Pesticides are harming Nigeria: it’s time to update the law

 

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Jane Ezirigwe, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

The European Union has banned the use of several pesticides, and heavily restricted others. This is because of their potential health effects or environmental contamination, or because there’s not enough data to be sure that they aren’t harmful. Over 50% of these pesticides are still registered in Nigeria, however.

Nigeria’s use of such pesticides is the reason some markets, including the EU and the US, reject the country’s agricultural products. Yet some countries with strict regulations at home still export the banned pesticides to countries like Nigeria.

As a researcher in the field of food and agricultural law, international trade and natural resource development, I’ve explored the laws and regulations that govern the use of pesticides. My research highlights the gaps that undermine export opportunities.

I identified four major factors that make Nigeria’s pesticide regulations ineffective. They are: outdated laws; overlapping regulatory functions; resource limitations; and the influence of multinationals.

Good pesticide regulation should do three main things: protect people and the planet, support effective pest control, and provide redress when harm occurs.

Better regulation will make Nigeria’s agricultural products safer for local consumption and export.

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The world is rushing to Africa to mine critical minerals like lithium – how the continent should deal with the demand

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James Boafo, Murdoch University; Eric Stemn, University of Mines and Technology; Jacob Obodai, Edge Hill University, and Philip Nti Nkrumah, The University of Queensland

Global demand for critical minerals, particularly lithium, is growing rapidly to meet clean energy and de-carbonisation objectives.

Africa hosts substantial resources of critical minerals. As a result, foreign mining companies are rushing to invest in exploration and acquire mining licences.

According to the 2023 Critical Minerals Market Review by the International Energy Agency, demand for lithium, for example, tripled from 2017 to 2022. Similarly, the critical minerals market doubled in five years, reaching US$320 billion in 2022. The demand for these metals is projected to increase sharply, more than doubling by 2030 and quadrupling by 2050. Annual revenues are projected to reach US$400 billion.

In our recent research, we analysed African countries that produce minerals that the rest of the world has deemed “critical”. We focused on lithium projects in Namibia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ghana. We discovered these countries do not yet have robust strategies for the critical minerals sector. Instead they are simply sucked into the global rush for these minerals.

We recommend that the African Union should expedite the development of an African critical minerals strategy that will guide member countries in negotiating mining contracts and agreements. The strategy should draw from leading mining practices around the world. We also recommend that countries should revise their mining policies and regulations to reflect the opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing global demand for critical minerals.

Otherwise, African countries that are rich in critical minerals will not benefit from the current boom in demand.

 

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The global E-waste Monitor 2024 – Electronic Waste Rising Five Times Faster than Documented E-waste Recycling: UN

 

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Fonte : UNITAR

Geneva / Bonn – The world’s generation of electronic waste is rising five times faster than documented e-waste recycling, the UN’s fourth Global E-waste Monitor (GEM) reveals today.

A record 62 million tonnes (Mt) of e-waste was produced in 2022, Up 82% from 2010; On track to rise another 32%, to 82 million tonnes, in 2030; Billions of dollars worth of strategically-valuable resources squandered, dumped; Just 1% of rare earth element demand is met by e-waste recycling

The 62 million tonnes of e-waste generated in 2022 would fill 1.55 million 40-tonne trucks, roughly enough trucks to form a bumper-to-bumper line encircling the equator, according to the report from ITU and UNITAR.

Meanwhile, less than one quarter (22.3%) of the year’s e-waste mass was documented as having been properly collected and recycled in 2022, leaving US$ 62 billion worth of recoverable natural resources unaccounted for and increasing pollution risks to communities worldwide.

Worldwide, the annual generation of e-waste is rising by 2.6 million tonnes annually, on track to reach 82 million tonnes by 2030, a further 33% increase from the 2022 figure.

E-waste, any discarded product with a plug or battery, is a health and environmental hazard, containing toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, which can damage the human brain and coordination system.

The report foresees a drop in the documented collection and recycling rate from 22.3% in 2022 to 20% by 2030 due to the widening difference in recycling efforts relative to the staggering growth of e-waste generation worldwide.

Challenges contributing to the widening gap include technological progress, higher consumption, limited repair options, shorter product life cycles, society’s growing electronification, design shortcomings, and inadequate e-waste management infrastructure.

The report underlines that if countries could bring the e-waste collection and recycling rates to 60% by 2030, the benefits – including through minimizing human health risks – would exceed costs by more than US $38 billion.

As well, the world “remains stunningly dependent” on a few countries for rare earth elements, despite their unique properties crucial for future technologies, including renewable energy generation and e-mobility.

Download  the Report