Nigeria ranks 134th on environmental index

By The Citizen

Nigeria has ranked 134th out of the 178 countries surveyed in the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, which was released recently.

The EPI, which is a joint project of the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy and the Centre for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Samuel Family Foundation and the World Economic Forum, ranks how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues.

At the top of this year's index was Switzerland with a score of 87. 67 per cent, followed by Luxembourg with 83.29 per cent, while Australia, which scored 82.40 per cent, took the third position.

The African country that ranked highest in the index was Egypt in the 50th position with a score of 61.11 per cent; followed by Tunisia in the 52nd position with 58.99 per cent; Mauritius in the 56th position with 58.09 per cent; Seychelles, which ranked 61st with 55.56 per cent score; and South Africa in 72nd position with 53.51 per cent.

Somalia occupied the bottom of the table followed by Mali and Haiti in 177th and 176th positions respectively.

The United Kingdom placed 12th, while the United States of America placed 33rd.

This year, the index stated that it tracked 'the performance of 178 countries on environmental issues ranging from air and water quality, through fisheries, human health, to climate change, painting a picture of disappointment side-by-side with hope.'

It also noted that things did not look promising on issues most directly tied to the ecosystem such as fisheries, forests, and protection of critical habitat.

'In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the world lost more than one million square kilometers of forest cover, mostly in the tropics,' the report stated.

According to the 2014 EPI, Nigeria's score improved by 3.73 per cent when compared with its score in the previous year.

Nigeria ranked 165th in health impact, 123rd in air quality, 162nd in water and sanitation, 123rd in water resources and 17th in agriculture.

The country ranked 73rd in forests, 37th in fisheries, 100th in biodiversity and habitat, and 15th in climate and energy.