1

Environmentalism and Economic development: Between the Tree, Livelihood and the Future

By

Stephen B Clark
Copyright © 2010

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission.

2 Abstract:

The debate over how the world is going to end purported by religious doctrines of all faiths symmetrically presume ‘some’ day, not known, not determined, it probably would happen.

Through objective environmental literacy, research and observations, the World has been enlightened on the adverse effects of human actions from the past, on-going (and if not checked) in the future, how degradation of the natural environment inter alia eventually cause a climatic change.

The natural environment and its inestimable constituents should be effectively protected and attempts have been made over time, this paper would examine relative attempts.

This paper focuses on Nigeria as a case study and discusses how perception of economic development interplays with the idealism of environmentalism and determine legal instruments and implementation.

3 Introduction The debate over how the world is going to end purported by religious doctrines of all faiths symmetrically presume ‘some’ day, not known, not determined, it probably would happen. Through objective environmental literacy, research and observations, the World has been enlightened on the adverse effects of human actions from the past, on-going (and if not checked) in the future, how degradation of the natural environment inter alia eventually cause a climatic change.

The environment is all of the biotic factors (organisms themselves, their food and their interaction) and abiotic factors (sunlight, soil, air, water, climate, and pollution) that act on an organism, population, or ecological community and influence its survival and development.1 International environmental law comprises of those substantive, procedural, and institutional rules of international law which have as their primary objective the protection of the environment.2 Over the recent years the focus of international environmental law towards the protection of the environment have emanated from the increasing realisation that issue of climate change is a universal one. The Earth’s climate which is the average weather and nature of its variations that we experience over time has changed many times in response to natural causes.3 Changes in response to natural causes have been attributed to what is termed the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the natural process of the atmosphere letting in some energy from the sun (ultraviolet and visible light) and stopping it being transmitted back out into space (infrared radiation or heat) making the earth warm enough for life.4 Human actions over time have played determinate roles in the natural process as man-made greenhouse gases increases amongst other things have not been proportionate natural resources available to facilitate the natural process. Hemming noted that, climate change due to the increase in manmade greenhouse gases projected outcome is global warming; evidenced through the comparison of a wide range of historical and recent records and observation such as temperature records; has many varied impacts such as increases or decreases in rainfall. 5

1 2

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.15, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

3 4

Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/ Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/ 5 Debbie Hemming (Dr), ‘Climate Change – the evidence and the impacts’, Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/keyfacts/Climate%20change%20%20the%20evidence%20and%20the%20impacts%20transcript.pdf

4 The many varied impacts of climate change vary from region and sector to another region and sector globally however these impacts severally draw a parallel global warming issue the international community strives to address. The recognised impacts of climate change on the region and sector Nigeria falls into includes; water stress and drought risk; crop yield reduction risk; and human health risk.6 Hemming further noted that to mitigate climate change efforts should be made to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and reduce our contributions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.7

Environmentalism Various perspectives of environmentalism over time been categorised as special interests movements propagating diverse environmental objectives. Stone noted that the environmental movement consists of a wide range of independent groups with understandably varying aims, tactics, and competencies and that the standards of success are often hard to define, and when defined, hard to prove one way or the other.8 Stone further noted that environmentalist have made far more right calls than wrong and that an important part of the environmentalists’ watchdog function is sounding alarms i.e. accentuating high magnitude events, even if of low probability.9 However, O’Riordan observed that the moral relationship between short-term selfishness and enlightened longer-term community interest drives right at the heart of environmentalism.10 Modern environmentalism can be viewed from the ecocentric or technocentric mode.11 Environmental propaganda within the international community consist inter alia intrinsic perceptions of ecocentrist or technocentrist which objectively are intrinsic to the formulation of international environmental law. Ecocentrism is concerned with the ends and the proper kind of means whereas technocentrism focuses more on means per se, particularly the utilisation of managerial principles.12

