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GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WITH SPECIFIC

REFERENCES

PREPARED BY

KAYODE OLADIPUIPO

BEING A RESEARCH PROJECT


DIPSON KAYUS RESOURCES CENTRE, IBADAN, OYO STATE,
NIGERIA
08058573347; 07063796484

JANUARY, 2016

1.1

INTRODUCTION
One of the most important characteristics of this global environmental

degradation is that it affects all mankind on a global scale without regard to any
particular country, region, or race. The whole world is a stakeholder and this raises
issues on who should do what to combat environmental degradation. The environment
encompasses the whole of life on earth and the complex interactions that link the
living world with the physical world. This covers everything contained within the air,
land and water. (Cassar, 2005)
As early as 1896, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius had predicted that
human activities would interfere with the way the sun interacts with the earth,
resulting in a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere
generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon
dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants. His prediction has become true and climate
change is now disrupting global environmental stability. The last few decades have
seen many treaties, conventions, and protocols for the cause of global environmental
protection (Benjamin 2014).
Global Environmental Issues' refers to the effect on the climate of human
actions, in particular the on fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and large-scale
deforestation, which cause emissions to the atmosphere of large amounts of
'greenhouse gases', of which the most important is carbon dioxide. Such gases take up
infrared radiation emitted by the Earth's surface and act as blankets over the surface
keeping it warmer than it would otherwise be. Connected with this warming are
changes of climate. The basic science of the 'greenhouse effect' that leads to the
warming is well implicit. More detailed understanding relies on numerical models of
the climate that integrate the basic dynamical and physical equations describing the
complete climate system (Harrabin 2007).

Many of the likely characteristics of the resulting changes in climate (such as


more frequent heat waves, increases in rainfall, increase in frequency and intensity of
many extreme climate events) can be identified. Substantial uncertainties remain in
knowledge of some of the feedbacks within the climate system (that affect the overall
magnitude of change) and in much of the detail of likely regional change. Because of
its negative impacts on human communities (including for instance substantial sealevel rise) and on ecosystems, global warming is the most important environmental
problem the world faces. Few examples of environmental issues of global significance
are:
1. Land degradation
2. Water pollution
3. Hazardous waste
4. Global Warming
5. Climate change
6. Hazardous waste
7. Loss of Biodiversity
8. Exploitation of natural resources
9. Ozone Layer Depletion
10. Nuclear issue
11. Acid rain
12. Over population
13. Deforestation
14. Desertification (Karanth, 2006)

2.0

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1

What Are Global Environmental Issues?


Global Environmental Issues presents a comprehensive and stimulating

introduction to the key environmental issues presently threatening our global


environment. Global Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on
the biophysical environment (Aja, 2005).
According Alfred, (2009) global Environmental Issues can be defined as any
major trend, shock, or development that has the potential for serious global impacts
and thus to create humanitarian needs and change the environments in which
humanitarian actors will operate in coming years (Alfred, 2009).
Benjamin (2014) simply said, global environmental Issues arises when people
decide so, especially that kind of environmental problems that affect not only nature
but also negatively affects humans. For example it is a problem that the fishes are
poisoned, because humans would like to eat them if they were not poisoned, but is it
an environmental problem when the sea eagle is poisoned.
2.2 Global Environmental Major Issues
One of the primary causes of environmental degradation in a country could be
attributed to rapid growth of population, which adversely affects the natural resources
and environment. The uprising population and the environmental deterioration face
the cha3llenge of sustainable development. The existence or the absence of favorable
natural resources can facilitate or retard the process of socio-economic development.
The three basic demographic factors of births (natality),deaths (mortality) and human
migration (migration) and immigration (population moving into a country produces
higher population) produce changes in population size, composition, distribution and
these changes raise a number of important questions of cause and effect. Population
growth and economic development are contributing to many serious environmental
calamities globally. These include heavy pressure on land, land degradation, forests,

habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity. Changing consumption pattern has led to
rising demand for energy. The final outcomes of this are air pollution, global warming,
climate change, water scarcity and water pollution (Benjamin 2014). The meaning,
causes and effects of these environmental issues are explain below:
2.2.1 Land Degradation
Vijay (2013) claimed that Land degradation is a process in which the value of
the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes
acting upon the land. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived
to be deleterious or undesirable. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however
human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires.
This is considered to be an important topic of the 21st century due to the
implications land degradation has upon agronomic productivity, the environment, and
its effects on food security. It is estimated that up to 40% of the world's agricultural
land is seriously degraded.
Causes of Land Degradation
According to Johnson and Lewis, (2007) Land degradation is a global problem
largely related to agricultural use. The major causes include:

Land clearance, such as clear cutting and deforestation

Agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor farming practices

Livestock including overgrazing and overdrafting

Inappropriate irrigation and overdrafting

Urban sprawl and commercial development

Soil contamination

Vehicle off-roading

Quarrying of stone, sand, ore and minerals

Increase in field size due to economies of scale, reducing shelter for wildlife, as
hedgerows and copses disappear

Exposure of naked soil after harvesting by heavy equipment

Monoculture, destabilizing the local ecosystem

Dumping of non-biodegradable trash, such as plastics (Johnson and Lewis,


2007)

Plate 1: Land degradation due to Soil erosion in a Wheatfield near .Vijay (2013)
Effects of Land Degradation
According to Johnson and Lewis, (2007) overcutting of vegetation occurs when
people cut forests, woodlands and shrublandsto obtain timber, fuelwood and other
productsat a pace exceeding the rate of natural regrowth. This is frequent in semiarid environments, where fuelwood shortages are often severe.
Overgrazing is the grazing of natural pastures at stocking intensities above the
livestock carrying capacity; the resulting decrease in the vegetation cover is a leading
cause of wind and water erosion. It is a significant factor in Afghanistan. The growing
population pressure, during 1980-1990, has led to decreases in the already small areas

of agricultural land per person in six out of eight countries (14% for India and 22% for
Pakistan).
Population pressure also operates through other mechanisms. Improper
agricultural practices, for instance, occur only under constraints such as the saturation
of good lands under population pressure which leads settlers to cultivate too shallow
or too steep soils, plough fallow land before it has recovered its fertility, or attempt to
obtain multiple crops by irrigating unsuitable soils (Johnson and Lewis, 2007).
High population density is not always related to land degradation. Rather, it is
the practices of the human population that can cause a landscape to become degraded.
Populations can be a benefit to the land and make it more productive than it is in its
natural state. Land degradation is an important factor of internal displacement in many
African and Asian countries (Johnson and Lewis, 2007)
Severe land degradation affects a significant portion of the Earth's arable lands,
decreasing the wealth and economic development of nations. As the land resource
base becomes less productive, food security is compromised and competition for
dwindling resources increases, the seeds of famine and potential conflict are sown
(Vijay 2013).

2.2.2 Water Pollution


According to Zulfequar (2013) water pollution is the contamination of
water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of
environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged
into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water
pollution affects the entire biosphere plants and organisms living in these bodies of
water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and
population, but also to the natural biological communities.

Plate 2: Zulfequar (2013)

Causes of Water Pollution


The specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide
spectrum of chemicals, pathogens, and physical changes such as elevated temperature
and discoloration. While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated may
be naturally occurring (calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, etc.) the concentrationis
often the key in determining what is a natural component of water and what is a
contaminant. High concentrations of naturally occurring substances can have negative
impacts on aquatic flora and fauna (Zulfequar 2013).
Oxygen-depleting substances may be natural materials such as plant matter
(e.g. leaves and grass) as well as man-made chemicals. Other natural and
anthropogenic substances may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light and
disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish species.
Many of the chemical substances are toxic. Pathogens can produce waterborne
diseases in either human or animal hosts. Alteration of water's physical chemistry
includes

acidity

(change

in pH), electrical

conductivity,

temperature,

and eutrophication. Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical


nutrients in an ecosystem to an extent that increases in the primary productivity of the
ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative
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environmental effects such as anoxia (oxygen depletion) and severe reductions in


