Environment Minister Sharon Ikeazor said on Tuesday that data remains essential in national development, especially on her quest to regulate towards a clean environment in Nigeria.
Ikeazor argued that all attempts at effective and efficient management of the environment cannot be made without complete reliance on reliable data collected in the field and effectively processed and analyzed for use by environmental experts.
She said this at the 15th National Stakeholder Forum on Environmental Data and Information Management: A Key to Environmental Governance in Nigeria, where she was represented by the Director of Legal Services, Ms. Helen Obayiagon.
Ikeazor said: “Attempting to find solutions to these plethora of environmental problems without the right data and information will not lead to the desired result.
“It is well known that statistics help to better understand and accurately describe the phenomena of nature.
“The collection and analysis of data and information on the environmental situation of the country is the beginning of all activities aimed at the confirmation, remediation and mitigation of environmental challenges.
The application of all environmental directives, policies, standards and regulations and compliance with all international agreements, treaties, protocols and conventions can only begin with the inventory and monitoring of environmental media.
“This improves the generation of accurate, adequate and timely environmental data and information,” said Ikeazor.
Emphasizing the role of data in its policy direction and success as a mandated agency to regulate the environment, the Director General of the National Environmental Standards and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Professor, Aliyu Jauro, tasked the 15th National Stakeholder Forum to reliably evolve process, on how best to harness data, for national benefits, in its quest to promote a clean environment.
Professor Jauro said this at the 15th National Stakeholder Forum, which was attended by representatives from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him: “A range of contacts from academia and practice are here to present papers and chair thematic groups on how best to harness data for environmental governance.
He argued that the program aimed to achieve an outcome that would ensure “a better understanding and appreciation of key principles and issues relating to data and information management in environmental compliance monitoring.
Jauro said NESREA looked forward to a commitment from all key industry players to support, promote and publish timely environmental data and information.
The DG also called on stakeholders to use the forum to promote the establishment of a mechanism for continuous interaction and consultation, including a networking basis, between NESREA and other key stakeholders in data and information management.
He said the forum should also ensure “the identification of viable partnerships between key stakeholders and the roll-out of the operationalization of the executive decree on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“Let us therefore call on all participants to work diligently to achieve the results of this Forum.
Keynote speaker and NESREA board chair Chief Iyiola Oladokun said the outcome of the two-day deliberation is expected to capture the challenges of climate change.
He said the theme of the workshop, key to environmental governance, comes at the right time to help the Agency take its expected position in the implementation of climate change action plans.
These, he said, included respecting the recent COP26 decision to reduce the temperature rise to 15 ° C; fulfillment of Nigeria’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2060.
He also said the stakeholder forum would energize NESREA’s resolve on implementing the recently approved climate change policy.
Iyiola said there is a need to drive the operationalization of the relevant regulations necessary to achieve the above goals which need to be measured with data to test performance.
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Ikeazor reiterates role of data on environmental management