The State Of The Earth; Environmental Challenges
Environmental issues are meant to be operationalized through the formulation of actor-specific environmental actions plans, which define priority action that will convert strategy into practice. The Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process which is an increasingly popularized cans of solving the myriads of problems afflicting the environmental in contemporary world.
The study examines the use of Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process as a strategy of solving environmental problems in Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria by investigating the perception of the general public on the state of the environment in the area, level of participation of people in compliance to existing environmental strategies, causes of ineffective environmental management in the area and assessing community satisfaction with existing environmental management approach using well structured questionnaires administered to sampled households.
Questions were related to socio-economic characteristics of households, willingness to participate by the community in the EPM process, perceived level of environmental degradation in the area, level of compliance of oil and gas companies to environmental laws and the role of Government environment protection agencies in protecting the environment of the study area.
The results confirm that the level of damage from oil exploration, gas activities, pollution and pipeline vandalizations is chronic and cumulative, which has resulted to the degradation of the environment, routine of facilities and compliancy to environmental management approaches are not regular, facilities and equipment were found be grossly inadequate therefore proper inspection can not be well carried out, the community expressed dissatisfaction with the existing environment approach which they attributed to the inability of fully implementing the environmental approach, the community indicated that given the opportunity they are willing to particimendations were made for the effective and efficient application of the EPM process in the study area.
1.1 Background of the Study
Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Major current environmental challenges may include climate change, pollution, environmental degradation, and resource depletion. The conservation movement lobbies for protection of endangered species and protection of any ecologically valuable natural areas, genetically modified foods and global warming.
The Niger-Delta region is located in the southern part of Nigeria, it is known for rich natural resources such as oil, abundant flora and fauna, hydrocarbon deposits in its oil, clay for burnt brick silica sand for glass manufacturing industries, its rich mangrove forest was considered the third largest in the world. Oil fields in Niger-Delta are not large but are plentiful in the region and cuts across farms, waterways and fishing groundsFor nearly four decades, the Nigeria economy is completely dependent on petroleum extraction, generating 25% of its GDP (which has risen to 40% as of 2000) NDDC 2005. Even though oil has become the centre of current industrial development and economic activities, the links between oil exploration and exploitation process and the increasing environmental, health and social problems in oil process and the increasing environmental, health and social problems in oil producing communities which has led to environmental pollution, oil spillage, land degradation, pipeline vandalization and biodiversity depletion. The rate at which immediate environment of this rich region, that defines wealth and poverty simultaneously is being affected is quite alarming. The environment is bad that the inhabitants are used to witnessing first degree environmental degradation. As in the case of most oil producing regions of less developed countries, the economic and political benefits are given more weight than the resulting damage of the environment which is important.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The environmental challenges in Bonny results from the continual exploration and exploitation of natural resources which has gradually degraded the ecosystem primarily from economic motives. This has become an important issue of growing concern, considering that serious environmental degradation, increased activities in the oil industries leading to discharge of toxin of increased volume of effluents which have exacerbated the incidences of pollution and contamination both surface and ground water by harmful gas, contamination of soil by oil spills and leaks, increased deforestation as well as environmental degradation stemming from gas flaring. Considering the effects of land degradation will not reel out inadequate waste management, bush burning, urban industrial pollution, erosion and inappropriate agricultural activities resulting to acid rain, biodiversity depletion, air pollutant deforestation, population pressure and over exploration. The Niger Delta has celebrated and Nigerian’s lack of coherent pollution control policy. Until recently, three was little incentive for power plants to implement pollution abatement strategies or for oil companies to undertaken environment remediation efforts, only recently no longer willing to tolerate oil company’s absolving themselves of their responsibility to reducing pollution. However, this could be attributed to lack of community involvement in environmental management approach in the study area. Therefore ,this study is set out to address the state of the earth: environmental challenges in oil producing regions as bonny island in Rivers State.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main focus of this study is to examine the state of the earth: environmental challenges. Specifically the study seeks:
- To examine the spatial environmental characteristics of oil producing regions.
- To identify the environmental challenges of oil producing states
- To examine how residents of oil producing state react to environmental degradation within it vicinity
- To proffer prospect on how environmental challenges can be curbed considering its impact on the earth
1.4 Research Questions
The research is guided by the following research question
- What is the spatial environmental characteristics of oil producing regions?
- What are the environmental challenges of oil producing states?
- How does residents of oil producing state react to environmental degradation within it vicinity?
- What are the prospect on how environmental challenges can be curbed considering its impact on the earth?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Since the study focused on the state of the earth considering environmental degradation and challenges, findings from the study will be pivotal to government, oil companies and residents of oil producing state. Empirically the study will enlighten the government on the need to regulate the activities of oil companies who in the process of rigging oil, cause environmental pollution on both water bodies, land and bio mass without considering the effect of this act on the residents. The study will educate resident of oil producing regions on local ways they can manage environmental degradation. Finally the study will contribute to the body of knowledge and serve as reference material for other researchers and student who wish to conduct further study on related topic under discourse.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study borders on the state of the earth: environmental challenges. The study is therefore limited to oil producing region using Bonny Island in River State as case study
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Environment is the sum of the total of the elements, factors and conditions in the surroundings which may have an impact on the development, action or survival of an organism or group of organisms
Is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as quality of air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
The main focus of this study to examine the state of the earth and environmental challenges using bonny island in Rivers State as case study. Survey research design was employed for the study. Using convenience sampling technique 100 participants who are resident in Bonny island was enrolled for the study. Questionnaire was issued and 91 out of 100 was retrieved and validated for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and tables.
Findings from the study revealed that oil producing region are characterized with gas flaring, oil spillage and pipeline vandalism. This has caused environmental degradation in the vicinity. The effect of this environmental degradation ranges from air pollution, water pollution, death of fishes, land degradation caused by oil spillage which has caused the residents to be dissatisfied as this affect their every day environment and health in one way or the other. Most of the residents blame the oil industries for poor drilling equipment, lack of effectiveness of environmental laws and weakness of government policies in monitoring the activities of oil companies. Thus making the environment unhealthy for the resident
From the findings of the study, the researcher therefore recommends that:
- There is a need to raise public awareness on the importance of their participation in the physical planning and development of their environment. This can be enhanced through media campaigns and necessary legislation.
- The need for the residents to be educated and empowered to detect, report and monitor oil spills, resource degradation and participation in clean up restoration.
- There is need to foster partnership and collaboration between RSEPA (Rivers State Environmental Authority) and the residents in evolving an environmental management strategy, through this medium the residents will stop looking at oil spills as a commercial asset and make them realize that the spills create long term damage to the environment.
- Ministries responsible for the environment should be empowered with adequate funds and means to supervise the industries involved.
- No new oil license should be issued until companies have rectify and clean up current problems.
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