water quality may occur, affecting fish and other animal populations (Zulfequar 2013).
Effects of Water Pollution
According to Benjamin (2014) water pollution has a duel effect on nature. It
has negative effects on the living and also on the environment. Water pollution causes
approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water
by untreated sewage in developing countries.
Many water bodies near urban areas (cities and towns) are highly polluted. This
is the result of both garbage dumped by individuals and dangerous chemicals legally
or illegally dumped by manufacturing industries, health centers, schools and market
places.
Death of aquatic (water) animals: The main problem caused by water
pollution is that it kills life that depends on these water bodies. Dead fish,
crabs, birds and sea gulls, dolphins, and many other animals often wind up on
beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitat (living environment).
Disruption of food-chains: Pollution disrupts the natural food chain as well.
Pollutants such as lead and cadmium are eaten by tiny animals. Later, these
animals are consumed by fish and shellfish, and the food chain continues to be
disrupted at all higher levels(Omofonmwan, 2013)..
Diseases: Eventually, humans are affected by this process as well. People can
get diseases such as hepatitis by eating seafood that has been poisoned. In
many poor nations, there is always outbreak of cholera and diseases as a result
of poor drinking water treatment from contaminated waters.
Destruction of ecosystems: Ecosystems (the interaction of living things in a
place, depending on each other for life) can be severely changed or destroyed
by water pollution. Many areas are now being affected by careless human
pollution, and this pollution is coming back to hurt humans in many
ways(Omofonmwan, 2013).

Plat 3: Benjamin (2014)

Plate 4: Benjamin (2014)

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Plate 5: Benjamin (2014)


2.2.3 Hazardous Waste
According to Omofonmwan, (2013) hazardous waste are Solid, liquid, or
gaseous by-product of industrial processes that possesses at least one of the
four characteristics: (i) corrosiveness, (ii) ignitability, (iii) reactivity, (iv) toxicity; and
which may have to be handled stored, transported, and disposed of in a controlled
manner
Waste is considered 'hazardous' under environmental legislation when it
contains substances or has properties that might make it harmful to human health or
the environment. This does not necessarily mean it is an immediate risk to human
health, although some waste can be (Omiegbe, 2009).
As population increases, human activities increase, which eventually increases
the amount of waste produced. These wastes include harmful gases let out in the
atmosphere, toxic waste released in water bodies, nuclear waste, e-waste, medical
waste and even the waste from our homes. No matter where people put these
hazardous waste materials, there is always a chance that they could find their way into

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the ground, and eventually into our bodies. Corporations usually want to avoid the
costs associated with having to limit creation of hazardous waste.
Consequently, landfills are built on site and filled with waste, or sometimes pay
to have waste removed. Often, hazardous materials are transported to areas that accept
money to take the waste. It may prove very difficult to reduce hazardous waste in the
future. Unlike many other environmental problems, waste creation is something
people do not often think about. In near future, people may have to reduce not only
their generation of hazardous waste, but also their consumption of many products that
end up in landfills (Benjamin 2014).

Plate 6: Benjamin (2014)

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Plate 7: Benjamin (2014)


2.2.4 Global Warming
Global warming a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's
atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of
carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants (Bisgrove and Hadley 2002).
Global Warming is the increase of Earth's average surface temperature due to
effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels
or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. This is
a type of greenhouse effect. Cassar (2005).
A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere
that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the
fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's
atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature of Earth's surface would be about
15 C (27 F) colder than the present average of 14 C (57 F). In the Solar System,
the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain gases that cause a greenhouse
effect (Epstein 2002).
Harrabin (2007) claimed that before the Industrial Revolution, human activities
released very few gases into the atmosphere and all climate changes happened
naturally. After the Industrial Revolution, through fossil fuel combustion, changing
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agricultural practices and deforestation, the natural composition of gases in the


