The Federal Government has begun a review of existing regulations in environmental governance and agencies in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who stated this at the 12th National Dialogue in Abuja, said the essence is to address certain gaps and produce a sufficient framework that will deal with emerging challenges.
Abdullahi stated that the agencies have a responsibility to enforce international pacts, protocols, conventions and treaties on the environment to which Nigeria is a signatory on the matters of environmental standards, rules, laws, policies and guidelines.
“Today, our planet is faced with unprecedented environmental challenges, especially, three tripartite crises in pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss as evident in the loss of global forests at an alarming rate yearly.
“It is clear that the problems of the environment are enormous and complex, therefore, sound institutional and legal frameworks are necessary if they are to be dealt with successfully with the urgency they deserve in the country,” he said.
Earlier, the Director General, of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof. Aliyu Jauro, explained that they want to ensure cleaner and healthier surroundings and to inspire personal and collective development of society.
He urged the participants to come up with far-reaching recommendations that would strengthen these regulations in addressing prevailing and emerging environmental issues and concerns with a view to safeguarding the environment.
MEANWHILE, NESREA has said the dearth of environmental lawyers has greatly contributed to setbacks in the war against environmental crime in the country.
Prof. Jauro, who stated this when members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gwagwalada Branch visited the agency in Abuja, said
He said many lawyers are not abreast with issues pertaining to the environment despite having legislative frameworks with them, “there is a need to organize workshops for judges and other judicial officers as part of advocacy on environmental law enforcement,” he said.
He said the agency had developed 35 regulations cutting across different sectors in both the green and brown environment, adding that they were already being implemented to promote environmental governance and sustainability.
NBA Chairman, Emmanuel Ogunjide commended the agency for its numerous achievements recorded, saying, “We have come to tap from the wealth of knowledge in the sector.”
Ogunjide said they would like to seek collaboration on capacity building in the area of environmental law with NESREA, adding, “We are impressed. Maybe if not for the effort of the agency, the environment in the country would be worse off.”