The participation of communities in the process of environmental decision-making in Nigeria and the Niger Delta region in particular is a relatively new process. There are many practical problems ranging from financial support, methods used and the willingness of identified stakeholders to participate. This paper seeks to highlight recent developments in community participation and environmental decision-making in the Niger Delta, using the EIA Decree of 1992 as a reference point. The EIA Decree of 1992 is the only legislation that refers to participation of the communities when environmental decisions are being made. The study reported here aimed to examine differences and similarities between the identified stakeholders interviewed in the research, in order to highlight areas of improvement that will encourage positive changes to the process and foster better relations between the stakeholders. The paper provides a brief background to community participation in the Niger Delta region and reports on the research approach adopted. Interviews with stakeholders in the EIA process were undertaken to provide a better understanding of public participation in practice under the EIA Decree. While participation was found to be now firmly on the agenda, there is still much to do to engender greater awareness of EIA and the potential benefits participation can hold.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2004
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