Environmental Impact Assessment and Nigerian Planners
The environmental impact assessment is aimed at identifying and examining the possible effects a particular project will have on the immediate environment before the commencement of the project to reducing the negative effects of the project on the environment. Environmental impact assessment is the documentation of an environmental analysis which includes identification, prediction, interpretation, and mitigation of impacts that will cause by the proposed project.
There is need for the environmental protection due to the growing awareness on environmental consideration because of the danger inherent in its abuse and some consequences of the immediate past actions that are staring us in the face, like the ozone layers depiction, global warming, eutrophication (excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, often due to runoff from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen).
Environmental impact assessment concept came into limelight in the mid-60s as a direct result of the need to protect and enhance the environmental quality
Need for the environmental impact assessment also linked with the changes in the attitude on the environment especially after the Stockholm Conference. The perception of environmental impact assessment differs in various countries. The environmental problems in the developing world are closely linked to unbalanced development. This is why environmental impact assessment as a component of sound development is particularly important.
The environmental impact assessment is a very important tool for environmental protection because most resources such as Fund which requires a very good management are finite and thus have to be exploited with care. Economic development without environmental consideration is harmful since it cost a lot to solve the attendant problems likely to arise from such action.
Environmental Impact Assessment Features
– Project Description
– Land Use Relationships
– Probable Impact of the Proposed Action on the Environment
– Alternatives to the Proposed Action
– Probable Adverse Environmental Effects Which Cannot be Voided
– Relationship between Local Shot Term Uses of the Environment and the Maintenance of Long Term Productivity
– Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources
– Other Interest and Consideration of Federal Policy that Offset the Adverse Environmental Effects of the Proposed Action
The Problem Associated with Environmental Impact Assessment
– The major problem is the enforcement of the Environmental Impact Assessment preparation. This has not yet taken root in all planning agencies so that some projects are injurious and very harmful to the environment go without and a hindrance to their implementation.
– The law that established the Environmental Impact Assessment as a tool for environmental protection and urban planning is not detailed enough in the procedure for its preparation. Most Environmental Impact Assessment is not always prepared strictly in compliance with the international standards.
– Another fundamental issue of the Environmental Impact Assessment is that there are two types; one prepared and submitted to Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) which is always detailed and required the services of various environmental experts.
Those prepared and submitted to Town Planning Offices or Agencies for approval purposes are required about as appendages and not integral parts of the approval process. Which accounts for why most Planning Agencies treat the document with levity.
– Environmental Impact Assessment another serious issue is that it is usually prepared during the project initiation in most cases where they are even required and once the project has taken root, nobody cares about the what happens to the environment.
– Political influence is also another major consideration and the last issue to write about. The political influence has made it impossible for Environmental Impact Assessment to take root effectively. The planners do not have absolute power on the prepared document. There is an instance where none planners are appointed to planning office at the Federal, State, and Local level.
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