Senate, environmentalists canvass for research and training institute


The Senate and relevant stakeholders in the environmental sector have agreed on the need for establishment of National  Research and Training Institute for the sector as obtainable in major countries of the world.

Collective clamour for establishment of the research institute came to the fore on Tuesday in Abuja at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service on a bill for an Act to establish the National Environmental Research and Training Institute.

The Environmental Research and Training Institute as variously submitted by the stakeholders, would be saddled with development of environmental policies, training and for other matters  connected thereto.

In his submissions at the public hearing, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong ( PDP Akwa Ibom North West ), said: “Establishment of National Environmental Research and Training Institute ( NERTI), will provide the right signals to build capacity for increased research on ecosystems, the long term impact of human activity on the environment and the employment effects of new technology amongst others.

“The bill is an effort to set up on institute for the purpose of (a) conducting research into environmental issues and (b) advance and disseminate the result of the research for proper conservation, protection of environment and mitigation of environmental impacts/issues amongst others”.

He added that the bill if passed into law, will address numerous problems in the environmental sector ranging from erosion and flood control, climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem, pollution control, marine safety, waste management and environmental impact assessment etc.

Similar research institutes, he explained, were in existence in countries like United Kingdom, Japan, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland etc .

 “If these Institutions as obtainable in the above stated jurisdiction is duplicated in Nigeria, it will go a long way to provide a veritable Institutional and legal framework for environmental research development, training and policy formulation and identification of environmental issues through Scientific methodology that would foster proper management of our environment.

“It is a well-known fact that Nigeria population growth and economic development are affecting the environment. The Interplay between population growth, resources depletion/ environmental change has been debated extensively without a lasting solution”, he stressed.

Virtually, all the stakeholders who made presentations at the public hearing on provisions of the bill , supported its intendment .

Specifically, the Conservator General, National Park Service, Ibrahim Goni, said establishment of such research institute, would  go a long way in making Nigeria measure up to global standard as far as environmental conservation activities are concerned.