The Capacity Development and Linkages for Environmental Assessment in Africa (CLEAA) is an indigenous regional network that promotes sustainable development in Africa through the use of Environmental Assessment and Management tools. CLEAA’s main mission is to promote the use of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as key policy instruments and analytical tools for improving the sustainability of development programs in projects in Africa. It provides a Pan-African forum for enhancing, supporting and harmonizing capacity building efforts in Africa by working with African countries to establish their own working systems adapted to their own needs and capacities.

CLEAA brings together researchers, practitioners, development and decision makers interested in environmental assessment and management in Africa. It is CLEAA’s priority objective to see that Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment capacity building is done in a systematic way that builds on existing, indigenous initiatives and networks that are established at sub-regional and national levels.

The CLEAA Network
Focus Areas
Projects and Activities
CLEAA and the Partnership for Environmental Assessment in Africa
CLEAA Downloads and Related Links

ENCAP’s Support to CLEAA
Contact Information

Go Back to ENCAP

The CLEAA Network

Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA): SAIEA was the first node and is, today, the most developed of the sub-regional institutions. It has offices in Windhoek, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa. SAIEA’s strength is represented by a network of highly qualified professionals from all over the SADC region. For more information about SAIEA, please visit Contact email:

Eastern Africa Association for Impact Assessment (EAAIA): EAAIA, established in 2001, is registered in Kenya as a non profit membership organization. Its membership is drawn from 10 countries covering East Africa, Horn of Africa, Rwanda and Burundi. Apart from membership services, networking, and information sharing, EAAIA plays a key role in organizing and implementing a Professional Development Fellowship Program. For more information about EAAIA, please visit; Contact email:

West African Association for Environmental Assessment (WAAEA): After several years of consultations, WAAEA was established in October 2002. The secretariat is located at the Benin Environmental Protection Agency in Cotonou, Benin. WAAEA is a bilingual (French/English) association with members from 14 of the 16 West African countries. It has developed a very strong set of Association Statutes and has a very vocal and interested membership that promotes EA capacity building throughout their region. Contact email:

Indian Ocean Islands Association for Environmental Assessment (IOAEA): IOAEA was established in April 2002. The secretariat is located in the Ministry of Environment in Mauritius, but has members from both private and government institutions in Mauritius, Madagascar, and the Seychelles. IOAEA also plans to develop contacts in the Comoros, Reunion, and Zanzibar.

Secretariat for the Environmental Assessment in Central Africa (SEACA): The Central Africa Node was established in 1998 and is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where it is hosted by the Agency for Development of Environmental Information (ADIE). Membership consists of Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Rwanda, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe and Central African Republic. Each member country has a national association, which the Node provides for strategic support. Contact email:

Community Based Impact Assessment Network for Eastern Africa (CIANEA): CIANEA is a network that seeks to understand and assess the environmental impacts of community driven development projects. The network provides a venue for researchers, community groups, government agencies, donors and individuals to share their research, find out about new developments and studies concerning community based EIA, dissemination and exchange of information and working in partnership with other stakeholders. CIANEA also provides capacity building on community based EIA through the training of trainers and community participation. Contact email:

Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies (CITET) for supporting North Africa sub-region: The North African Node is a promising emerging node with the Tunis International Center for Environmental Technologies (CITET) playing a key role in its establishment. Its present members are drawn from Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, however membership will be extended to the French and Arabic speaking countries in the region. For more information about CITET, please visit Contact email:

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Focus Areas for CLEAA

Capacity Building and Resource Development

This program stresses the need for needs-based, practical training. Here, capacity is taken to be the result of sound training plus experience. Existing hands-on programmes provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their skills and experience through on-the-job exposure.

Policy Development

CLEAA supports African countries to strengthen their legal and regulatory frameworks where needed and institutional arrangements, procedures and tools, to more effectively employ EIA and SEA in planning and achieving environmentally sustainable development. It is primarily demand-driven in response to expressed country and regional needs for policy and institutional development.

Awareness and Constituency Building

CLEAA tries to build government and civil society awareness of the value of EIA/SEA and the demand for the effective application of sustainable development tools in the planning, approval and implementation of development initiatives. Increased awareness and demand is essential to building the political commitment to EIA/SEA and thus a “market” for EIA/SEA services.

Effective local demand for these services is vital to sustained capacity development, both within governments to develop and manage their systems, and within the private sector to apply EIA/SEA in project and programme preparation and to supply expertise. The lack of local demand is a key reason why so much capacity building over the past decade has failed to take root and flourish into an effective contribution to sustainable development.

