level drops, exposing them to the sun they flower . These plants require a period of immersion/emersion for their development.
An accompanying measure, consisting of modulating the instream flow in the short circuited section in order to reproduce the conditions necessary for the survival of these species, has been decided upon, within the framework of the Nachtigal Project. The future development will thus have a positive impact on these protected aquatic species.
In addition, a programme to improve awareness and carry out additional surveys of these protected species on unimpacted watercourses has been implemented since 2017 in order to provide a framework for the implementation of accompanying measures for the aquatic plants Ledermanniella and Marsdenya abyssinica in the Project area.
The results of this programme have been used to develop a new aquatic plant strategy for 2020 and 2021, which sets out the avoidance, reduction and compensation measures that will be implemented during the construction and operation phases of the works.

RESPONSIBLE MONITORING OF THE DYNAMICS OF THE VEGETABLE COVER

NHPC has set up a programme to monitor the dynamics of the vegetation cover.

The aim of this programme is to set up a monitoring protocol in order to characterise the initial state of the vegetation, the pre-project degradation dynamics, and to monitor its evolution over time, throughout the construction and operation of the development.

AN AMBITIOUS COMPENSATION PROGRAMME

Since the Project area is already anthropised, two programmes to compensate for the impacts on the terrestrial and aquatic environments have been designed on two distant sites:

  • A support to biodiversity conservation actions in the Mpem and Djim National Park. This is currently being implemented through technical assistance to the Park’s conservation teams, support for the development of the Park’s management plan, the definition and implementation of actions to improve and protect biotopes, and support for anti-poaching measures in particular.

 

  • Support for the Lekié Community Forest. The Lekie Community Forest (COPAL), with a surface area of 4800 ha, includes 9 villages near the project area. With the slowdown in timber exploitation, a predominant activity since 2007, the community of the Lekie forest is looking for new opportunities. The support programme consists of assisting COPAL in setting up a new simple management plan and the conservation of a forest massif, supporting the legal exploitation of wood outside the community forest, assisting farmers to intensify the exploitation of cocoa plantations in order to limit the expansion of cultivated areas and supporting individual reforestation initiatives.