Saturday, 22 April 2017
Environmental law:policy instruments respecting the environment.
The protection of the environment is a necessity for the survival of every being and the importance of legislation on the matter is marched with international concern as international treaties and customs are made as a consequence of international cooperation. However Nigeria has responded positively with policy instruments to curb hazardous activities depleting the natural texture of the environment.
To guide the Ministry in its efforts to address key environmental issues in Nigeria, a number of policy instruments/laws and regulations have been put in place.
1.The National Policy on Environment
The purpose of the National Policy on the Environment is to define a framework for environmental governance in Nigeria.
In addition to the National Policy on Environment, there are other policy documents on some thematic areas of the Ministry’s mandate. These include:
The national forest policy (2006);
The national drought and desertification policy;
Environmental Enforcement Policy;
National Environmental Sanitation Policy,
National Policy Guidelines on Sanitary Inspection of Premises;
National Policy Guidelines on Solid Waste Management;
National Policy Guidelines on School Sanitation;
National Policy Guidelines on Pest and Vector Control;
National Policy Guidelines on Market and Sewage Management;
National Policy Guidelines on Food Sanitation;
2. THE NATIONAL FOREST POLICY
The overall objective of the national forest policy is to achieve sustainable forest management that would ensure sustainable increases in the economic, social and environmental benefits from forests and trees for the present and future generations including the poor and the vulnerable groups.
3.NATIONAL DROUGHT AND DESERTIFICATION POLICY
The main goal of the policy is to reduce (or where possible prevent) the adverse effects of drought and desertification, and halt or even reverse the processes of desertification, to the end that people’s lives are immensely improved and poverty reduced.
Many laws and regulatory measures have been put in place to promote sustainable environmental management in many sectors of the economy. Some of the critical acts include:
5.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Wetlands, River Banks and Lake Shores) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 26 of 2009:
This Regulation provides for the conservation & wise use of wetlands & their resources in Nigeria and ensure sustainable use of wetlands for ecological and tourism purposes and to protect wetland habitats for species of fauna and flora.
6.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Watershed, Mountainous, Hilly and Catchments Areas) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 27 of 2009:
This Regulation seeks to protect water catchment areas and ensure the minimization of significant risks and damage to ecological and landscape aspects.
7.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Sanitation and Wastes Control) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 28 of 2009:
The purpose of this Regulation is to provide the legal framework for the adoption of sustainable and environment friendly practices in environmental sanitation and waste management to minimize pollution.
8.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Permitting and Licensing System) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 29 of 2009:
The provisions of this Regulation enable consistent application of environmental laws, regulations and standards in all sectors of the economy and geographical region.
9.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL(Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 30 of 2009:
The overall purpose of this Regulation is to regulate the access to and use of genetic resources and ensure sharing of the benefits from their utilization.
National Environmental (Mining and Processing of Coal, Ores and Industrial Minerals) Regulations, S. I. No. 31 of 2009:
This Regulation seeks to minimize pollution from mining and processing of coal, ores and industrial minerals and encourage the application of up-to-date efficient cleaner production technologies.
10.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Ozone Layer Protection) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 32 of 2009:
The provisions of this Regulation seek to prohibit the importation, manufacture, sale and the use of ozone-depleting substances.
National Environmental (Food, Beverages and Tobacco Sector) Regulations, S. I. No. 33 of 2009:
The purpose of this Regulation is to prevent and curtail pollution from all operations and ancillary activities of food, beverages and tobacco sector to the Nigerian environment.
11.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL(Textile, Wearing Apparel, Leather and Footwear Industry) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 34 of 2009:
The main thrust of this Regulation is to ensure that all operations and ancillary activities from this sector do not have significant negative impact on the Nigerian environment.
12.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Noise Standards and Control)REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 35 of 2009:
The main objective of the provisions of this Regulation is to ensure tranquillity of the human environment or surrounding and their psychological well-being by regulating noise levels.
National Environmental (Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Soap and Detergent Manufacturing Industries) Regulations, S. I. No. 36 of 2009:
This Regulation seeks to ensure the safe use of chemicals in line with best practices including the adaptation of the 3R principles namely-reuse, recover and recycle.
13.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL(Standards for Telecommunications/Broadcasting Facilities) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 11 of 2011:
The main objective of this regulation is to ensure that activities of the telecom industry do not negatively impact on the environment and human health.
