SOURCE: Bradford Associates

March 20, 2015 14:59 ET

Bradford Associates: Environmental Stewardship Remains a Key Tenet of President Goodluck Jonathan's Administration Protecting Nigeria for Future Generations

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 20, 2015) - It is widely recognized that environmental protection is a good policy to pursue given how fragile we all recognize the world we live in is today. President Jonathan's administration inherited long-term environmental damage, particularly as a consequence of its extraction industries and recognized quickly the need to engineer a turn-around in this area.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was quickly brought in to assess in particular the environmental impact of oil extraction in Ogoniland -- a region of Nigeria home to the world's third largest mangrove swam and substantial oil extraction operations since the mid 1950s 1 Akin to Alaska in North America it is an area of natural ecological and environmental interest where man must balance economy and environment together. One of the tragedies for the environment has been oil spills in Ogoniland which have been the result not of industrial accident but theft and sabotage.

President Goodluck Jonathan on taking office sought to bring an end to the cycle of trouble in the area offering an amnesty for individuals coupled with training and reintegration into society as a means of preventing both economic and environmental damage to occur. In addition programs to reduce the worst effects of energy extraction are being implemented for example a program to recover gas flares is anticipated to reduce 1.9 million tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere, which with international carbon trading has an economic value of some $200 million -- a clear example of environmental care leading to economic reward 2

Aside from the river delta Nigeria also has substantial rain forest assets for where deforestation as a consequence of environmental change and economic activity have an impact 3 As of 2012 some 50% of Nigeria was covered by forestation however environmental groups have been concerned with the loss of old growth trees and economic deforestation 4 

Nigeria faces challenges in balancing economic growth pressures with care for the environment -- CNN drawing on data from the World Bank and the IMF identified the economy of Nigeria as likely to be the third fastest growing in the world this year, 2015 5 President Goodluck Jonathan's administration has sought to establish frameworks to understand the damage and what the options are along with practical measures to curb human activities which have a deleterious effect on the environment as well as the economy.

1 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) http://www.unep.org/nigeria/

2 A Brief of Nigeria Climate Change Methods http://www.climatechange.gov.ng/index.php/climate-change/nigeria-effort

3 CNN, Battling to preserve Nigeria's rainforest (Sept 2, 2010) http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/09/01/nigeria.rainforest.biodiveristy/

4 mongabay.com, Nigeria (Jul 12, 2014) http://rainforests.mongabay.com/20nigeria.htm

5 CNN, World's largest economies http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/world_economies_gdp/

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