Main Article Content

Environmental challenges and human survival: social responses to environmental degradation in Nigeria

F.A. Kuponiyi


This article examines the antecedents of environmental degradation and how the rural dwellers in Nigeria respond to it in order to survive.

Almost all forms of modern day development efforts trigger off environmental degradation in addition to the age-long traditional practices such as deforestation and grazing, solid mineral exploitation, water pollution through petroleum exploitation and industrial waste releases, and air pollution through release of toxic gases from factories and refuge dumps. Uncontrolled population growth and poverty have also been directly linked with environmental degradations. A thorough examination of indigenous environmental management practices will reveal interesting age-long environmental preservation strategies, which can be blended with modern practices to forge a durable conservation strategy. Other ways of responding to environmental degradation to ensure survival include change of occupation, permanent or semi-permanent migration, increased urban-rural linkages among kinsmen, and increased political activity usually in the form of asking for government assistance and /or compensation.

This article also recognizes that environmental preservation discourse should take special cognizance of rural women because they have special relationship with the natural environment by virtue of their heavy dependence on primary natural systems such as soil, water and forest for survival.

[JEXT Vol.2(1) 2001: 88-94]

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-5125