The interlocking relationship between environmental degradation, poverty, and violent conflict has been a prominent theme contained within the literature on sustainable development and conflict resolution since the mid-twentieth century. While some analysts have argued that violence has not been limited to the poor and deprived, many have concluded from various studies that the devastation of the environment, poverty, and conflict are inextricably intertwined. This article examines this theme by analyzing the pattern of violence and nature of conflict resolution in the oil-producing enclave of the Niger Delta in the past three decades. A report of the United Nations Environment Programme on parts of the Niger Delta published in August 2011 reveals that the area is one of the most intensely polluted in the world. The report confirms the conclusion of several other earlier reports on the Niger Delta, which state that activities relating to the exploitation of oil and gas have led to intense environmental pollution and extreme poverty and that those conditions have spawned violence. The article is exploratory and analytical. It draws from diverse sources, including government records and reports of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as oral information gathered by the author from fieldwork conducted across the Niger Delta between 2007 and 2012, to explore the nature of the Niger Delta crisis from the 1980s until the present. The article argues that environmental degradation is central to the Niger Delta crisis, as it has hampered rural economic activities and posed a threat to human security. The article concludes that the effective tackling of the environmental crisis in the Niger Delta would surely reduce poverty and violence in the area.
Aworawo, David Ph.D.
"Deprivation and Resistance: Environmental Crisis, Political Action, and Conflict Resolution in the Niger Delta since the 1980s,"
Journal of International and Global Studies: Vol. 4
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/jigs/vol4/iss2/4
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