Met Office Climate Change Guide, ‘Effects on the developing world’, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/effects/security.html
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Debbie Hemming (Dr), ‘Climate Change – the evidence and the impacts’, Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/keyfacts/Climate%20change%20%20the%20evidence%20and%20the%20impacts%20transcript.pdf 8 Christopher D. Stone, ‘Is Environmentalism Dead?’, Environmental Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Volume 38, Issue 1, 21.01.2008 9 Christopher D. Stone, ‘Is Environmentalism Dead?’, Environmental Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Volume 38, Issue 1, 21.01.200 8
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T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.36, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981) T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.1, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981) 12 T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.1, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981)
10 11

5 However, each ideology favours certain elements of both modes, depending upon the institutional settings, the issue at hand, and the changing socio economic status.13 The global warming issue cuts across diverse objectives of environmentalist movements towards protecting the environment. Kiss and Shelton noted that the global warming issue exemplifies the principle that all activity in the biosphere is interrelated and interdependent.14

Modern environmentalism in Nigeria identifies with the issue of global warming as a result in climate change, however, is yet to define its course drawing from either of these ideologies amongst others due to the institutional settings and socio economic status as shall be discovered further on.

International and National environmental law provisions International environmental law has evolve through the years addressing various international environmental issues such as whaling, however there has been a heightened approach towards addressing the climate change issue. The 1982 world Charter for Nature set forth ‘principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged’.15 The Charter emphasises the protection of nature as an end in itself, however the Charter is not binding16 and more or less interpreted on the premise of ecocentrism.

The 1992 Climate Change Convention recognised the common but differentiated responsibilities and priorities, objectives and circumstances of all parties committed under its Article 4(1).17 The Convention encompassed modalities from the various ideologies of environmentalism. Sands noted that the principle developed from the application of equity in general international law, and that the special needs of developing countries must be taken into account in the development and interpretation of rules of international environmental law.18

T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.2, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981) Alexandre Kiss and Dinah Shelton, ‘Guide to International Environmental Law’, p.171-172, (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007) 15 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.45, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
13 14 16 17

Ibid. Sands, p.45 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.362, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.285, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

18

6 Two elements of the principle are, the common responsibility of states for the protection of the environment, or parts of it, at the national, regional and global levels; and the need to take account of differing circumstances, particularly in relation to each State’s contribution to the creation of a particular environmental problem and its ability to prevent, reduce and control the threat.19 Nigeria’s contribution to the global warming issue can be assessed taking into account of its level of industrialization, natural forest management and pollution as a result of gas flaring inter alia in oil exploration. It is pertinent to note that the Climate Change Convention acknowledged that ‘change in the Earth’s climate and its adverse effects are a common concern of all mankind’.20 Hence following the common responsibility criteria Nigeria is obligated prima facie towards the protection of the trees of its natural forest. The call for development is determinant in the ability to effectively implement policies aimed at preventing, reducing or controlling activities which contribute a threat to the environment.

Two consequences of the application of the principle are; it entitles, or may require, all concerned States to participate in international response measures aimed at addressing environmental problems; and it leads to an environmental standards which impose differing obligations on state.21 In other words, Sands noted that differentiated responsibility results in different legal obligations, with different techniques available to apply it such as ‘grace’ periods delaying implementation, and less stringent commitments.22

At the international level the effectiveness of environmental quality management is limited because of powerful sovereignty arguments which preclude international investigation of matters of national interest.23 States are the primary subjects of international law as states create, adopt and implement international legal principles and rules, establish institutional organisations, and permit the participation of other actors in the international process.24 Sands noted that the issue of non-compliance can include a failure to give effect to substantive norms; or to fulfil procedural requirement; or to fulfil an international

19

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.286, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.287, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.286, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 22 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.288, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 23 T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.25, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981) 24 Ibid. Sands, p.71
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7 obligation.25 Non-compliance more often than not is as a result of lack of adequate financial resources, technological advancement and specialist human resources.

