Towards Sustainable Mitigation of Environmental Degradation in Nigeria

Muhammad Nuraddeen Danjuma, Umar Saminu Daura


Our world is naturally blessed with dynamic resources such as vegetation, waters, air and soils. In the natural settings; vegetation change, rivers are polluted, sea levels rise, soil erodes and climate changes and yet human activities are on the increase and potentially more potent and dynamic activities on top of these already dynamic natural processes are surging up. Humankind has dramatically transformed much of nature and its natural environment through a process which is not new because it has been on for millennia. One significant dilemma is that transformation of nature has accelerated sharply over the last two centuries, and especially in the last several decades. Today, the natural environment is being progressively destroyed, bulldozed, and felled by saws or handheld axes, until only small remnants of its original extent survives. To substantiate this, by mid-1970s (after the drought that caused starvation in West Africa), humans had drastically increased the rate at which world’s forest cover is destroyed and over the last century development has claimed almost all fringes of major towns. If we have observed one thing common between human interaction and dynamic resources, it is that our inability to sustainably and effectively manage those resources is often quite clear. Efforts to stop further deterioration are never late because as Myers pointed out, “we still have half of all tropical forests that ever existed” (Myers, 1992). Although this paper is theoretically sounded, its aim is to review some salient issues on environmental degradation in Nigeria which mostly hinders the development of sustainable mitigation and provide options to alleviate the escalating rate of degradation. Success in fighting environmental degradation requires an improved understanding of its causes, impact, degree, methods and acquaintance with climate, soil, water, land cover and socio-economic factors. Considering this all, it is recommended that hybrid options combining indigenous and current externally developed approaches (which are mostly incompatible with the environment and cultures of Nigeria) should be produced and utilised to combat degradation in the country.


Key words: environmental degradation, mitigation options, resources, Nigeria

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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