National Environment Agency

The National Environment Agency (NEA) was established under the National Environment Management Act (NEMA), 1994 as a semi-autonomous agency with an independent structure to serve as the “principal body responsible for overall management of the environment” in the Gambia.
The NEA is the advisory body to the National Management Council (NEMC) on the formulation, review, revision and repealing of environmental policies, plans, standards, guidelines, criteria and regulations. The NEMC is the main policy-making body for the environmental management in the Gambia. This Council is chaired by the President of the Republic of the Gambia, with the Ministers responsible for the following Ministries as members: Natural Resources; Agriculture; Health and Social Welfare; Finance and Economic Affairs; Trade Industry and Employment; Local Government and Lands. The Executive Director of the NEA serves as Secretary to the Council. In addition to the composition of this council, the President may co-opt any person into the Council as member.

The NEA’s Mandate

The mandate of the NEA is largely coordination, advice and consultation, overseeing compliance and providing technical services. Under the NEMA, 1994, NEA is empowered to take direct implementation of actions in matters dealing with environmental impact assessment, establishing environmental quality and monitoring standards, and controlling the importation and use of pesticides and hazardous chemicals. In the area of environmental quality (mainly pollution control), the NEA has the mandate to enforce compliance with national standards and has the legal authority to seek redress whenever there is non-compliance under the guidance of the Polluter Pays Principle.

Environmental Legislation

The following are some environment legislations the NEA is implementing;

  1. National Environment Management Act, 994
  2. Hazardous Chemical and Pesticide Control and Management Act, 1994
  3. Environmental Protection (Prevention of dumping) Act, 1988
  4. Hazardous Chemicals Regulations, 1999
  5. Environmental Discharge (permitting) Regulations 1999
  6. Environmental Quality Standards, 1999
  7. Pesticide Licensing Regulations, 1999
  8. Ozone Depleting Substance Regulations, 2000
  9. Ant-littering Regulations, 2007
  10. Ant-littering Regulations, 2007
  11. Ban on Plastic Bags Order, 2015

NEA Organizational Structure

The NEA has organized its operational activities into two networks: Technical Services Network and Inter-sectoral Network. These institutional structures ensure coordination amongst participating institutions and the Technical Working Groups to which the institutions belong. Each program of the Agency has established technical working group.
Currently, the Agency consists of eleven programmes namely;
  1. Agriculture and Natural Resources
  2. Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. Environment Emergency Management and Response
  4. Environment Information System
  5. Environment Education and Communication
  6. Environment Research and Planning
  7. Environment Policy and Legislation
  8. Environmental Impact Assessment
  9. Environmental Quality
  10. Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Management
  11. National Ozone Unit
The Agency also has number of support units including a civil engineering and media units.
The Agency is head by the Executive Director who is responsible for the implementation of the Agency’s mandates.