Climate Change and Nigerian National Policy on Environment

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The Problem Statement

The emerging issues confronting the delimitation of major environmental problems arise from Climate change, deforestation, erosion, soil and coastal erosion, water pollution, oil pollution, water hyacinth invasion, population, loss of biodiversity, flooding, urban decay, enormous consumption, drought and desertification, weak database, inadequate institutional capacity and insecurity in the country at all levels.

The Policy Solution

The National Policy on Environment was first adopted in Nigeria in 1991 and was last revised in 1999, before the adoption of this new document.

Being a policy document, it stipulates sectoral and cross-sectoral strategic policy statements and actions for the management of the country’s environment for sustainable development.

It contains specific guidelines for achieving sustainable development in fourteen vital sectors of the nation’s economy, namely: Human Population; Land Use and Soil Conservation; Water Resources Management; Forestry, Wildlife and Protected Natural Areas; Marine and Coastal Area Resources; Sanitation and Waste Management; Toxic and Hazardous Substances; Mining and Mineral Resources; Agricultural Chemicals; Energy Production; Air Pollution; Noise in the Working Environment; Settlements; Recreational Space, Green Belts, Monuments, and Cultural Property.

Having the backings of the Constitution on the fundamental obligation for the protection of the environment, it suffices to note that enhancing the capacity of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency [FEPA]  as the coordinating agency for environmental issues in Nigeria and other responsible organizations is of optimal priority in implementing environmentally friendly routines and a horizon towards achieving sustainable development.

NIGAC Constructive Position/Take

The main goal of the National Policy on the Environment is to ‘ensure environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources for sustainable development’.

The imperative objective of the National Policy on the Environment is to coordinate environmental protection and natural resources conservation for sustainable development.

The purpose of this National Policy on the Environment is to define a new holistic framework to guide the management of the environment and natural resources of
the country.

As a core document, it designates sectoral and cross-sectoral strategic policy statements and actions for the management of the country’s environment for sustainable development.

In addition to the existing 1991 and 1999 draft policy documents, this Policy derives its strength from the fundamental obligation for the protection of the environment as stated in section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 which provides that the “State shall protect and
improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria”.

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