Recognising the role of forests in reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, Seymour noted that the need has arose for the international community to address forestrelated emissions to enhance chances of keeping global warming below the two degree threshold.26 International environmental policy making pertaining to loss of trees and the issue of global warming is focused on remedial instruments are aimed at controlling and sharing responsibilities through trade. In the Rio declaration, the international community agreed that ‘environmental standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and developmental context to which they apply’.27 Sands highlighted that amongst multilateral environmental agreements ever conducted the Kyoto Protocol negotiations were among the most difficult and complex due to the economic and developmental decisions.28 Nation States with shared commitments towards the protection of the environment approach an issue that is of concern based on far reaching factors beyond the prima facie environmental agenda in international lawmaking. Where issues such as deforestation and conservation of natural forest arise, irrespective of the pertinent universal issue of climate change, blocking countries like Brazil with a far more need to protect its depleting natural forest and Indonesia with a far more financial dependence on plantation would consider amongst other things foreign revenue and developmental needs before climate change. On the regional level the African Convention29 defined a conservation area as any protected natural resource area, which includes a reserve.30 The Convention provides that “States shall ensure that conservation and management of natural resources are treated as an integral part of national and/or regional development plans. 31 The African Charter provides that “all

25

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.172, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

David Akana, ‘How Forests Can Limit Climate Change’, quoted remarks of Frances Seymour , Director General of the Cent re for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Climate Change Media partnership, 15.12.09, available at http://www.climatemediapartnership.org/reporting/stories/how-forests-can-limit-climate-change/ 27 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.288, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
26 28

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.370, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

29 30

African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources, adopted on 15.09.1968, entered into force 16.06.1969 Article III of the African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources, 1969 31 Article XIV (1) of the African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources, 1969

8 peoples shall have the right to a generally satisfactory environment favourable to their development”.32 Kiss and Shelton noted that the African Commission in SERAC v. Nigeria, case 155/96, October 27, 2001, established the protection provided in Article 24.33

States implement their international environmental obligations by adopting national implementing measures; by ensuring that national measures are complied with by those subject to their jurisdiction and control; and by fulfilling obligations to the relevant international organisations, such as reporting measures taken to give effect to international obligations.34 It is established in the Nigerian Constitution35 that if any other law is inconsistent with its provisions that law to the extent of its inconsistency shall be void.36 The degree of its inconsistency could be measured in terms of construction or wording of such laws as compared to construction or wording of the provisions of the constitution. The Constitution provides that “the State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wild life of Nigeria”.37 This provision doesn’t reflect adoption of various international environmental laws which have evolved over time.

Natural forest: Trees as source of livelihood or as primary actors in global environment The current definition of forest used for reporting and accounting purposes under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is structurally based comprising:  a minimum area of land of 0.05 hectares with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10% with trees with potential to reach a minimum height of 2 metres at maturity in situ  It includes (i) young stands of natural regeneration; (ii) all plantations have to reach a crown density of 10-30% or tree height of 2-3 metres; (iii) areas normally forming part of the forest area which are temporarily unstocked as a result of human intervention such as harvesting or natural causes but which are expected to revert to forest.38

Article 24, of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981 Alexandre Kiss and Dinah Shelton, ‘Guide to International Environmental Law’, p.238, (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007) 34 Ibid. Sands, p.174 35 The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 36 Chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 37 Chapter II, Section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999
32 33

Sean Cadman, ‘Defining Forests under Kyoto Protocol: a way forward’, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, October 2008, available at http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/seancadman1_12nov08.pdf
38

9 Cadman noted that this definition makes no distinction between, among other things, planted crops of monoculture perennial woody plants and complex biodiverse natural forest.39 However, proposed definition of natural forest states that “a natural forest is a terrestrial ecosystem generated and maintained primarily through natural ecological and evolutionary process”, while “a plantation is a crop of trees planted and regularly harvested by humans”.40

The international community have longed recognised territorial sovereignty of States which consist of its natural forest and its resources amongst other things. However, the gravity of global climate change exceeds limitations of the legal instruments and institution within State territorial sovereignty to the wider complexities of the lawmaking process within the international community. Natural forest are an essential part of the global carbon cycle, and have played, and continue to play, a major role in modulating the strength of the greenhouse effect.41 Hence, the intricate balance in the greenhouse effect of the immediate natural surroundings of the sovereign territory of Nigeria affects the complex global environmental system international environmental law strives to protect through regulations, policies and instruments.