atmosphere are getting affected and climate and environment began to alter
significantly. Over the last 100 years, it was found out that the earth is getting warmer
and warmer. The key greenhouse gases (GHG) causing global warming is carbon
dioxide. CFC's, even though they exist in very small quantities, are significant
contributors to global warming. Carbon dioxide, one of the most prevalent greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere, has two major anthropogenic (human-caused) sources: the
combustion of fossil fuels and changes in land use. Net releases of carbon dioxide
from these two sources are believed to be contributing to the rapid rise in atmospheric
concentrations since Industrial Revolution. Because estimates indicate that
approximately 80 percent of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions currently
come from fossil fuel combustion, world energy use has emerged at the center of the
climate change debate.
2.2.5 Climate Change
Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular
a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to
the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels
(Hulme, Jenkins, Lu, Turnpenny, Mitchell, 2002).
Hulme, Jenkins, Lu, Turnpenny , Mitchell TD, (2002) posit that climate
change is a long-term shift in weather conditions identified by changes in
temperature, precipitation, winds, and other indicators. Climate change can involve
both changes in average conditions and changes in variability, including, for
example, extreme events. The earth's climate is naturally variable on all time scales.
However, its long-term state and average temperature are regulated by the balance
between incoming and outgoing energy, which determines the Earths energy
balance
Natural Causes
The Earths climate can be affected by natural factors that are external to the
climate system, such as changes in volcanic activity, solar output, and the Earth's
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orbit around the Sun. Of these, the two factors relevant on timescales of
contemporary climate change are changes in volcanic activity and changes in solar
radiation. In terms of the Earths energy balance, these factors primarily influence
the amount of incoming energy. Volcanic eruptions are episodic and have relatively
short-term effects on climate. Changes in solar irradiance have contributed to
climate trends over the past century but since the Industrial Revolution, the effect
of additions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has been about ten times that of
changes in the Suns output (Hulme, Jenkin, Lu, Turnpenny, and Mitchell. 2002).
Human Causes
Climate change can also be caused by human activities, such as the burning of
fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture. Since the
beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these human influences on the climate
system have increased substantially. In addition to other environmental impacts,
these activities change the land surface and emit various substances to the
atmosphere. These in turn can influence both the amount of incoming energy and
the amount of outgoing energy and can have both warming and cooling effects on
the climate. The dominant product of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide, a
greenhouse gas. The overall effect of human activities since the Industrial
Revolution has been a warming effect, driven primarily by emissions of carbon
dioxide and enhanced by emissions of other greenhouse gases (Cassar, 2005).
The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to an
enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect.

It is this human-induced

enhancement of the greenhouse effect that is of concern because ongoing emissions


of greenhouse gases have the potential to warm the planet to levels that have never
been experienced in the history of human civilization. Such climate change could
have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social, and economic
consequences (Harrabin, 2007)

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Plate 8: Harrabin, (2007)


2.2.6 Exploitation of Natural Resources
The exploitation
resources for economic

of

natural

resources is

growth, sometimes

with

the

use

a negative

of natural

connotation of

accompanying environmental degradation. It started to emerge on an industrial scale


in the 19th century as the extraction and processing of raw materials (such as
in mining, steam power, and machinery) developed much further than it had in
preindustrial eras. During the 20th century, energy consumption rapidly increased.
Today, about 80% of the worlds energy consumption is sustained by the extraction
of fossil

fuels,

which

consists

of oil, coal and gas. Another non-renewable

resource that is exploited by humans are subsoil minerals such as precious metals that
are mainly used in the production of industrial commodities. Intensive agriculture is
an example of a mode of production that hinders many aspects of the natural
environment,

for

ecosystem and water

example
pollution in

the
an

degradation
aquatic.

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As

of forests in
the world

a terrestrial

population rises

and economic growth occurs, the depletion of natural resources influenced by the
unsustainable extraction of raw materials becomes an increasing concern.
Karanth (2006) claimed that human greed for more has left them empty handed
in terms of natural resources in several parts of the world. Several human activities,
including the likes of mining, agriculture, fishing etc., has resulted in drastic
degradation of natural resources. While mining and agriculture have triggered largescale deforestation, over fishing has only resulted in the reduction of population of
marine creatures inhabiting the planet.

