The National Council of Environment (NCE) has emphasised the need for government at all levels to give priority to the intricate and inexorable linkage between environment and security in the country.
This was contained in the communique of the Council after its 12th annual conference in Akure, Ondo state capital, urging the government to give more attention to food, human, social, economic and cultural security and to place environment as a top priority National Security strategy.
According to the Council, most of the environmental challenges and degradation the country is facing are man-made than natural causes and called on the government to embark on aggressive public enlightenment, awareness and sensitisation programme to help stem down the rate of environmental degradation.
They called on the government to involve all private sector including community-based organisations, Faith-Based Organisations and Non-governmental organisations in the aggressive public enlightenment. programmes.
“The NCE recognised the need to save lives and property due to the menace of seasonal flooding experienced by citizens, and therefore, encouraged States and local governments to promote good land use practice that discourages settlement in floodplains in Nigeria.
“Identified the need for early prediction, detection and redress, the Federal Government was urged to extend the installation of Flood Early Warning Systems to other areas for real-time prediction of flood events where there is none.
“Therefore, the Federal and State Ministries of Environment should be empowered and funded to adequately checkmate this almost – annual occurrence of flood across the country.”
The communique read that “we appreciate the Federal Government commitment to continue addressing environmental problems in the Country. However, due to the enormity of the problem and the fact that States and Local Government also benefit from the ecological funds, the two tiers of Government were urged to contribute their quota in partnering with the Federal Government to address identified challenges.
“There is the need to holistically address the challenges of coastal erosion, marine litters and ecosystem devastation along the 853Km Nigeria Coastline and we call on the coastal States of Nigeria to key into the World Bank assisted West African Coastal Area Management programme.
“There is need to maintain a healthy environment on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, urging the three tiers of government to collaborate and synergize to provide required support, set up institutional framework to combat climate change, develop a policy for the declaration of National Emergency on open defecation and step up effort on the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility Strategy of Waste Management
“Mindful of present-day challenges posed by Climate Change and the need to secure the Nigerian environment, Council called on Government at all levels and the Private Sector to ensure and promote broad-based participation of all Stakeholders, to develop Sub-National Action Plans and Vulnerability Analysis as well as dissemination of information on the Green Bond process as a source of financing for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).”
The body commended the Federal Ministry of Environment on the Green Bond Programme especially on Afforestation and Energizing education – across the country, urging the state government to key into the programme.
The Council also noted that the current efforts by the government to provide appropriate technology and innovation in the Country for waste management and urged stakeholders to embrace the initiative for wealth and job creation.