WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2022
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2022
There is “Only One Earth” Let’s care for it
Cast your mind back to when you lost an item. It is very easy to walk into a shop and replace a phone, a car, a pencil, bags, shoes- the list is endless! However, there are things that are not replaceable and one of them is the Earth where we live.
Fifty years ago, when the global community gathered in Stockholm in the first ever environment-focused event, the theme was “Only One Earth”. For the 2022 edition of the World Environment Day, the United Nations has again chosen same theme to re-emphasize the need for urgent and deliberate actions towards combating the myriad of problems facing the environment.
In proffering solutions to problems caused by climate change, loss of habitat and threat of extinction for many species as well as pollution, the United Nations recommends the redesign of economies and societies to align with nature, and shifting focus to solutions that heal the planet. Such solutions would include the current efforts to promote Circular Economy as a new vista in environmental management.
Strategizing back home
On its part, the Nigerian government has also taken very bold steps towards addressing environmental issues in the country. After the Koko incident in 1988, Nigeria has matched words with action in ensuring that the country does not lag behind in building the institutional structure needed to formulate the right policies and ensure compliance.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) was created as a first step towards building strong environmental governance in the country. The Act setting up FEPA was later repealed to give way for the creation of Ministry of Environment with other departments from Ministry of Works. To further strengthen environmental protection in the country, the Federal Government in an Act created the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Running with the Mandate
NESREA since inception has remained committed to achieving her mandate of enforcing all environmental laws, policies, guidelines standards and regulations in Nigeria, and also prohibiting processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality, and enforcing compliance with provisions of international agreement, protocols, conventions and treaties to which Nigeria is signatory.
- The Agency has so far developed, gazetted and is implementing 34 environmental regulations cutting across the different sectors of the economy. NESREA also embarks on routine compliance monitoring to facilities and erring facilities are made to face the law.
- To acquaint citizens with the National Environmental Regulations and also encourage voluntary compliance, NESREA officials embark on regular sensitization to churches, mosques, schools, markets, in 34 states of the Federation and FCT where it has offices. Awareness campaign is also carried out through environmental programmes on radio and television, as well as social media. One of such programmes, NESREAWATCH presently airs on the Network services of the NTA by 5pm every Friday.
- The Annual Stakeholders’ Forum organized by the Agency and the Federal/ State Regulatory Dialogue are also platforms where stakeholders brainstorm and are sensitized.
- The Agency receives complaints from the general public on issues relating to the environment and these complaints are thoroughly investigated and resolved for the good of human health and the environment.
- NESREA, in carrying out the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business has automated its Environmental Documentation Processes and Registration. The NESREA Environmental Permit, Environmental Audit and Environmental Management Plan (NESPAM) Platform is in line with the policy.
- Programmes aimed at mitigating the impact of human activities on the environment are also being implemented by the Agency. These Programmes include the Extended Producer Responsibility Programme (EPR), The National Vehicular Emission Control Programme (NVECP) and the National Generator Emission Control Programme (NGECP).
- The Agency also embarks on programmes that create green jobs through the registration of environmental consultants and Health, Safety and Environment officers in facilities. The Extended Producer Responsibility Programme is also designed as a waste to wealth programme which has created employment for the unemployed in the country.
- Working closely with relevant stakeholders within and outside the country, NESREA effectively ensured that the ban on Nigeria by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was lifted. This was achieved through committed enforcement of wildlife crimes.
What you can do as a Citizen/ Facility:
- Get interested in your environment and have the right attitude.
- Ensure you comply with and adhere to the provisions of the National Environmental Regulations. The Regulations are available for download on https://www.nesrea.gov.ng/publications-downloads/laws-regulations/
- Report any case of environmental violation by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also walk into any of our NESREA offices in the states and the headquarters, Abuja. Find the addresses here- https://www.nesrea.gov.ng/our-offices/
- Follow us on our social media handles- twitter @NESREANigeria, Facebook NESREANigeria and Instagram nesreanigeria as we keep you updated.
- For more information, visit our website- www.nesrea.gov.ng
Remember, there is Only One Earth.