Conflict and environment: Building sustainable democracies
In the face of ongoing conflict and environmental degradation, how might a nation, such as Nigeria, build a democracy that might be sustained? That is the question addressed by work published in the International Journal of Sustainable Society.
Adaora Osondu-Oti of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy in the College of Social and Management Sciences at Afe Babalola University has studied environmental degradation across Niger Delta and the attendant conflict in that part of the world using a qualitative case-study approach.
"Niger Delta is one of the most polluted cities in the world with resultant conflict that has caused immeasurable harm to the people," writes Osondu-Oti. She suggests that the Nigerian government must work assiduously towards ensuring environmental sustainability and responding to the plights of the people. This is the peaceful route towards a sustainable democratic society amid the double jeopardies of environmental degradation and conflict.
The region, Osondu-Oti says, has suffered massive pollution of land, water, flora, and fauna, which have decimated the resources on which it depends since oil was first discovered in the Niger Delta in the 1960s. It is said that democracy is receding and the people in such places are not benefiting from its promise in the way that they had hoped.
"Economic, social, and environmental sustainability are crucial for legitimacy, smooth functioning, and ultimately the sustainability of democracy," Osondu-Oti writes. "Yet, little steps are being made towards achieving sustainability in the country, as evident in the Niger Delta region."