The federal government has been implored to put all necessary mechanisms in place to hasten the cleanup of Ogoniland and other communities affected by oil and gas exploitation in line with the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) report. This was the resolution at the Policy Roundtable organized by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.It could be recalled that the UNEP Report revealed some the most disturbing aspects of the damage done to the environment not only to the Ogoniland but other communities within that vicinity as well. The socio-economic and health impacts of the devastation that has taken place and still remains within the region according to experts cannot be adequately quantified, thus the need for the federal government to ensure the cleanup goes according to expectations.Welcoming participants at the event, the Programme Coordinator of Nigeria Natural Resource Charter; Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli highlighted the importance of the gathering which enabled participants to understand how the NNRC’s Precepts can be applied to further engage the authorities on environmental issues in Ogoniland and other areas in the Niger Delta Region.Goodwill messages were delivered during the opening session of the roundtable by Hon. Henry Nwawuba; representing the Chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Habitat, General Paul Boroh, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Josephine Anuforu, Federal Ministry of Environment, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director-Health of Mother Earth Foundation and Nnemo Samiama-Immediate past National Coordinator of National Coalition on Gas and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND).The event which featured experts from different fields where unanimous that the federal government should not handle the issue of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region with levity especially as it would take close to three decades to effectively repair the damage done already to the region. To this end, they call for an expedition of action on the UNEP Report and warned government to ensure that the Ogoni cleanup exercise is devoid of political interference.Dr. Fidelis Allen, Director, Rivers State Conflict Management Alliance made presentations on the implementation of the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and mitigation of environmental and social costs of oil mining in the Niger Delta. He noted that with the NNRC’s Precepts, stakeholders can make meaningful inroads in finding solutions to the usual complex issues surrounding oil and gas mining, especially as it relates to local impact and behavior of home governments of extractive companies, usually downgraded in serious discussions of natural resource driven economic growth.In his own presentation, Prof. Charles Oyegun pointed out that the perceived exclusion of host communities from governance of oil wealth is the root cause of the incessant conflicts within the region. He also highlighted that artisanal refining provides the fuel needs of riverine communities at a high cost to the environment. Dr. Sofiri Joab-Peterside warned that there is a growing deficit in the ruling elite practice of federalism, governance and development. This deficit, he said is due to the prevailing centralization of power at the federal level but more broadly to growing distance between rulers and the ruled.Victoria Ibezim-Ohari of Spaces for Change called for a Host Community Bill which should be part of the Petroleum Industry Bill. The Host Community Bill according to her is to provide a framework for improving relations between the government, companies and companies involved in petroleum production. To strengthening the structure for community participation in the oil and gas sector and also to help compensate for the high environmental risks associated with oil production, which imposes disproportionate social, economic and legal burdens on petroleum host communities.Speaking at the event, a human rights’ activist, Celestine Okubari, urged the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to address the high level of poverty and environmental degradation in Ogoni land. General Paul Boro, the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, expressed willingness of the Federal Government to implement the UNEP Report on the Ogoni cleanup, saying that it is a very important step to take in efforts to rectify decades of damage caused by oil exploration in the region.In a communiqué issued at the end of the round table discussion, the critical stakeholders comprising lawmakers, traditional rulers and federal government agencies solicited to establish a multi stakeholder group for engagement of government officials. It equally called for yearly environmental and health audit and evaluation of the entire Niger Delta region. Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) should focus on the remediation of ground water. They also called for the establishment of an environmental cleanup trust fund, and push for more emergency powers for the coordinators of HYPREP. They equally called for the review of the act establishing National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to empower them to discharge their responsibilities. The Communique also called for the establishment of environmental cleanup Trust Fund. Push for the release of HYPREP fund and financial autonomy and for more emergency powers for the coordinator of HYPREP. They called for the review of the Act establishing NESREA and NOSDRA to empower them to discharge their responsibilities. Establishment of due diligence and duty of care policy to take care of the host communities and sensitization and enlightenment of the locals in affected communities.