Trees form a significant feature of any natural forest and are vital to replenishing the atmosphere and contributing to blocking heat from the sun.42 Trees are natural consumers of carbon dioxide destruction of trees not only removes these “carbon sinks”, but tree burning and decomposition pump into the atmosphere even more carbon dioxide, along with methane.43 Article 1(8) of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol defines a ‘sink’ as ‘any process, activity or mechanisms which removes a greenhouse gas or precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere’.44 This insulation process is an intricate dimension in the delicate balance of

Sean Cadman, ‘Defining Forests under Kyoto Protocol: a way forward’, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, October 2008, available at http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/seancadman1_12nov08.pdf
39

Sean Cadman, ‘Defining Forests under Kyoto Protocol: a way forward’, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, October 2008, available at http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/seancadman1_12nov08.pdf
40

Sean Cadman, ‘Defining Forests under Kyoto Protocol: a way forward’, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, October 2008, available at http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/seancadman1_12nov08.pdf
41

Deforestation and Desertification, ‘Forest holocaust’, National Geographic Society, 1996-2009, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/eye/deforestation/effect.html 43 Deforestation and Desertification, ‘Forest holocaust’, National Geographic Society, 1996-2009, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/eye/deforestation/effect.html
42 44

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.360, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

10 Earth’s gases, an imbalance due to the loss of trees would result in adverse consequences of climate change.45 The loss of trees such as cocoa, rubber, oil palm, in Nigeria occur through the process of clearing a natural forest for agricultural use; excessive logging; and for commercial exploitation. It is pertinent to note that in Nigeria not one of these processes is a standalone process with adverse effect of deforestation but a combination of these processes simultaneously or sequentially.

Cocoa is cultivated seasonally and mainly exported to generate foreign revenue. Cocoa harvest is subject to weather conditions and chemical supply to farmers. Cocoa trees are monoculture species which take between 3-5 years when planted to grow and be ready for harvesting. The Iguobazuwa Forest Reserve46 is rich in biodiversity, functional ecosystems, individual and communal farmlands of agrarian people of surrounding communities who depend on the forest for means of sustenance, food, fuel wood and medicinal herbs.47 Recognised natural forests within the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria share similar constituents and exercise similar functions, however, varying in the multicultural context of surrounding communities.

Over 3,500 hectares of Iguobazuwa Forest Reserve was acquired by Michelin on May 29, 2007 and a year later started planting rubber trees.48 Rubber trees provide the main commercial source for the rubber industry utilized by national and transnational cooperation’s. Planting of rubber trees provides a long term means of economic development for surrounding communities and the nation as a whole. However, the short term pitfalls include hunger, malnutrition, diseases, poverty, air and water pollution, soil erosion, social dislocation, increase in social vices, alteration of age-old traditional practices, lack of fuel wood and bush meat.49

Jocelyn Stock and Andy Rochen, ‘The Choice: Doomsday or Arbor Day’, http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/deforestation.htm The Iguobazuwa Forest Reserve is located in Edo state 47 Deforestation, ‘Nigeria: Michelin’s rubber plantations destroyed women’s livelihoods’, World Rainforest Movement, WRM's bulletin Nº 140, March 2009, http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/140/Nigeria.html 48 ‘Nigeria: Michelin’s rubber plantations destroyed women’s livelihoods’, WRM's bulletin Nº 140, March 2009, http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/140/Nigeria.html
45 46

‘Nigeria: Michelin’s rubber plantations destroyed women’s livelihoods’, WRM's bulletin Nº 140, March 2009, http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/140/Nigeria.html
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11 Oil palm is indigenous to the Nigerian coastal plain, having migrated inland as a staple crop.50 In Nigeria, production is obtained from an area of three million hectares of oil palm, among which there are some 360,000 hectares of industrial plantations.51 Production of oil palm comes from dispersed smallholders spread over an estimated area of 1.65 million hectares, who harvest semi-wild plants and use manual processing techniques.52

