Public Participation and Environmental Degradation in Developing Markets: The Challenges in Focusing on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Nigeria

Authors: Samuel Ojogbo - Published date: 30-10-2017 - Status: Forthcoming

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) regime has become the standard procedure for implementing the public participation concept strategy for preventing environmental harm since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, 1992. Even though this paper accepts the basic premise of the concept of public participation and its acclaimed virtues, it is argued that the EIA regime is an unreliable procedure for implementing the concept in developing markets. This is because of the fundamental role of the judiciary under the regime. The judiciary in developing markets, which is generally classified weak and inefficient is unlikely to be able to effectively support the EIA process to ensure effective and meaningful participation of the public or the potential victims of environmental harm. Since the meaningful participation of the public and interest groups in the process is the major driver of the public participation concept, the paper concludes that participation at a more fundamental level of corporate decision-making will be more appropriate for developing markets to obviate the need to rely on their weak and inefficient judicial systems.

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