The Problem Statement
Life depends upon the proper functioning of the biosphere which makes conservation essential to human survival. The ultimate purpose of conservation is to maintain the biosphere in a healthy operating condition.
In terms of Conservation, it is value eccentric and centred on the economical, aesthetic and scientific purview.
The main problems facing wildlife conservation in Nigeria include poaching, over-exploitation, uncontrolled burning, inaccurate database, inadequate reliable database to facilitate forestry planning and development, urban development, weak forest policy and implementation, poor funding, deforestation, public apathy, high level of illiteracy, insecurity, corruption, demography.
The Policy Solution
Nigeria does not have such law with the nomenclature “Conservation Laws” rather we have such laws relating to the term, Conservation.
The purview of Conservation can be aligned to the Environmental laws which encompass the legislations, standards, regulations and administration introduce to curb activities with potent hurtful effects to the country’s environment.
The Nigerian environmental laws consist of a thorough system of laws in regard to environmental management.
Such legislation includes the Harmful Wastes (Special Criminal Provisions) Act 1888 Cap 165 LFN 1; Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) Act 188 Cap 131 LFN 1990; Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act 1992 and Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act while other sectoral legislation handles specific aspects of the environment and human activities.
Nigeria has also national laws derived from international laws, act as a signatory to a chunk of those laws and for some who fall under the hem of environmental protection like the Harmful Wastes (Criminal Provisions) Act No. 42 of 1988, Petroleum Regulations Act 1967, National Resources Conservation Act 1989, River Basin Development Authorities Act 1987 and many more.
From the foregoing, the six guidelines and standards introduced as part of Nigeria’s environmental policy aims at enhancing sustainable development in the country and, securing quality environment necessary for adequate health and well-being of all Nigerians, ecosystems and ecological processes for functioning of the biosphere and for the preservation of biological diversity.
NIGAC Constructive Position/Take
The basis of environmental policy in Nigeria is contained in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Pursuant to section 20 of the Constitution, the State is empowered to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria.
The Government has to start strict enforcement of already laid outlaws to preserve the environment. A complete review of the Law and the Establishing Act of Environmental agencies is also needed.
Massive sensitisation and enlightenment of the general public on the adverse effects of the degradation of the environment should be a priority.