For Nigeria to successfully transit to a green economy, there is need for the enforcement of existing legislations on sustainable environment.
Stakeholders, who spoke at the workshop in Lagos organized by Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, were of the view that the problem was not absence of legislations but their enforcement.
In the workshop themed: “ Environmental And Social Impact Assessment – For the Transition to a Green Economy in Nigeria, participants drawn from the academia, regulators, environmentalists and environmental advocates called for the entrenchment of a culture of sound environment practices across all institutions and sectors in the country
Describing the Nigeria’s transition to a green economy as doable, he said, there are however so many areas that need to be iron out for its realization.
According to him, there is also need to streamline the utterances of government officials because of the discordant tunes from top officials, which may give a wrong impression that we are not ready.
Explaining further, he said the utterance of the Minister of finance that Nigeria will go ahead to use it coal despite concerns raised by world bank, few days after the Minister of Environment has given the country commitment to go green, did not speak well for out country.
He also lamented that despite government assurances, gas flaring is still going on in the Niger Delta.
In her lead presentation on ‘Key Social components of Environmental Impact Assessment: Ecosystem Services, Livelihoods, Cultural Heritage and Stakeholders Engagement’ Director, Karunya Consulting, Zoe Parr Kennaugh noted the need of disclosure and inclusiveness of host communities before execution of project.
She regretted that most communities at the area of impact are not often consulted before siting projects capable of affecting benefits derived from the ecosystem.
Also, Assistant Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Mrs. Regina Folorunsho, lamented that critical discussions are taken without consultation of experts in the field.
For Dr. Taibst Lawanson of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, there is need reasonable consumption, use of clean energy as well as environmentally efficient technologies.
Speaking on Transiting to Green Economy in Nigeria: “ Urban Planning Strategies for Achieving Quick Wins”, she called for adequate public information and awareness in order to bridge the gap between information and knowledge by introducing environmental education in schools.
BY Bertram Nwannekanma