Law and policy for environmental protection and sustainable development in Nigeria with special reference to water resources development projects
There could hardly be any doubt that the pursuit of development objectives, especially in a developing country such as Nigeria, is a legitimate and in fact necessary path for economic, social and political advancement. Within the decades of the 1970s and 1980s however, increased concern about the adverse environmental and socio-economic effects of certain specific development activities have necessitated a search for appropriate development paradigms that would enable the attainment of development objectives with as little environmental and socio-economic adversity as possible. A concept that has so far become very popular in this quest for a development paradigm is that of "sustainable development" which, in simple terms, could be described as a paradigm which seeks to integrate the objective of protection of the environment with the traditional objectives of development. Furthermore, law is being increasingly considered an important tool in the provision of the framework for the pursuit of development and environmental management as whole; and recent international events, such as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development for example, have placed a big emphasis on the possible contribution which could be made by law in the move towards the attainment of sustainable development. The development of water resources has for a long time occupied a priority position in the development programmes of Nigerian Government and various water resources projects have in the past resulted in serious environmental, social and economic problems. This thesis examines how the principles of sustainable development could actually be translated into specific legislative provisions with special emphasis on the development and management of water resources in Nigeria.