FG develops monitoring information system to tackle environmental challenges

2 weeks ago | 89

The Federal Government says it is developing compliance monitoring information system to address environmental challenges for better governance across the country.
The Minister of State, Environment, Chief  Sharon Ikeazor, while declaring open a 15th Stakeholders Forum organised by National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ikeazor, who was represented by Mrs Helen Obayagbo, Director, Legal Services in the ministry said that information was a key to environmental governance in the country.
The theme of the forum is: “Data and Information Management: “A key to Environmental Governance in Nigeria”.
The minister said that environmental governance was a policy instrument, financial mechanisms, rules, procedures, and norms that regulate the processes of environmental protection.
“Environmental issues is about how decisions are made, who is responsible, how they carry out their mandate, and how they are accountable in the overall context of sustainable development.
“It is captures a wide range of environmental issues including drought and desertification, soil erosion and flooding, pollution from effluents and emissions, deforestation and solid waste menace among others.
“Any attempt to solve this plethora of environmental problems without appropriate data and information will not yield the expected result,” she said..
According to her, it is well known that statistics helps to provide a better understanding and accurate description of natural phenomena.
“Gathering and analysis of data on environmental situation in the country is the beginning of the whole activities aimed at the remediation and mitigation of environmental challenges.
“The enforcement of all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations, and compliance with all international agreements, treaties, protocols and conventions can only commence with the inventorisation and monitoring of the environmental media.
“Data and information management play critical role in advancing the development and implementation of goals, targets and indicators for environmental protection and sustainable development in Nigeria.
“Critical data and information are essential for fact-based decision making,” she said.
She said that the forum was to enable detailed discussion and analysis on the issues around environmental data and information management.
She called on the stakeholders to seize the opportunity of the forum to firm up their synergy with NESREA in the area of data and information sharing in the interest of the the Nigerian environment.
The minister added that relevant environmental data and information dissemination and sharing should not be hindered from reaching NESREA as soon as they are generated for timely processing and decision making for the protection of the environment.
“The unalloyed cooperation of the relevant line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Universities, Research Institutions, Consultants and the regulated community is hereby solicited.
“Environmental data and information management comes handy to enable us, as a nation, present what we have achieved in tackling environmental problems such as the Nationally Determined Contribution on the reduction of emissions of Green House Gases.
“The recent decision of COP26 to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C will also require the use of data to measure.
“Another main decision of COP26 is to reduce the global rate of deforestation. In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, we are expected to track the rate of deforestation in Nigeria through the generation of relevant data,” Ikeazor stated.
The Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said that the idea was for the stakeholders to critically think through the need for accurate availability of data and information in the delivery of environmental governance in the country.
Jauro said that the development of the compliance monitoring information system, was to ensure that compliance records, generated over the years were organised to produce useful environmental information.
He said that the agency was incorporating the use of electronic recording system during compliance monitoring inspection as a means for consolidating disparate data into one respository for better accessibility.
According to him, the agency has also put its permit, audit and management portal in place.
“This will aid the generation, collation, analysis, storage and retrieval of data for compliance monitoring and enforcement programmes,” he said.
Jauro said that the forum would bring a better understanding of the principles and key issues relating to data and information management in environmental compliance monitoring.
Also, Chairman, Governing Council of the agency, Chief Iyiola Oladokun, explained that data generation was important for environmental compliance monitoring.
He said that the environmental audit reports and environmental permit applications provide necessary data needed for decision making in the environmental governance.
Oladokun assured that the council would strongly stand by the management of the agency in delivery on its mandates. (NAN)

- Nov. 23, 2021 @ 18:33 GMT |

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