Plate 9: Karanth (2006)

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Plate 10: Karanth (2006)

Plate 11: Karanth (2006)

2.2.7 Loss of Biodiversity


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Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth, and its biological diversity.
The number of species of plants, animals, microorganisms and the enormous diversity
of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts,
rainforests and coral reefs are all a part of a biologically diverse earth. The World
Resource Institute reports that there is a link between biodiversity and climate change.
Rapid global warming can affect ecosystems chances to adapt naturally. Over the past
150 years, deforestation has contributed an estimated 30 percent of the atmospheric
build-up of CO2. It is also a significant driving force behind the loss of genes, species,
and critical ecosystem services (Zulfequar 2013).

Plate 12: Zulfequar (2013)


Effect of Biodiversity
Loss of species
Loss of genetics resources
Agricultural Vulnerability
Habitat Destruction
Loss of Eco Systems
Introduction of diseases and invasive species via smuggling

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2.2.8 Ozone Layer Depletion


Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since
the late 1970s: a steady decline of about 4% in the total volume of ozone in Earth's
stratosphere (the ozone layer), and a much larger springtime decrease in
stratospheric ozonearound Earth's polar regions.
Earths atmosphere is divided into three regions, namely troposphere,
stratosphere and mesosphere. The stratosphere extends from 10 to 50 kms from the
Earths surface. This region is concentrated with slightly pungent smelling, light
bluish ozone gas. The ozone layer, in the stratosphere acts as an efficient filter for
harmful solar Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays. Ozone is produced and destroyed naturally in
the atmosphere and until recently, this resulted in a well-balanced equilibrium.
Ozone is formed when oxygen molecules absorb ultraviolet radiation with
wavelengths less than 240 nanometers and is destroyed when it absorbs ultraviolet
radiation with wavelengths greater than 290 nanometers. Ozone is highly reactive and
easily broken down by man-made chlorine and bromine compounds. These
compounds are found to be most responsible for most of ozone layer depletion. The
ozone depletion process begins when CFCs (used in refrigerator and air conditioners)
and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are emitted into the atmosphere. Winds
efficiently mix and evenly distribute the ODS in the troposphere. These ODS
compounds do not dissolve in rain, are extremely stable, and have a long life span.
After several years, they reach the stratosphere by diffusion. Strong UV light breaks
apart the ODS molecules. CFCs, HCFCs, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform
release chlorine atoms, and halons and methyl bromide release bromine atoms. It is
the chlorine and bromine atom that actually destroys ozone, not the intact ODS
molecule. It is estimated that one chlorine atom can destroy from 10,000 to 100,000
ozone molecules before it is finally removed from the stratosphere. The major effects
of ozone layer depletion are:
Effects on Human and Animal Health: - Increased penetration of solar UV-B
radiation is likely to have high impact on human health with potential risks of
eye diseases, skin cancer and infectious diseases.
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Effects on Terrestrial Plants: In forests and grasslands, increased radiation is