In recent times large scale oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) plantations composed of specially selected and cloned varieties of palm trees, have been mostly aimed at the production of oil (which is extracted from the fleshy part of the palm fruit) and kernel oil (which is obtained from the nut).53 Establishing plantations involve the cutting and clearing of existing varied species of trees and replanting monoculture specie for commercial exploitation. Sands established that environmental damage includes damage to natural resources and property which forms part of the cultural heritage.54

Cultivation of industrial plantations has its negative impacts on the indigenous people notably, the appropriation of large areas of land which have hitherto been in the possession of indigenes of immediate communities and have provided their livelihoods. 55 Oil palm monocultures are also associated with soil erosion: forest clearance leaves the soils bare and exposed to heavy tropical rainstorms.56 Todaro and Smith noted that deforestation is a factor in the cycle of rural poverty and environmental destruction.57

Forest management inter alia was designated as additional eligible Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) activity under Article 3(4) of the Kyoto Protocol.58 Ministries of environment and other environmental institutions from federal to local

World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, Chap.3 (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 51 Ricardo Carrere, ‘Oil Palm: The Expansion of Another Destructive Monoculture’, in World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 52 World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, Chapter 3, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 53 Ricardo Carrere, ‘Oil Palm: The Expansion of Another Destructive Mono culture’, in World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 54 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.876, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 55 Ricardo Carrere, ‘Oil Palm: The Expansion of Another Destructive Monoculture’, in World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 56 Ibid Carrere 57 Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.473, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)
50 58

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.381, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

12 governments in Nigeria recognise, however, adopting and implementing environmental quality management policies has been far from effective. At Marrakesh,59 it was articulated that the implementation of LULUCF activities must contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.60 The Omo Forest Reserve which is located in the South west of Nigeria was legally constituted as a forest reserve by Order No. 10 of 1925 (amended in 1952), has been exploited by the State governments Forestry Plantation Project, by carrying out excessive logging activities and establishment of monoculture tree plantations.61 State institutions tasked with the responsibility of protecting the environment through contribution to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources embark on activities aimed at obtaining foreign revenue ahead of the issue of environmental protection.

From an environmentalist perspective, the objectives of intellectual growth, cultural and economic development a rubber plantation would achieve does not excuse the destruction of a natural forest reserve which provides carbon sinks beneficial to both the immediate environment and the global environment. However, the opportunity costs arising from the preservation of rain forests will involve the loss of an important source of domestic fuel, forgone foreign-exchange earnings from timber, cocoa, rubber, oil palm and loss of a temporary solution to the problem of land shortages and population pressures.62

Economic development Paper, cardboards, cartons, bags, export packaging, furniture and building materials are some of the commonly recognised commercial values of trees within the natural forest. Exploitation of the natural forests for natural resources to obtain these end products amongst others, over time have immensely contributed to the development of States and the advancement of man through generations.

Todaro and Smith pointed out that the new economic view of development is that of a multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of
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Decision 11/CP.7, Para.1 Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.381, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Uzoma D. Chima, ‘Nigeria: Tree plantations at the expense of forests and forest people’s livelihoods’ , World Rainforest Movement’s bulletin n No. 105, April 2006, available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/105/NIgeria.html
61 62

Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.489, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)

13 inequality and the eradication of poverty.63 This view of development applies to all societies and ongoing measures of aimed at achieving effective development. Todaro and Smith highlighted that one of the core values to effective development is the ability to meet basic needs.64

The average Nigerian sees the availability and accessibility of basic amenities such as clean water, electricity, medical care to name a few, as development and if to achieve that involves cutting some trees or clearing a forest that right should be unabridged. Furthermore, increasing the availability and widening the distribution of basic life-sustaining goods such as food, shelter, health, and protection was recognised by Todaro and Smith as one of the objectives of development.65 The ‘right to development’ was affirmed for the first time in Principle 3 of the Rio Declaration which established that to equitably meet development and environmental needs of present and future generations the right to development must be fulfilled.66 However, Sands noted that the provisions of Principle 4 of the Rio Declaration can be deduced to permit, or require the attachment of environmental conditionality’s to all development lending by States and multilateral development banks, and the integration of environmental considerations into all economic and other development.67 Todaro and Smith noted that the term sustainability refers to “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations”, and pointed out that environmentalist have used sustainability in an attempt to clarify the desired balance between economic growth and environmental preservation.68 However Sands noted that The World Charter for Nature includes ‘rules’ governing the use of natural resources which predate the concept of sustainable development.69

