The 12th National Stakeholders Forum of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) will explore opportunities inherent in circular economy with regards to creation of wealth from waste as well as environmental governance.
The stakeholders will consider common available wastes in Nigeria such as nylon, plastics paper, metal scrapes among others
Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja at the forum tagged 'Circular Economy and Environmental Governance', the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said for any development to be sustainable, it must go hand in hand with environmental protection.
The minister who was represented by the Director of EIA John Alonge, said the concept of green and circular economy is geared towards sustainable development.
"Green economy supports a circular economy in which the use of materials and generation of waste are minimised and any remaining waste recycled, remanufactured or retreated in a way that causes the least damage to the environment and human health," he said.
The minister said as a clear demonstration of government's effort to ensure the protection of the environment and achieve sustainable development is eminent in the amendment of NESREA Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While noting that robust regulatory framework and effective enforcement of legislation are critical means of driving green investments, the minister urged the stakeholders to immediately key into the operational guidelines of the regulations developed by NESREA.
Earlier, the Director General of NESREA, Dr Lawrence Anukam, said this year's forum is to deepen the knowledge and understanding of circular economy and environmental governance in the country and how to mainstream it into national environmental protection.
Dr Anukam said it will, aside exploring best practices and options in environmental governance, highlight waste to wealth initiative and other opportunities inherent in the practice of circular economy.
Presenting the lead paper titled 'Creating Wealth and Protecting the Environment for Sustainable Development: The Place of Circular Economy and Environmental Governance', the President, Waste Management Society of Nigeria, Prof Oladele Osinbajo said a circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy in which resources are kept within as long as possible, the maximum value extracted from them while in use, then products and materials recovered and regenerated at the end of its service life.
He recommended that to achieve circular economy, government should encourage repair and reuse of products to avoid waste generation and eco-design availability of spare parts, adding that consumers should be provided with reliable information on environmental impacts of product.