likely to change species composition thus altering the bio-diversity in different
ecosystems. It could also affect the plant community indirectly resulting in
changes in plant form, secondary Metabolism, etc.
Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems: High levels of radiation exposure in tropics and
subtropics may affect the distribution of phytoplankton, which form the
foundation of aquatic food webs. It can also cause damage to early
development stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals, the
most severe effects being decreased reproductive capacity and impaired larval
development.
Effects on Air Quality: Reduction of stratospheric ozone and increased
penetration of UV-B radiation result in higher photo dissociation rates of key
trace gases that control the chemical reactivity of the troposphere. This can
increase both production and destruction of ozone and related oxidants such as
hydrogen peroxide, which are known to have adverse effects on human health,
terrestrial plants and outdoor material.
2.2.9 Nuclear Issue
Nuclear power does have high potential, but the problems associated with it are
no less. Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is one of the major problems we
are likely to face, especially if safety regulations are not followed properly. Chernobyl
tragedy has set an example of how nuclear waste can lead to disaster for mankind, and
no one would like to see another Chernobyl happening. It doesn't end here as the
threat of some nation diverting its nuclear power to produce nuclear arsenal is always
looming over the mankind.
2.2.10 Acid rain
Acid rain also referred to acid deposition is caused by airborne acidic pollutants
and has highly destructive results. Obajimi, (2008) claimed that discovered acid rain
in 1852, when the English chemist Robert Agnus invented the term. Acid rain, one of
the most important environmental problems of all, cannot be seen. The gases that
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cause acid rain usually come from automobiles or coal-burning power plants. Acid
rain moves easily, affecting locations far beyond those that let out the pollution.
For years, science studied the true causes of acid rain. Some scientists
concluded that human production was primarily responsible, while others cited natural
causes as well. Recently, more intensive research has been done so that countries have
the information they need to prevent acid rain and its dangerous effects. The levels of
acid rain vary from region to region (Obajimi, 2008).
2.2.11 Over population
Overpopulation is a function of the number of individuals compared to the
relevant resources, such as the water and essential nutrients they need to survive. It
can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in
immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources (Karanth 2006).
Karanth (2006) posits that another major global environmental issue is
overpopulation. As the population of world continues to soar at an alarming rate, the
pressure on the resources of the planet is increasing. The problems associated with
overpopulation range from food and water crisis to lack of space for natural burial.
Incessant population growth will not just result in depletion of natural resources, but
will also put more pressure on the economy.
In Nigeria the the present high rate of our population growth is already
contributing substantially to the degradation of the ecology of the country. It observes
that land fragmentation, over-farming and over-grazing have led to soil erosion and
desertification and that over crowding has led to the spread of shanty towns and urban
blight, all of which would worsen if the present population growth continues.
Omiegbe, 2009).

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Plate 13: Omiegbe, (2009)


2.2.12 Deforestation
The deforestation of forest particularly tropical rainforests is a major global
problem-each year millions of hectares are lost. Deforestation rates in some countries
continue to increase despite worldwide pressures. Rainforests are destroyed for wood
products, and to make way for agricultural activities, mining and dams.
The food and agricultural organization (FAO) estimated that Nigerians destroy
about 600,000 hectares of her forest every year through careless exploitation and
husbandry (Obajimi, 2008). Such careless exploitation of the forest has been
implicated in a number of worsening environmental problems in the country including
soil erosion and infertility, desertification and flooding.
The impacts of deforestation include:
Loss of livelihood for local inhabitants
Variable environmental conditions (susceptibility to flood, aggravated
droughts, soil erosion
etc.).
Loss of biodiversity and disturbance to ecosystems
Loss of carbon sink

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Plate 14: Omiegbe, (2009)


2.2.13 Desertification
Desertification means removing ground cover and degrading fertile land
initiates desertification. Water washes away nutrients, the land becomes useless. The
process is accelerated by expanding populations and the need to overuse fragile areas
of land

Plate 15: Omiegbe, (2009)

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2.3

Effect of Environmental Issues On Nigeria


Environmental pollution is a challenge in most developed societies of the

world; contemporary societies of Africa and Nigeria in particular also grapple with
and or/tackle this menace in recent times. Analysis of the negative impact of
environmental pollution in contemporary Nigeria society would focus specifically on;
i.

Urbanization
Urbanization is caused by high population growth rate and rural- urban

migration. Urbanization in Nigeria is characterized by city slums with serious


environmental consequences . The problem has been described as acute and
exemplifies the inability of development measures to keep pace with the rate of
population growth. The problem of the deposal of savage and refuse is quite serious
because of the rapid rate of generation of non-biodegradable materials such as
plastics.
Inadequate storm drains, dumping of refuse in drainage lines and construction
of houses close to and even on the natural water channels have been shown to be
responsible in that order for the increasing cases of flood in the urban centers.
Environment problems associated with the increasing growth of urban slums including
overcrowding in squalid housing conditions, poor quality or unavailability of basic
infrastructures and social services, such as water and sewage facilities and even lack
of access routes
ii.