63 64

Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.17, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003) Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.21, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003) Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.23, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)

65

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.55, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Ibid. Sands, p.55 68 Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.464, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)
66 67 69

Ibid. Sands, p.46

14 Industrial Plantations are purported to play a key role in the economic development within its region and beyond as they provide avenue for skilled and unskilled employment, training and educational opportunities, local and foreign revenue circulation, infrastructural development which spirally contribute to meeting the objectives of effective development. Furthermore, in a bid to earn foreign revenue natural forests are converted to plantations by transnational cooperations such as previously mentioned Michelin rubber plantation at Iguobazuwa Forest Reserve, these mono-specific tree plantations do not compensate the loss of many species of trees in bio-diverse natural forests70.

In Nigeria, attempts to implement large-scale plantations have resulted in complete failures such as, the 1960’s Cross River State project and the European Union-funded “Oil palm belt rural development programme” in the 1990’s which included the plantation of 6,750 hectares of oil palm within an area thought to be one of the largest remnants of tropical forest in Nigeria.71 These attempts of the past to embark in developmental projects at the expense of losing its natural forests have been poorly managed highlighting the perception that sustainable development is subjective to market forces.

In other words, the function of trees in its natural forests such as providing carbon sinks vital to ensuring a future generation is subjugated to the commercial needs of the present generation. Conflicts over the access to environmental resources and services adopt languages which are not explicitly environmental; Martinez-Alier further noted that, until recently actors of such conflicts rarely saw themselves as environmentalist as their concern was with livelihood.72 Furthermore, technocentric environmentalist within the international community purport theories closely aligned to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources implementation activities.

Sands noted that The World Charter for Nature includes language on environmental impact assessment and distinguishes between three activities in the light of such assessments: (1) activities which are likely to cause irreversible damage to nature (which should be avoided);
J.Martinez-Alier, ‘The Environmentalism Of The Poor’, A Report for UNRISD for the WSSD, University of Witswatersrand, 30.08.2002, http://www.rcade.org/secciones/comisiones/comisiones/decol/jalier.PDF 71 World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, Chapter 3, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 72 J.Martinez-Alier, ‘The Environmentalism Of The Poor’, A Report for UNRISD for the WSSD, University of Witswatersrand, 30.08.2002, http://www.rcade.org/secciones/comisiones/comisiones/decol/jalier.PDF
70

15 (2) activities which are likely to pose a significant risk to nature (which should be preceded by an exhaustive examination); and (3) activities which may disturb nature (which should be preceded by an assessment of their consequences).73 Sands further noted that the approach is now broadly reflected in international practice.74

Economic development for countries with far less economic resources than that of far more industrialised and economic power countries is a pertinent factor in adopting decisive measures towards the threat of global warming. Revenue derived from economically powerful countries with high consumer demand tilts the scale of reasoning with regards to government policies and implementation of international environmental law provisions. Foreign revenue generated from the export of cocoa, rubber and oil palm are calculated as a source to which the expansion of local industry is dependent. On the other hand, local utilization tree products such as timber in infrastructural development and industrial growth; or agricultural development as an outcome of clearing; are important to the long term economic development of Nigeria.

In light of observations of the realistic working conditions of badly paid few and far between jobs generated by the establishment or expansion of plantations, the high deforestation rates of natural forests and its adverse effects on climate change, development is questionable.75

Implementation of legal provisions The absence of an International government and the recognition of States sovereignty assigns to individual States the responsibility of enshrining International Law into National Law. International environmental law recognises that despoilers of the natural forest inter alia are within the State sovereign territory hence international environmental policies and regulations must be policed at national levels.

