Nigeria Plastic Treaty Preparatory Session

By Ahmed Tiamiyu (CAPWS)

The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 5.2 held in Nairobi, Kenya, reached “Resolution 5/14” in March 2022, entitled “End plastic pollution: towards an international legally binding instrument”, calls for an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to start its work before the end of 2022 and end by 2024. The first session of the INC was held from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Nigeria Plastic Treaty Preparatory Sessions are aimed at strengthening the Plastic Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee process nationally through capacity building for the Nigerian delegates and other relevant stakeholders and to build support for the Government of Nigeria’s position throughout the negotiation of the INCs between 2022 and 2024.

The first edition of the Nigeria Plastic Treaty Preparatory Session was hosted by Community Action Against Plastic Waste (CAPws) in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Environment and supported by GAIA with hybrid participation between 9.00 to 13.00 WAT on April 5, 2023 and it had in attendance representatives from Nigerian Government led by the Federal Ministry of Environment and bring together all government agencies and departments within the plastic policy ecosystem including National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), Federal Consumer Competitive Protection Council (FCCPC), Abuja Environmental Protection Boards (AEPB), state environmental ministries, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMTI) and other stakeholders such as Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Informal Waste Workers, Recyclers Association of Nigeria, Sterling Bank, BASF West Africa Limited, civil society organizations, financial institutions, organized private sectors, youths and women groups.

The agenda for the event included a presentation delivery on the scope and overview of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee process by Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee. This was followed by a presentation from Andres Del Castillo, Senior Attorney at CIEL (Centre for International Environmental Law), that focused on the need for the plastic treaty that prioritizes the protection of human health and the environment from all impacts, hazards and risks associated with plastics, including microplastics, throughout their full lifecycle. There was a follow-up presentation by Merrisa Naidoo, Plastic Campaigner at GAIA Africa, on the comparison of member states of the African Group and Nigeria’s submissions to the INC2.

The event concluded with the following recommendations;

1. The need to establish a National Working Group on the Global Plastic Treaty INC Process.

2. The need to launch an Initiative for National Plastic Just Transition Program for the informal waste pickers.

3. The need to coordinate the West Africa sub-regional ambitious Global Plastic Treaty campaign.