Pollution
The growth and development of industries and Urbanization has contributed

greatly to the excess carbon monoxide produced by combustion and other human
activities. Carbon monoxide reacts with the blood vessel and prevent it from taking up
oxygen and the people are suffocated. In Nigeria, several rural towns that had in the
past enjoy fresh and dry air are currently experiencing air pollution problems
(Obajimi, 2008). This is due to industrialization process and expansion in human
activities. Aquatic or water pollution is the discharge of unwanted biological, chemical
and physical materials into water bodies from mans environment. The pollutant are

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usually chemical, physical and biological substances that affect the natural condition
of water. This incidence is responsible for the wide spread water contamination in
most Nigeria cities. Also solid waste have equally flooded the water ways in these
Urban centers. Land surface pollution is the occurrence of unwanted materials or
waste on land. The commonest pollutant on land is the waste products that are often
scattered on land area in the cities. According to Onwioduokit (2008), most
environmental problems are due to the production or consumption of goods whose
waste products translates easily into pollutant. Ayeni (2008) and Sada (2009) believed
that the emergence of Urbanization is responsible for the rapid accumulation of solid
waste. Generally, it would appear that the growth of urbanization and industrial
development coupled with improper wastes management control have added a great
dimension to land area pollution in Nigeria.

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3.0

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1

Conclusion
Nigeria has a total land area of 983, 213 km2 occupied by more than 150

million people. The interaction of these millions of people with their environment has
left indelible mark on the landscape. Attempts by these Nigerians to adjust their
seemingly endless wants and desire for food, shelter, recreation and infrastructure
facilities to mention but a few have resulted in deforestation, desertification,
urbanization, over population and all kinds of pollution. Although, these land-use
activities contribute to over all development of the country, they equally produce
negative impacts in the environment. If appropriate techniques and technology of
environmental protection and management which will be recommended below are not
put in place, Nigeria may become a difficult country to live in the next 15 years.
3.2

Recommendations
There are some uncertainties as to what effects a change in climate might have

on the earth. However, its solution lies on the coordination of national actions within
regional and international frameworks. The solution will need to involve countries
world-wide because the impact in one location may be felt in a completely different
location. Hence, countries should develop a plan of action to cope with these
problems. Some of the significant recommendations are:
Recycling is a process to convert waste materials into new products to prevent
waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials,
reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution
(from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal and
lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to plastic production. Recycling is a key
component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the
"Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" waste hierarchy. Recycling can decrease the number of
pollutants entering the atmosphere and has been linked to lessening global climate
change. Decreasing the amount of raw materials an industry has to use to create new
products slows the cutting down of trees and reduces gas emissions. Buying products

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with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you)
will help to reduce waste.
The world's dependence on oil causes serious harm to the environment. Electric
cars replace vehicles with highly polluting internal combustion engines. Ethanol fuel
should be used to reduces gasoline consumption.
Planting a Tree will help to fight against environmental issue. During
photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but
there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by
automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb
approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends,
neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to
establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.
Government should improve environmental education with emphasis placed on
the global environmental issues and the role of forests. This will help to promote
action by all citizens, including children, Furthermore, education on energy issues
should be improved and offered at a variety of settings such as schools, local
communities and at homes.
The Government should have to develop facilities for environmental education
where a broad range of generations, from children to adults, can learn about
environmental problems, especially global environmental problems. At schools,
students should be given practical training for environmental protection and the
creation of a better environment through workshops learn and teaching materials, in
addition, textbooks should be printed on recycled paper.
Urban development planners and related agencies of government should
continue to sponsor jingles on radio and television houses on why it is not proper to
build houses on flood areas.
Sanitary and bush burning laws should be reinforced to apprehend and
prosecute offenders.

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A prompt legislative framework should be put in place to make laws that would
tackle headlong issues of noise pollution in Nigerian.
Rural farmer education on how to apply fertilizer and other related inputs
should be reemphasized to reduce health hazards involved.

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Karanth, K.P (2006). Out-of-India Gondwanan origin of some tropical Asian


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