National Environmental (Soil Erosion and Flood Control) Regulations, S. I. No. 12 of 2011:
The overall objective of this Regulation is to regulate all earth-disturbing activities, practices or developments for non-agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential purposes.
14.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL(Desertification Control and Drought Mitigation) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 13 of 2011:
This Regulation seeks to provide an effective and pragmatic regulatory framework for the sustainable use of all areas already affected by desertification and the protection of vulnerable lands.
National Environmental (Base Metals, Iron and Steel Manufacturing/Recycling Industries) Regulations, S. I. No.14 of 2011:
The principal thrust of this Regulation is to control all operations and ancillary activities of this sector in order to safeguard the Nigerian Environment from their negative impact.
National Environmental (Control of Bush/Forest Fire and Open Burning) Regulations, S. I. No. 15 of 2011:
The principal thrust of this Regulation is to prevent and minimize the destruction of ecosystem through fire outbreak and burning of any material that may affect the health of the ecosystem through the emission of hazardous air pollutants.
National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) Regulations, S. I. No. 16 of 2011:
The major objective of this Regulation is to protect species of endangered wildlife from extinction through the prohibition of trade, importation, etc.
National Environmental (Domestic and Industrial Plastic, Rubber and Foam Sector) Regulations, S. I. No. 17 of 2011:
The principal thrust of this Regulation is to prevent and curtail pollution of the Nigerian environment from all operations and ancillary activities of this sector.
15.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Coastal and Marine Area Protection) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 18 of 2011:
This Regulation provides for the regulatory framework for the application of preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the coastal and marine environment
National Environmental (Construction Sector) Regulations, S. I. No. 19 of 2011:
The purpose of this Regulation is to prevent and minimize pollution of the Nigerian Environment from the impacting activities of Construction, Decommission and Demolition.
National Environmental (Control of Vehicular Emissions from Petrol and Diesel Engines) Regulations, S. I. No. 20 of 2011:
The purpose of this Regulation is to safeguard the Nigerian environment against pollutants from vehicular emission.
16.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL (Non-Metallic Minerals Manufacturing Industries Sector) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 21 of 2011:
This Regulation provides the regulatory framework for the control of all activities of this sector in order to protect the Nigerian environment from their negative impact.
National Environmental (Surface and Groundwater Quality Control) Regulations, S. I. No. 22 of 2011:
The purpose of this Regulation is to restore, enhance and preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the nation’s surface waters, and to maintain existing water uses.
17.NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL(Electrical/Electronic Sector) REGULATIONS, S. I. No. 23 of 2011:
The main purpose of this Regulation is to ensure that best practices are applied and maintained in the operation of this sector in order to safeguard the Nigerian Environment against pollution hazards.
National regulations and guidelines that have been put in place by Government include the followings:
Harmful Waste Act retained as Cap HILFN2004 (prohibits the carrying, depositing and dumping of harmful waste on the land and territorial waters of Nigeria;
Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and in Endangered Species) Act –retained as Cap E9LFN2004 (Conservation of wildlife and protection of threatened and endangered species);
Environmental Impact Assessment Act retained as Cap EI2LFN2004 (Sets out the general principles, procedures and methods of Environmental Impact Assessment for various sectors;
National Environmental Protection (Effluent Limitations) Regulations S.I.8 of 1991 (to ensure the installation of anti-pollution equipment for the detoxification of industrial effluent chemicals discharge;
Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria 2002-seeks control and prevention of pollution from petroleum operation;
Mineral Oil Safety Regulations 1997 to ensure that oil and gas operators provide necessary material to their employees;
Petroleum Drilling and production Regulation 1967- regulates the licensing of oil exploration, prospecting and mining;
National Environmental Protection (pollution abatement in industries and factories generating waste) Regulations S.I.9 of 1991-regulates the release of hazardous substances into the ecosystems; and
National Environmental Health Practice Regulations 2007 regulates environmental health practice.
National Environmental Protection: Management of Hazardous Wastes S. I. 15;
Guidelines on Hazardous Chemicals Management;
Guidelines on Pesticides Management;
National Chemical Management Profile to assess chemicals management infrastructure;
National Implementation Strategy for Chemicals Hazard Communication;
The National Implementation Plan for Persistent Organic Pollutants; and
National Environmental Health Practice Regulations, 2007.
