AN APPRAISAL OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Biological diversity-the variety within and among species and ecosystem is essential for our planet, human wellbeing, livelihood and cultural integrity of the people. Nigeria is known for its abundance of biodiversity resources endowment, it is the second largest wetland in the world with mangrove swamps, fertile alluvial plain, rich in fauna and flora specie diversities. The country‘s biodiversity is undeniably an asset of high value to present and future generation and its protection indispensable. But unfortunately, biodiversity resources faces accelerated loss as a result of number of factors which represents a silent emergency that threatens the eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development throughout the world. Being aware with what is happening and the negative impact of biodiversity loss, the government put several efforts towards conservation and management of these resources through the institution of different legal and regulatory framework. However, the effort is not gaining the desired outcome, biodiversity loss still persist irrespective of the laws and institutions put in place in the country. It is against this backdrop that there is growing concerns about the country‘s use of legal instruments in addressing the problems of biodiversity loss. The thesis employed doctrinal research approach as such the study will rely essentially on information from documentary sources like statutes, books, journal articles, newspapers and internet materials. Based on thorough review of the relevant literatures and analysis of the laws and the institutions, the study finds out that environmental degradations, food insecurity, climate change, loss of natural habitat and disturbance of hydrological balance are the consequences of biodiversity loss. It also finds out that there are many factors hindering the realization of the aim and objectives of the various conservation laws and the superb functioning of the institutions put in place. Some of the factors identified are: absence or lack of defined constitutional right to environmental protection; poor enforcement strategy; failure to domesticate some international environmental conventions; lack of access to judiciary; high level of poverty. While weakness in institutional response to biodiversity loss are characterized among others by poor coordination, jurisdictional conflicts, inadequate funding of biodiversity conservation programmes and official corruption. The research as part of its findings observed that there is significant negative relation between the laws and their enforcement. The study concludes that the best of laws cannot solve deep-seated biodiversity loss or guarantee conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity resources in the absence of effective enforcement. It is in this wise that this research recommends for an established statutory reforms of biodiversity conservation laws; introduction of renewable energy alternatives into Nigerian energy mix; effective implementation of policies and strategies that promote adequate income generation among others.

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