PWYP-Nigeria Study Shows Human Rights Protection As Most Fundamental In The Extractive Activities

PWYP-Nigeria Study Shows Human Rights Protection As Most Fundamental In The Extractive Activities

PWYP-Nigeria Study Shows Human Rights Protection As Most Fundamental In The Extractive Activities

As citizens continue to suffer Human Right abuse from the impact of the extractive sector activities on the environment, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Nigeria, recognizes the danger this has on human inhabitants and the need to take deliberate actions to ameliorate the effects. PYWP, Nigeria commissioned a study, Integrating Human Rights into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Post Impact Assessment (PIA) Policies in Nigeria with funding support from CORDAID, Netherlands. The study has since been concluded and validated.

The study also identified and analyzed relevant Laws, Policies, Rules, Regulations, Standards and Guidelines that will help in the effective implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit, identifying existing gaps inherent in them and made recommendation on how they can be addressed.

Some of the Legislations and policies reviewed in the study include, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Environmental Impact Assessment Act CAP 12 LFN 2004,National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency Act (No. 15 of 2006), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Act, 2007,     Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, Environmental Guidelines And Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources, Lagos 1991, Revised Edition 2002,     Draft National Policy on the Environment 2014, Consultative Draft – National Action Plan for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria 2017 – 2021 prepared by the National Human Rights Commission.

The study emphasized the importance of protecting the environment in Africa and specifically, provides issues and ideas for advocacy work on policy reforms in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit processes in Nigeria towards creating a better deal for the environment, people, the government and the oil industry operators in Nigeria.

At the study validation, held on January 12th, 2017, at Denis Hotel, Abuja, participants discussed intensively how various efforts and policies have affected the integration of human rights into Environmental Impact assessment.  However, participants identified that the worse violation of the human right is in the extractive industry. Their operational activities destroy and pollute the environment, water, and land (source of livelihood), create health problems and in the long run, abandon the rights of the host communities in their Environmental impact assessments.

Participants emphasized the need for policy reform that will ensure integration of social, Human Rights into the existing EIA policy and the involvement of stakeholders and community actors in the environmental impact assessments efforts.

Mr. Richmond Iheme, a barrister from the National Human Rights Commission disclosed that the Commission has put up a draft National Action Plan on the Promotion of Business and Human Rights. While Mrs. Afolabi A. Faosat and Mrs.Odetoro, R.A both from the Ministry of Environment, disclosed that the Ministry would be undertaking a Stakeholder review on EIA policy soon and communicate the outcome to PWYP-Nigeria.  They also disclosed the availability of a draft National Policy on Environment.

For this engagement, the strategy for 2017 is to engage key Agencies/Stakeholders in the discussions on the issue of integrating Human Rights Impact assessments in EIA. And by 2018, the engagement will be extended to the local level (constituency).