African abundant resources, environmental laws with its implications for women and economic development in Africa
The environment constitutes a living and non-living things, including biotic and abiotic components that make up the natural conditions that build up the ecosystem. Environmental resources fall into two; the renewable and the non-renewable resources. The renewable natural resources are those that can be effectively replaced by a man, after all his exploitation of that given resource from God. The non-renewable resources are those which man cannot effectively replace once they are used up.
It is widely held that Africans with vital mineral resources have been disempowered and disinherited of their land through the instrumentality of legislation such as the Land Use Act, the Petroleum Act, Lands (Title Vesting, etc) Act, and some sections of the Petroleum Act as the case may be in Nigeria, Angola and other areas. These legislations vest ownership and control of lands, (navigable) waters, and the resources found therein in the hands of the Federal or State Government. Environmental activists in Africa have argued that these legislations stifle local initiatives at protecting the environment. Community agitations about the abolition of these legislations and the reluctance of the government to accede to such requests have all intensified the activism for resource control, protests, brigandage and violence. Against this background, this paper examines the African states environmental legislation in relation to the plight of the oil-bearing communities, the state response to the clamour for the revision of these laws and its cumulative impact on economic growth, institutions, war and development.
Keywords: Legislation, development, resource curse, renewable, non-renewable & exploitation