Removal units (RMUs) which is a category of emissions reduction credits (removal by sinks) must be verified by the expert review teams established by the Protocol to be available for credit against an Annex 1 party’s emission reduction commitment under Article 3(1) of the
Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.46, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Ibid. Sands, p.46 75 World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, Chapter 3, (Uruguay: World Rainf orest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf
73 74

16 Kyoto Protocol.76 As previously noted, States establish institutional organisations, and permit the participation of other actors in the international process77, funding is a vital restriction in the effectiveness of expert review teams in undertaking such tasks. Sands noted that an admission of responsibility with financial consequences is reflected in Article 4(4) of the 1992 Climate Change Convention and Article 2(3) of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.78 Nongovernmental organisations (NGO’s) play key functions at the national and international level in raising awareness on international environmental issue and implementing international environmental law. NGO’s undertake independent research of international environmental issues and report actions taken at national level to ensure international law compliance. NGO’s can take legal action on national and international jurisdictions or through meetings and mediation resolve issues. Within the international community effective and environmentally responsible governments adopt policies or legislations implemented through domestic legal instruments to support the course(s) of NGO’s which do not remove the neutrality of such NGO’s however serves as positive achievement of that NGO on its course. The presence and activities of internationally recognised NGO’s strengthens the response of States and the international community to an environmental issue.

In Nigeria, advocacy towards national and international environmental issues aimed at protecting the natural forests by national NGO’s goes beyond the essential degree of partnership with government to enable successful achievements on its course. NGO’s are more often than not highly politicised or lack adequate resources and technology to conduct independent research and collect viable data. Notable NGO’s in Nigeria are often affiliated with international NGO’s an example is Environmental Rights Action (ERA) founded to deal with environmental human rights issues in Nigeria, is affiliated with Friends of the Earth. ERA and other NGO’s such as NGO Coalition for Environment (NGOCE) and CLEEN Foundation more or less consistently embark of environmental courses with underline sociopolitical ideologies pertinent to the State, therefore alienating its courses from that of the international environmental community advocating objective universal environmental issues such as climate change.

76

Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.381, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) Ibid Sands Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, p.900-901, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

77 78

17 Conclusion It is estimated that deforestation alone accounts for roughly 25% of CO2 emissions worldwide.79 Standard economic theory points to the need to internalize externalities to bring the cost of exporting of natural resources closer to the ‘real’ social costs; on the other hand, ecological economics emphasizes the lack of political and market power of those suffering the externalities.80 O’Riordan highlighted Hardin’s belief that the inevitability of global destruction predetermines the choice that humanity must make to ensure its survival.81 At this point a retrospective examination of the vital role of the trees found in natural forest as natural consumers of carbon dioxide interlocked in the intricate balance of Earth’s gases in the climate change process, highlights the need to now address the effective protection of natural forest beyond the common responsibility principle.

Countries like Nigeria with far less economic resources, technology and political clout would not be forerunners in setting agenda’s or calling for a conference however, as a result of possible foreign revenue and/or concessions would tend to support or be influenced to support lead States although not necessarily as committed.

Nigeria like most countries within the international community complies with a wide range of international laws including international environmental law and actively participates in the international law making process. However, increasing economic competition, foreign revenue drive to facilitate economic development inter alia contribute to the perception of international environmental issues and to the failures in drafting policies or regulations and effectively implementing international law.

International environmental policies and regulation highlight the need to restrain from activities with detrimental effects to the natural environment towards the goal of mitigating the adverse effect of global warming and establishes the requirement that activities must contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, however, international environmental policies have not been effective in checking the market forces increasing the consumer demand for natural resources.

