Yenagoa, Feb 16, 2016 (NAN)
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an environmental group, said on Tuesday that it has developed a resource material for environmental monitoring and reporting.
The Executive Director of HOMEF, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the resource was developed to assist communities that host oil and extractive industry activities.
The resource, Community Monitoring Guide, which is published as a handbook, illustrates the procedures and actions required to safeguard the environment from the activities of oil exploration and other mining activities.
Bassey explained that the Community Monitoring Guide was developed by HOMEF after extensive research, field visits and consultations with Niger Delta communities in a forum known as ‘Community Dialogues.’
He said that the foundation had commenced a capacity building project aimed at training communities to monitor their environments and report any breach of existing laws on the environment.
According to Bassey, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Friday conducted a workshop on Community Resilience for Environmental Monitoring and Reporting for Egi Communities in Rivers.
He said that volunteers, who pledged to serve as Ecological Defenders, participated in the training programme.
“The participants pledged to carry out monitoring activities related on petroleum resources extraction activities in Egi land, to identify environmentally negative and positive of oil company operations in Egi land.
“They agreed to insist on and ensure compliance with all relevant national and international environmental laws and standards.
“They also resolved to insist on environmental impact assessment and environmental plans to limit the impacts occasioned by extractive activities in Egi land.
“The trainees are to effectively create awareness and train others for environmental monitoring and protection in communities where extractive activities are being carried out,” Nnimmo said
The environmentalist explained that the training workshop is part of the NGO’s effort to build community capacity to monitor and report on incidents in their environment.
He said that HOMEF had held similar training at Bori Ogoni in October 2015 and plan to have more there this year preparatory to the cleanup process promised by the Federal Government in line with the UNEP report. (NAN)