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Title: Constitutionalising environmental rights for sustainable environmental protection in Nigeria's Niger Delta Region
Author: Abba, P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 9601
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis critically analyses the prospects of constitutionalising environmental rights in Nigeria and argues that it has the potential to entrench sustainable environmental protection in the Niger Delta region which suffers from endemic environmental pollution. The thesis seeks to answer the central research question- Should environmental rights be constitutionalized in Nigeria's legal framework? In answering this question, it examines the normative contents of a prospective constitutional environmental right in Nigeria and challenges the entrenched anthropocentric ethics prevalent in existing environmental literature and in constitutions of many countries around the globe. Utilising a transnational study of environmental constitutionalism and constitutionalization of environmental rights, the thesis argues for the adoption of a coalesced anthropocentrism model of environmental rights which protects the tripod interests in the environment- present humans, future generations and Mother Nature. This liberal approach ensures that environmental rights in the constitution are comprehensive and protective of the rights of non-human components of the ecosystem which are often neglected in legislative and judicial considerations of environmental issues. The original contribution of the thesis lies in its development of the coalesced anthropocentrism model which is tested by reviewing the constitutions of 196 countries to examine the extent to which this model is reflected in the environmental protection legal framework of countries around the globe. While constitutionalization of environmental rights is not the panacea to all environmental ills, it creates an enduring fundamental platform from which the environmental problems in the Niger Delta region can be resolutely tackled. Specifically, it has the potential to improve environmental protection in the region in four critical ways - strengthening the country's environmental legal framework, tackling ecological imperialism and the 'full belly' syndrome, improving access to environmental justice and incorporating international environmental law and principles in the legal framework. However, the thesis has wider application beyond the Niger Delta and Nigeria which is used as a case study for other oil producing (mostly developing) countries in similar socio-economic circumstances and facing endemic environmental challenges from oil production activities including a number of Latin American and Sub-Saharan African countries.
Supervisor: Lee, R. ; Osuji, O. Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental Rights ; Sustainable Development ; Constitutionalization ; Environmental Constitutionalism ; Environmental Rule of Law ; Anthropocentrism ; Ecocentrism