79
80

Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.489, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)

J.Martinez-Alier, ‘The Environmentalism Of The Poor’, A Report for UNRISD for the WSSD, University of Witswatersrand, 30.08.2002, http://www.rcade.org/secciones/comisiones/comisiones/decol/jalier.PDF 81 T.O’Riordan, ’Environmentalism’, p.28, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981)

18 Carrere noted that the real reasons for the establishment industrial plantations to expand cultivation of monocultures have nothing to do neither with either improving living standards nor with environmental protection but the mutual benefit of local elites and transnational companies.82 Financiers who are vital in the international community also benefit directly and indirectly from the exploitation and degradation of the natural forests of Nigeria. As a result of the important roles the rain forest play in less developed countries’ domestic economies, the true costs of preserving all remaining forests may be extraordinarily high.83

The perceptions of economic development are complex within countries dependent of foreign revenue to achieve its developmental goals which interplays with less addressed advocacy for the protection of the environment irrespective of the idealism of environmentalism approached. The basic need for amenities such as clean water, electricity, medical care to name a few envisioned as only possible through economic development would determine drafting national legal instruments, implementing international policies and regulations, an establishing institutions to effectively address environmental issues of natural forests within the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria.

Ricardo Carrere, ‘Oil Palm: The Expansion of Another Destructive Monoculture’, in World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 83 Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, p.489, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003)
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19 Bibliography 1. Philippe Sands, ‘Principles of International Environmental Law’, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) 2. T.O’Riordan, ‘Environmentalism’, 2nd Edition, ( London: Pion Limited, 1981) 3. Alexandre Kiss and Dinah Shelton, ‘Guide to International Environmental Law’, p.171-172, (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007) 4. Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith ‘Economic Development’, 8th edition, (London: Addison-Wesley, 2003) 5. Debbie Hemming (Dr), ‘Climate Change – the evidence and the impacts’, Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/keyfacts/Climate%20change%20%20the%20evidence%20and%20the%20impacts%20transcript.pdf 6. J.Martinez-Alier, ‘The Environmentalism Of The Poor’, A Report for UNRISD for the WSSD, University of Witswatersrand, 30.08.2002, available at http://www.rcade.org/secciones/comisiones/comisiones/decol/jalier.PDF

7. The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company 8. Deforestation and Desertification, ‘Forest holocaust’, National Geographic Society, 1996-2009, available at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/eye/deforestation/effect.html 9. Jocelyn Stock and Andy Rochen, ‘The Choice: Doomsday or Arbor Day’, available at http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/deforestation.htm 10. Ricardo Carrere, ‘Oil Palm: The Expansion of Another Destructive Monoculture’, in World Rainforest Movement, ‘The Bitter Fruit of Oil Palm: Dispossession and Deforestation’, (Uruguay: World Rainforest Movement, 2001), available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/plantations/material/OilPalm.pdf 11. Deforestation, ‘Nigeria: Michelin’s rubber plantations destroyed women’s livelihoods’, World Rainforest Movement, WRM's bulletin Nº 140, March 2009, available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/140/Nigeria.html

20 12. J.Martinez-Alier, ‘The Environmentalism Of The Poor’, A Report for UNRISD for the WSSD, University of Witswatersrand, 30.08.2002, available at http://www.rcade.org/secciones/comisiones/comisiones/decol/jalier.PDF

13. Met Office Climate Change Guide, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/ 14. Met Office Climate Change Guide, ‘Effects on the developing world’, available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/effects/security.html 15. Uzoma D. Chima, ‘Nigeria: Tree plantations at the expense of forests and forest people’s livelihoods’, World Rainforest Movement’s bulletin n No. 105, April 2006, available at http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/105/NIgeria.html 16. Sean Cadman, ‘Defining Forests under Kyoto Protocol: a way forward’, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, October 2008, available at http://unfccc.int/files/methods_science/redd/application/pdf/seancadman1_12nov08.p df

17. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999

18. African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources, adopted on 15.09.1968, entered into force 16.06.1969 19. David Akana, ‘How Forests Can Limit Climate Change’, quoted remarks of Frances Seymour , Director General of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Climate Change Media partnership, 15.12.09, available at http://www.climatemediapartnership.org/reporting/stories/how-forests-can-limitclimate-change/ 20. Christopher D. Stone, ‘Is Environmentalism Dead?’, Environmental Law, Lewis & Clark Law School, Volume 38, Issue 1, 21.01.2008

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