Coastal and Marine Environments in Africa: A Cooperative Audit by the African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E)
Report ID: 240

In 2017, AFROSAI-E initiated a cooperative project to audit coastal and marine environments in Africa. Six Supreme Audit Institutions from the region participated. This publication expands on the process followed and the common findings among the participating countries.

AFROSAI-E (African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions), with the support of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), initiated a project in 2017 to capacitate SAIs of countries with coastal areas, to conduct audits to:

  • Assess the state of coastal ecosystems;
  • Understand the significant issues and coastal zone management risks for coastal communities;
  • Make recommendations for improvement.

The AFROSAI-E region has 16 member countries that are coastal states, two of which are island states. Six SAIs agreed to participate in this cooperative audit using a mix of both performance and compliance audit principles and methodology. The six SAIs are Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Sudan and Tanzania.

Findings:

Lack of public awareness of coastal environmental issues: Three of the participating SAIs found that there is limited general awareness and understanding by the public of the importance of the marine environment and related pollution and degradation issues.

Outdated and insufficient legislation/ policies and poor alignment with international commitments: Almost all the participating SAIs found that legislation, policies and plans related to coastal management and protection are outdated and insufficient to address many of the current environmental risks.

Inadequate human and technical resources: Two SAIs found that there are inadequate human and technical resources (satellite surveillance systems, vessel monitoring systems, boats for inspections etc.) to manage and monitor coastlines and marine environments. Human resources also lack the necessary competencies and understanding of marine-related environmental risks and issues. Technical resources and infrastructure essential to the guarding of the coastal zones are scarcely available.

Too many silos and too little coordination: Three of the six SAIs found that the relevant sector (coastal/marine environment) policies are fragmented. Limited or no cooperative arrangements and coordination exist among the various spheres of government and relevant stakeholders, to manage and protect coastal regions and related resources.

Inadequate data, statistics and information systems: Three of the participating SAIs found that national data, statistics and information systems that inform decisions and coastal programmes are inadequate or completely unavailable. For example, statistics on threatened marine species and fishing activities as well as data on the health status of marine environments and the levels of coastal degradation are not available.

Inadequate monitoring of coastal resources and poor enforcement of legislation: All six SAIs found that monitoring of coastal resources and enforcement of legislation are inadequate.

Ineffective performance indicators to monitor progress: Two SAIs found that either no key performance indicators are being implemented to measure progress in achieving objectives on the management and condition of coastal and marine resources, or the indicators used are ineffective.

Insufficient coastal response strategies specific to climate change risks: Almost all the participating SAIs found that climate change response strategies related to coastal environments are insufficient or non-existent.

Are adequate mechanisms in place for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas within the Mediterranean Sea?
Report ID: 241

The cooperative audit identified that the necessary mechanisms for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Mediterranean Sea were not always in place to achieve the desired equilibrium between the sustainability of Marine Protected Areas and blue growth.

This cooperative audit based its findings and conclusions on seven individual national audit reports, which were compiled by the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Albania, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. These national reports considered MPAs to entail a delineated marine site, which may have been already designated or is to be designated as such under international, regional or national legal frameworks and policies. The main objective of a MPA is to conserve and nurture the marine biodiversity while striking a balance with any economic activity permitted in the area. This definition includes, but is not restricted to, Natura 2000 sites, Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) designated under the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity of the Barcelona Convention, artificial reefs or designated Marine Parks.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to determine the degree to which countries in the Mediterranean region are effectively conserving marine biodiversity to attain the targets set in national legislation and international protocols. To address this aim, the participating SAIs compiled an audit design matrix based on issues relating to the regulatory framework, strategies, site’ assessments undertaken, management plans drafted and national surveillance efforts. The analysis of these five key areas, led to these main findings:

a. The legal framework regulating MPAs is sufficiently robust and mandates national authorities to ascertain the sustainability of the marine environment. However, it does not provide a common definition of what constitutes a MPA. In addition, overlapping and in some instances conflicting provisions were identified within the national regulatory frameworks.

b. National strategic frameworks, generally, reflected the political will and aimed to outline the relevant outputs as well as outcomes through the designation of MPAs. However, in three of the participating countries no comprehensive sector specific strategies are in place, while all SAIs identified the potential of strengthening national strategic frameworks, so as to optimize their impact.

c. Participating SAIs noted that national authorities have carried out the relevant site assessments to designate MPAs. Nonetheless, the scope of these assessments was not always appropriately broad, either due to resource and technical expertise limitations, or to diplomatic issues when the site assessments concerned joint jurisdictions or the high-seas.

d. While it is recognised that management plans are key to the implementation of measures to ensure the sustainability of MPAs, most participating SAIs reported that site-specific plans are not yet in place. Moreover, other technical and logistical limitations, such as coordination issues and the non-deployment of resources, influenced the degree to which participating countries could implement specific measures to ascertain the conservation of protected species within MPAs.

e. SAIs reported that site-specific management plans, administrative capacity weaknesses and coordination limitations between stakeholders are the key elements that hindered adequate monitoring and enforcement of measures in MPAs. Monitoring and enforcement shortcomings do not guarantee that MPAs and therefore the biodiversity they aim to protect are being managed, as well as utilised, in a sustainable manner.

