Environmental governance refers to the set of processes, rules, practices and institutions which contribute to the protection, management, preservation and exploitation of biodiversity, ecosystem and mining resources in their different modalities, in a perspective reconciling sustainable development and reduction of poverty.
It also refers to formal and informal mechanisms and institutions, which include the standards and values, the behavior and organizing modalities all around from which the citizens, organizations, social movements as well as the various groups of interests, defend their differences and exercise their rights to access and exploit natural resources.
The environmental initiative of the AU/NEPAD identifies five objectives (or domains) of natural resources and environmental governance:
* The fight against land degradation, drought and desertification;
* Conservation of Wetlands in Africa;
* Prevention and control of invasive species
* Conservation and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources
* The fight against climate change;
* Conservation and cross-border management of natural resources (freshwater, biodiversity, forests and plant resources).
To these objectives, it is important to add the management and ethical exploitation of mining and extractive resources.
It is also a key component of developmental governance