Oct 01, 2014

Ogoni: UNEP Report Must Be Fully Implemented

At a forum on the restoration of the Ogoni environment, speaking on behalf of his community, Legborsi SaroPyagbara, President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoniland (MASOP), stated that no half measure would be accepted, and that the UNEP Report of 2011 must be fully implemented. Nigerian Minister DieziAni Alison Madueke offered assurances of the best efforts of the federal government in this regard, and both parties recognized that the ongoing forum was a necessary step in the right direction.

Below is an article published by the Nigerian Tribune:

Leaders of Ogoniland have insisted on full implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland which was conducted three years ago.

Speaking on behalf of the people of Ogoniland at a stakeholders’ forum on restoration of Ogoniland, the President of the Movement for the survival of Ogoniland (MASOP), Legborsi SaroPyagbara, stated that the community would not accept half measures in the implementation project.

This is even as the Minister of Petroleum Resources [of Nigeria] Mrs. DieziAni Alison Madueke stated that the Federal Government wants to incorporate all the needed stakeholders in the current efforts initiated to implement the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.

The Minister who described the forum as a necessary step in effecting the UNEP report on Ogoniland, urged the people to embrace dialogue and reciprocate the gesture by cooperating with the government.

She said that the workshop was set up to determine what the true position is on the ground, which of the UNEP recommendations have been implemented, what still needs to be done and what is withholding action on the implementations.

According to the Minister, “What we are looking for is to open a candid discussion and I want full co-operation of Ogoni people to ensure that the implementation action plans yield fruits”.

She said that the federal government commissioned UNEP to carry out an environmental assessment of the impacts of oil exploration activities of Ogoniland in 2011, and that the forum is a step towards the implementations.

The Minister also said that the community and all stakeholders are incorporated on the implementation to ensure that it meets international standards and the demands of the people of the land.

The workshop, which was attended by stakeholders from the International Oil Companies (IOCs) relevant agencies of government, as well as representatives of the people of Ogoniland, was held to ensure that the UNEP recommendations will be implemented to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

“It is my hope that the Ogoni people will take a full advantage of the opportunity and work with federal government and other stakeholders to restore the environment of Ogoniland. I wish that the Ogoni action plan is extended to other parts of Nigeria facing similar environmental degradations” she said.

The MASOP president Legborsi SaroPyagbara said earlier that the journey of fighting against environmental degradation in Ogoniland started 24 years ago and admitted that the consultative meeting is an indication that progress is been recorded in the fight.

According to him, “this meeting for us will take a new focus and direction on the way forward, in the fight against degradation of our environment. I must say with all sense of responsibility that by this meeting today, it is to consolidate on the gains of August 08 2014, when MOSOP had the honour of organising a consultative meeting where the young, the old and all strata of stakeholders came out with five point resolutions”.

He said that his people are ready for collaborations, dialogue and consultations for the implementations of the report. While demanding full implementation of the UNEP report, the MASOP leader, however, promised to work with the government as long as there are genuine efforts towards the implementation of the report.