NATURAL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION IN NIGERIA: CONSEQUENCES OF HUMAN ACTIONS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY – A REVIEW
*Akanwa A. O. & **Ikegbunam F. I.
*_**Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Environmental Management, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), P.M.B. 02 Uli, Campus, Anambra State, Nigeria.
The mining environment has been characterized by a number of risks and vulnerabilities with the implications for the attainment of the SDGs. One of these risks is the unwholesome, unregulated and unsustainable process of extracting natural resources in Nigeria. The abundance of solid minerals in the country has led to massive exploitation in various ways that has brought about dire consequences on environmental resources. This includes the ever increasing issues of climate change, landscape destruction, land cover changes, change in livelihood, endangered animal/plant species and risks on human life among others are likely to sabotage environmental sustainability. There is need for a greater attention to be given to environmental and sustainable best practices in literature. Therefore, this paper assessed human actions such as mining/quarry industry and its effects on the natural environment and it also identifies the factors undermining environmental sustainability and hence, sustainable development goals. Various related studies, personal research, published and unpublished journals were reviewed. The concepts of sustainable development and best practice in quarrying/mining were adopted to critically assess the situation. The paper identified three major factors affecting increased unsustainable mineral exploitation practices that are detrimental to achieving sustainable development. It is recommended that best practices should embrace realities around participation, gender inclusion, transformation, and collaboration, integration between community and academia with social justice. Also, a code of practice should be provided for each State that will cover an environmental, social and institutional plan. This will require commitment and intense monitoring from the point of exploration, operation to closure of the extraction process.
natural resource, environment, deforestation, sustainable development, best practice and quarrying.