National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act, 2007
This Act established NESREA and charged it with the responsibility of protecting and developing the environment in Nigeria, as well as enforcing all environmental laws, regulations, standards, policies, guidelines and conventions on the environment to which Nigeria is a signatory.
Environmental Impact Assessment Act Cap E12 LFN 2004
This Act sets out the general principles, procedures and methods of environmental impact assessment in various sectors.
Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions, etc.) Act Cap H1 LFN 2004
This Act prohibits the carrying, depositing and dumping of harmful waste on any land and territorial waters of Nigeria.
Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act, Cap E9 LFN 2004.
This Act provides for the conservation and management of Nigeria’s wild life and the protection of some of her endangered species in danger of extinction as a result of over-exploitation, as required under certain international treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
NATIONAL POLICIES, GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS
Corporate Strategic Plan:
This plan describes the scale of the environmental and social challenges, and explains how NESREA, with the support of other key stakeholders, will address these issues in year 2009-2012.
Environmental Enforcement Policy:
This policy aims at providing actions to take in enforcing environmental legislation, standards, regulations and guidelines fairly and appropriately in a manner that will protect environmental quality and safeguard public health.
National Environmental Sanitation Policy:
This policy seeks to stimulate, promote and strengthen all government regulations concerned with housing and urban development, food security water supply, sanitation related endemic diseases and illnesses, flood and erosion control, drought control, school health services and environmental education.
National Policy Guidelines on Sanitary Inspection of Premises: This policy seeks to promote clean and healthy environment for the populace.
National Policy Guidelines on Solid Waste Management:
The aim of this policy is to improve and safeguard public health and welfare through efficient sanitary Solid Waste Management methods that will be economical, sustainable and guarantee sound environmental health.
National Policy Guidelines on School Sanitation:
The purpose of this policy is to protect school children from hazards and to encourage the provision of sanitary facilities in schools.
National Policy Guidelines on Pest and Vector Control:
This policy is to establish and strengthen pest and vector control units at the three tiers of government.
Guidelines for Importation of Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment into Nigeria:
These guidelines seek to discourage the unethical practice of importation of sub-standard electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), near-end-of-life EEE which is associated with environmental and health problems when disposed off by burning in the environment. They also provide guidance for importers of used Electrical and Electronic Equipment into Nigeria.
National Policy Guidelines on Market and Sewage Management: These guidelines ensure the provision of adequate and sustainable sanitary facilities in and around markets and abattoirs.
National Policy Guidelines on Food Sanitation:
The main objective of the policy is to enhance food security, public health and quality of life through the promotion of sound food sanitation practices in all food premises in the country.
National Environmental Sanitation Action Plan:
This plan is aimed at increasing National productivity and foster Economic Development through improved Environmental sanitation practices.
National Training Manual on Food Sanitation for Food Handlers:
The aim of this policy is to provide food handlers with the knowledge and skill required to ensure sound food sanitation practices in order to protect public health, promote quality of life and reduce poverty.
National Training Manual and Trainers Guidelines on Food Sanitation for Environmental Health Practitioners:
This training manual is aimed at imparting Environmental Health Practitioners with the knowledge and skills in food sanitation to empower them with the capacity to train food handlers and other stakeholders.
The Ministry has initiated numerous Bills. Some are before the National Assembly. There are those that have been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for processing while others are at the levels of preparation within the Ministry:
A Bills before the National Assembly
Response, Compensation and Liability for Environmental Damage (RECLED) Bill
Petroleum Products and Other Oil Related Activities Compensatory Relief Bill.
B. Bills at the Federal Ministry of Justice for processing
Climate Change Agency Bill
Domestication of the Kyoto Protocol Bill.
Review of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Bill
C. Bills Being Prepared at the Ministerial Level
National Biodiversity Conservation Agency Bill;
National Environmental Management Bill;
Chemicals Management Bill.
Draft Policies Being Prepared at the Ministerial Level
The National Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Implementation Strategy (NIS);
Guideline for proper disposal of Impounded/Seized goods;
The National Biosafety Policy;
NESREA Strategic Action Plan;
Review of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan;
Implementation Plan of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for Nigeria;
Classification Of The National Park Service As A Para-Military Organization;
Climate Change Action Plan;
National Policy on Climate Change;
Revised National Policy on Environment
The plethora of legislations enacted by the government of countries and regions underscores the importance of the environment to man and if properly implemented will lead to the betterment of all saving us pecuniary and irrecoverable costs.