From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, in collaboration with other stakeholders on environment has called for legislative review of environmental laws for easy implementations.
The group made the call at the weekend in Port Harcourt, during the launching and dissemination of a research report on gaps in environmental legislations in Nigeria, put together by CEHRD held.
Speaking, Project Coordinator of CEHRD, Prof NenibariniZabbey, noted the need for harmonised environmental laws that will address the clashes, lapses and challenges in the implementation of these laws.
He said:”We cannot achieve Sustainable Development Goals without environmental protection and we cannot achieve environmental sustainability or effectively environmental management without sustainable laws, policies, as well as sustainable institutions that enforce those laws and policies.
“This report is intended to guide legislators in their law making business; it also intended to strengthen the capacity of institutions that manage our environment in Nigeria. It serves as essential advocacy to civil society; it also intended to stimulate debate and ideas from those in the academia, students of environmental governance.
“Those areas of conflict between the institutions should be harmonised so the institution like DPR focus on oil production in other to generate more fund for the government. And the institution like NOSDRA will focus on the management of the environmental footprint in the oil industry of Nigeria.”
Prof Zabbey explained that “CEHRD is launching a very important report that is about the gaps in environmental legislation in Nigeria. And the report looks at our national laws; the EGASPIN regulation and the HYPREP gazette.
“This report to us is timely because it identifies the gaps in our national environmental legislation and the environment is the foundation of human existence.
In his presentation, an environmental expert and Head, Environment and Conservation Unit of CERHD, Dr Kabari Sam called for a one body Ministry of Environment with different departments like NODREA, NESREA , HYPREP, DPR and others with specified roles.
We are hoping that the product of today’s meeting has armed the civil society organisations and even the academia, other participants a kind of contributions they can make if they are called upon to improve environmental policies and contribute legislation in Nigeria.
On his part, a member of the Environment Committee of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Dr Christian Ahiakwo called for a review of the laws to define the roles of various government agencies clashing onenvironmental matters.
He said there is the need for synergy between the Federal and State Government in tackling environmental issues.