“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” These words of Wendell Erdman Berry underscore the emerging conversations as we mark yet another World Environment Day.
The World Environment Day, which takes place annually on June 5 is an event to celebrate and promote environmental awareness and sustainability across the globe. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day aims to raise global awareness and mobilize humans to take positive environmental action to protect nature, and planet Earth. The World Environment Day 2021 will see the launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
“Ecosystem Restoration”, the theme for World Environment Day 2021, means assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact. Healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, yield greater benefits such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, and larger greenhouse gas sinks.
Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and CNL (“NNPC/CNL JV”), conducts its business in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. CNL complies with applicable regulatory requirements, stakeholder expectation, best industry practices, and has made Environmental Stewardship part of its social investment programmes.
Explaining CNL’s commitment to ecosystem restoration, the Chairman/Managing Director, Rick Kennedy noted that CNL is proud to be part of the solution to the global environmental issues wherever the company operates, through its sound environmental management policy and practices that supports environmental stewardship and sustainable development.
According to him, CNL has in place a company-wide Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) that delivers industry-leading performance in process safety, personal safety and health, environment, reliability, and efficiency. “CNL’s OEMS process lays the foundation for sound environmental management. The identification, assessment and management of environmental risks runs through the entire project cycle from inception to operations and through decommissioning,” he stated.
CNL recognizes the importance of minimizing its environmental footprint towards ensuring ecosystem restoration. The company continually aims to achieve world class environmental excellence by assessing, eliminating, and mitigating potential risks and thereby effectively managing the footprint from its operations on the environment. CNL is committed to environmental sustainability, including ecosystem restoration interventions where required as recently shown in a mangrove restoration project in one of CNL’s operated fields.
CNL continues to conduct relevant environmental assessments and audits of its operations to ensure environmental risks are identified and where necessary mitigated and managed in accordance with statutory requirements, environmental performance standards and industry best practices. The company continues to invest in best available technology for tracking and managing its ecological footprint in its areas of operation.
CNL’s commitment to preserving the environment has left enduring landmarks in the landscape. The Company, in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) established in 1992, the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC). This 78-hectare facility, a center of excellence in environmental research and education, is reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula.
In 2005, CNL began supporting a yearly postgraduate research scholarship for PhD students in environment and conservation, instituted by the Nigeria Conservation Foundation. In addition, CNL hosts the annual S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture to promote environmental management awareness. CNL also partners with Lagos State Government and the NCF to sponsor an annual environmental awareness programme, tagged Walk for Nature, an event held to create awareness and promote nature conservation and sustainable environmental management.
In September 2020, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar and other dignitaries visited the LCC, where they lauded CNL and the NCF for their commitment to biodiversity preservation and environmental sustainability. In 2018, NCF informed that LCC recorded over 140,000 visitors, including local and foreign tourists between 2016 and 2018.
Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs notes that for close to 60 years, CNL has remained an active agent of sustainable development and strong advocate of partnerships in support of the environment. “We will continue to partner with stakeholders in raising public awareness on the importance of environmental sustainability and ecosystem restoration,” he remarked.