Abuja — The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday cautioned against taking the issue of change for granted.
He said the National Assembly planned to move environment from the residual to concurrent list to enable the federal parliament legislate on it.
He said the increasing spate of environmental and natural disasters across the world was proof that climate change is not a hoax and must be taken seriously in the country.
Speaking at the opening of a national stakeholders' summit on legislative framework for environmental law and policy in Abuja, Dogara, argued that the Nigerian environment currently presents the picture of a threatened heritage.
Climate-related disasters have increased displacement and vulnerability of exposed populations. It's like these disasters convey a brutal message to those who believe climate change is a hoax that they can only continue to ignore environmental issues at unremitting peril.
"Some of the emerging national environmental concerns include depletion of biodiversity and illegal trade in wildlife. This fast growing habitat alteration and illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding earth's precious biodiversity, robbing mankind of our natural heritage and driving important species to the brink of extinction. It only stands to reason, that this national summit should proffer practicable policy and legislative solutions to this menace."
He said environmental change is expected to increase the likelihood and impact of extreme weather variability while the parallel and paradox of climate change continue to exacerbate the plight of many local communities in Nigeria.
He said: "National Assembly is very conscious of the grave threats posed by such issues as global warming, climate change, ocean surge, drought/desertification, oil spillage, erosion, waste management and gas flaring, degradation of agricultural lands, soil loss, erosions, landslides, bush burning, unwarranted and uncontrolled grazing, deforestation and general environmental pollution.
"The issues of human, economic and social progress are inseparable from the protection of the physical environment. Therefore, limiting the issues to one or the other is not the way to go. This is because the environment does not exist as a separate sphere from human actions, ambitions and needs. Every human development has an environmental cost."