Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) As a Strategry for Solving Environmental Problems in Niger Delta Region: A Study of Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria. (Published)
Environmental issues are meant to be operationalized through the formulation of actor-specific environmental actions plans, which define priority action that will convert strategy into practice. The Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process which is an increasingly popularized strategy of solving the myriads of problems affecting the environment in contemporary world. The study examines the use of Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) process as a strategy of solving environmental problems in Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria by investigating the perception of the general public on the state of the environment in the area, level of participation of people in compliance to existing environmental strategies, causes of ineffective environmental management in the area and assessing community satisfaction with existing environmental management approach using well structured questionnaires administered to sampled households. Questions were related to socio-economic characteristics of households, willingness to participate by the community in the EPM process, perceived level of environmental degradation in the area, level of compliance of oil and gas companies to environmental laws and the role of Government environment protection agencies in protecting the environment of the study area. The results confirm that the level of damage from oil exploration, gas activities, pollution and pipeline vandalizations is chronic and cumulative, which has resulted to the degradation of the environment, routine of facilities and compliancy to environmental management approaches are not regular, facilities and equipment were found be grossly inadequate therefore proper inspection can not be well carried out, the community expressed dissatisfaction with the existing environment approach which they attributed to the inability of fully implementing the environmental approach, the community indicated that given the opportunity they are willing to participate in evolving an effective environmental management approach. Recommendations were made for the effective and efficient application of the EPM process in the study area.