CEHRD joins the world to celebrate the World Environmental Day with the theme: ‘‘Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care’’. The Niger Delta though with enough resources to cater to the needs of the present as well as the future generation, is fast depreciating due to continued exploitation of its non-renewable energy resources. The Niger Delta can focus on its vast renewable energy resources and exploit it to its full potential. These resources are environment friendly, will reduce global warming and ensure sustainability while still sufficient to meet the needs of the people.
Nigeria and specifically the Niger Delta region significantly have large amounts of natural resources with 28.8bb of crude oil reserves, 180tcf proved reserves of natural gas, approximately 105,000 hectares of mangrove forest and 70,000km2 area of wetland. Nigeria is also endowed with renewable energy; having an average of 1,770 thousand TWh/yr of solar energy, 14,750 megawatts of hydro resources, 2.0 to 4.0m/s & 150,000 Terra joule/year of wind energy and 144million tons/year of biomass.
An example of unsustainable consumption in Nigeria especially the Niger Delta is the over exploitation of the non-renewable energy resources. Sadly the exploitation of these resources have not enriched the rural population or the indigenes of the location, rather it has led to the destruction of their immediate environment which used to be their main source of livelihood. In addition, by-products of these exploitations emit large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere increasing greenhouse gases, causing climate change and hence global warming.
CEHRD’s mission to reduce the depletion of the natural resource in the Niger Delta has motivated her to conduct trainings, advocacy, and enlightenment programs on environmental resource management. CEHRD continues to lead the campaign on ‘Our Environment, Our Life’, to sensitize the indigenes of the Niger Delta on the importance of caring for the environment, and in addition, also conducts mangrove regeneration training for respective rural communities in the Niger Delta.
Government and policy makers should provide policy instruments such as income tax reduction, incentives, feed in tariffs and investment subsidy for renewable energy technologies; Civil Societies Organisation through advocacy and awareness campaign can enlighten the masses; independent suppliers and entrepreneurs can work towards enlarging the market for installation materials; capacitated Private Organisations can independently install Photovoltaic Panels (PVC) in their buildings.
CEHRD asks all to cooperate with relevant government, private and community institutions to ensure that a more sustainable energy system is employed in Nigeria. As a developing country, with the aim to emerge as one of the top twenty economies by 2020, we need to understand that the time for action is now.