Governments’ responsibilities in designating, managing and enforcing the regulatory framework concerning MPAs is a complex endeavour. This audit has noted that more needs to be done to find a balance between the protection of the marine environment and the economic activities within. Within this context, site-specific plans and the deployment of the appropriate level of resources are a prerequisite to effective management, regulation and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas.

The equilibrium between marine conservation and blue growth also necessitates cross-border cooperation. To this effect, the strengthening of bi-lateral and multi-lateral frameworks of cooperation in this area between Mediterranean countries is critical to the sustainability of this biodiversity and socio-economic rich sea.

Collaborative Climate Change Audit Project: Process Chronicle and Lessons Learned
Report ID: 294

In order to assess the progress their governments have made on climate change action, from 2015 to 2018, the Auditors General of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan,   partnered with the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (Canada, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon), which carried out audit work for the three territories in its role as independent auditor for Canada’s northern legislatures.

This was the first time that so many legislative audit offices in Canada coordinated their work in this way. A project working group was formed in November 2015, consisting of auditors from participating audit offices. Their work culminated in the summary report tabled in Parliament in March 2018 called Perspectives on Climate Change Action in Canada: A Collaborative Report from Auditors General (Available at  https://intosai-cooperativeaudits.org/report/perspectives-con-climate-change-action-in-canada-a-collaborative-report-from-the-auditors-general).

The project team wrote a final report to document the process they used in the collaborative audit in order to assist those planning this kind of work in the future in Canada and elsewhere to assess issues of mutual interest and importance. The Lessons Learned report is divided in three parts.

  • The first part chronicles the process developed and used to plan, conduct, report, and communicate during the project.
  • The second part summarizes our efforts to identify lessons learned.
  • The third part reflects on the above and provides some key perspectives from the Project Manager that could assist others doing similar work in the future.

In the planning of the audits, the report refers that, among others, the following model of cooperative audits were considered:

  • The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) Coordinated Audit on Climate Change 2010.
  • The INTOSAI WGEA document Cooperation Between Supreme Audit Institutions: Tips and Examples for Cooperative Audits, 2007.

Source: https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/oth_201905_e_43380.html

Projet collaboratif d'audit sur le changement climatique : Chronique du processus et le├žons apprises
Report ID: 295

Afin d'évaluer les progrès réalisés par leurs gouvernements en matière de lutte contre le changement climatique, de 2015 à 2018, les vérificateurs généraux de l'Alberta, de la Colombie-Britannique, du Manitoba, du Nouveau-Brunswick, de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, de la Nouvelle-Écosse, de l'Ontario, de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard et de la Saskatchewan, s'est associé au commissaire fédéral à l'environnement et au développement durable et au Bureau du vérificateur général du Canada (Canada,

Territoires du Nord-Ouest, Nunavut, Yukon), qui a effectué des travaux de vérification pour les trois territoires en sa qualité de vérificateur indépendant pour les assemblées législatives du Nord du Canada. C'était la première fois qu'un si grand nombre de bureaux de vérification législative au Canada coordonnaient leur travail de cette manière. Un groupe de travail a été formé en novembre 2015, composé de vérificateurs des bureaux de vérification participants. Leur travail a abouti au rapport de synthèse déposé au Parlement en mars 2018, intitulé Perspectives sur les mesures de lutte contre le changement climatique au Canada : Un rapport de collaboration des vérificateurs généraux (disponible à l'adresse https://intosai-cooperativeaudits.org/report/perspectives-sur-le-changement-climatique-au-canada-un-rapport-conjoint-des-vrificateurs-gnraux

L'équipe de projet a rédigé un rapport final pour documenter le processus utilisé dans l'audit collaboratif afin d'aider ceux qui planifient ce type de travail à l'avenir au Canada et ailleurs à évaluer les questions d'intérêt et d'importance mutuels. Le rapport sur les enseignements tirés est divisé en trois parties.

- La première partie décrit le processus développé et utilisé pour planifier, mener, rendre compte et communiquer au cours du projet.

- La deuxième partie résume nos efforts pour identifier les leçons apprises.

- La troisième partie réfléchit sur ce qui précède et fournit quelques perspectives clés du gestionnaire de projet qui pourraient aider d'autres personnes effectuant un travail similaire à l'avenir. Lors de la planification des audits,

Le rapport mentionne que, entre autres, le modèle suivant d'audits coopératifs a été envisagé : - Le groupe de travail de l'Organisation internationale des institutions supérieures de contrôle des finances publiques (INTOSAI) sur l'audit d'environnement (WGEA) a coordonné l'audit sur le changement climatique 2010. - Le document du GTVE de l'INTOSAI intitulé Coopération entre les institutions supérieures de contrôle : Tips and Examples for Cooperative Audits, 2007.

Source : https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/Francais/oth_201905_f_43380.html

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Solid waste management performance audit report in the Greater Irbid Municipality-Jordan
Report ID: 447

The importance of the effective role played by solid waste management in securing a safe and clean environment as a basic service provided by local municipalities to citizens, and the impact of negligence in providing this service on the local environment and the health of citizens. In the implementation of Goal (6) clean water and sanitation by 2030.