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CLEAA projects and activities (current and proposed)

    • African Professional Development Fellows Programme: This program provides “learning by doing” for promising young African environmental professionals, who serve in a mentored capacity on professional EIA teams or receive other applied training for 2-6 months. The programme provides travel, placement, and a living stipend. Over 2001-2007, CLEAA has placed 19 fellows with ENCAP funding. Funding from SIDA will place another 16 fellows in Eastern and Southern Africa over 2007-2009. For more information about the program, visit has developed an expanded PD program proposal to provide this hands-on, practical experence to 200 fellows over a five year period.Current status – 5 recipients of the 2007 PD Fellowship have been chosen. Recipients will be contacted and placed over the coming weeks. Recruitment for 8 SIDA-funded fellowships will begin in July 2007. CLEAA is seeking funding for the expanded 5-year PD Fellows program.


    • CLEAA-ECA African Expert’s Workshop on the Effectiveness of EIA Systems: Over 12–13 April 2007, CLEAA and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa held an experts’ workshop on the effectiveness of EIA systems in Africa, with a special focus on issues of the quality and financial sustainability of EIA review, follow-up and compliance. The workshop brought together regulators, practitioners, donors, and partner institutions engaged in efforts to increase EIA effectiveness on the continent.The workshop was convened to build on and go beyond the recommendations of ECA’s 2005 study Review of the Application of Environmental Assessment in Selected African Countries, identifying and endorsing specific technical approaches and concrete actions and priorities to enhance EIA effectiveness. Critical recommendations were agreed in six different areas for action. For more information about the workshop, visit status — CLEAA and ECA are working to obtain endorsement of these recommendations in key multilateral fora.


    • Developing Case Study Materials that Illustrate the Contribution of Environmental Assessment to Planning and Sustainable Development in Africa: CLEAA has developed a proposal to produce a collection of “good news” case studies in print, video and electronic form that demonstrate how Environmental Assessment contributes towards sustainable development in Africa. Targeting decision-makers, the project is intended to: create awareness amongst key decision-makers of the value of EA as a tool for promoting sustainable development in Africa; excite allegiants to the practice of EA through demonstration of its proven contributions to sustainable development; and to dispel the myth that EA represents a barrier to development.

Current status – proposal developed; seeking funding

  • Strategic Technical Assistance to National EIA systems: CLEAA has developed a proposal to provide strategic technical assistance to National EIA systems, with a focus on issues of review, follow-up, financial sustainability and public participation. Assistance would be provided via African expert teams sourced from the CLEAA network and would be offered to interested Environmental agencies and ministries on a cost-share basis. The technical assistance will build on the experience of a Mali pilot activity and seek to apply the recommendations of the CLEAA-ECA African Experts Workshop on the Effectiveness of EIA Systems. (See above.)Download PowerPoint Presentation describing the Mali pilot and the proposal  (52 KB)

    Current status – Mali pilot activity completed early 2007. Seeking funding for full proposal.

  • Towards Developing a Professional Register of Core Environmental Assessment Practitioners and Specialists in Sub-Saharan Africa: CLEAA has developed a project proposal to provide all African EA practitioners the opportunity to become registered via the expansion of two existing, complementary, registers of environmental practitioners for southern Africa. The project would set up a full-time secretariat to maintain the registers and service their users. The registers will promote the use of African expertise in development planning processes and reduce the transaction costs of EA on the continent.Current s tatus-proposal developed; seeking funding. 

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CLEAA and the Partnership for Environmental Assessment in Africa

The Partnership for Environmental Assessment in Africa (PEAA) is a collaboration between donors, CLEAA and other partners to “harmonize, scale up and raise the visibility of support for EA and environmental management capacity-building in Africa, and in particular of initiatives to strengthen CLEAA and its nodes,” with the goal that “African governments, regional organizations, civil society and the private sector will effectively use EA and other environmental management tools for sustainable development in Africa.”

Development of the PEAA concept was led by the World Bank, in consultation with CLEAA and other donors and partners, and is being launched over May/June 2007. PEAA has received World Bank Development Facility Grant (DFG) support for 2007–2009. To access this and other PEAA funding, CLEAA nodes will develop funding requests, to be evaluated by a coordinating committee of donor and CLEAA node representatives and the CLEAA trustees. Donors will continue to use their own preferred contracting approaches and fiduciary agents, and may continue to independently fund EA-related activities. USAID participates in the PEAA via ENCAP.

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CLEAA Downloads and Related Links

CLEAA Brochure  (588 KB)

CLEAA Constitution  (90 KB)

CLEAA Proposals –

  • Proposal for a Five Year African Professional Development Programme in Environmental Impact Assessment  (165 KB)
  • Developing case study materials that Illustrate the contribution of Environmental Assessment to planning and sustainable development in Africa  (103 KB)
  • Towards developing a professional register of core environmental assessment practitioners and specialists in Sub-Saharan Africa  (98 KB)