EFFECTS OF SOCIOECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES ON RENEWABLE RESOURCE DEGRADATION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Nigeria is faced with many environmental problems. Available data indicate that Nigeria is losing her renewable natural resources (including arable land, forest, pasture/rangeland and water resources) beyond sustainable limits. Economic and environmental systems interact in many important ways and hence the need to understand these interactions and develop effective public policy. While economic systems derive many invaluable inputs (some commodified, others free) from environmental systems and processes, economic activity can have negative impacts on the functional integrity of these natural systems and processes. The dynamic interactions of the environmental degradation problem with socioeconomic factors are neither well understood in Nigeria, nor are the implications for the nation’s Transformation Agenda and Vision 20:2020 well appreciated. This study, therefore, explored the inherent dynamic interactions and feedback between the environment and socioeconomic spheres. The specific objectives were to: (i) determine the causality of resource degradation and macroeconomic profile, (ii) determine the causality of resource degradation and social profile, (iii) assess the effects of resource degradation on macroeconomic profile, (iv) assess the effects of resource degradation on social profile, and (v) forecast the impact of resource degradation on Nigeria’s socioeconomic profile and implications for Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020. The study adopted time-series design. Nigeria was the unit of analysis. Time series secondary data (from 1970 to 2010) from various sources were utilized for modeling and analysis. A time series environmental degradation index was constructed using the tool of principal components analysis (PCA). The constructed index (a synoptic single number) represents the nation’s ecological footprint or bio-capacity. The next step was the modeling of the index and seven other variables as a dynamic vector error correction model, given the non-mean reverting nature of the variables, and to capture the evolution and interdependencies between the variables. Results from the analysis show that the exploitation of renewable natural resources in Nigeria was highly cointegrated with her socio-economic spheres as there were 5-7 cointegrated equations in the vector error correction model (VECM). A bi-directional or feedback relationship existed between the index of environmental degradation and Nigeria’s socioeconomic profile. Agricultural prices, population dynamics, public capital expenditure on agriculture, fertilizer consumption, per capita income, life expectancy and greenhouse emissions granger-caused the index of degradation (joint p-value = 0.0389), the index of degradation granger-caused (p ≤ 0.05) agricultural prices, expenditure on agriculture, fertilizer consumption, greenhouse emission, per capita income, migration and life expectancy. The index of degradation produced significant (95% confidence level of error bands) positive and sustained effects on Nigeria’s macroeconomic profile (including agricultural prices, agricultural capital expenditure, fertilizer consumption and climate change over a ten- year horizon (2011-2020). On the other hand, the effects on Nigeria ’s social factors (such as per capita income, rural population dynamics and life expectancy) by the index of degradation were significantly (95% confidence level of error bands) negative and sustained over a ten-year horizon (2011-2020). Following from these results, the study among other things recommends a more comprehensive holistic and sustainable development path, and strategies and policies that integrate rural development and renewable natural resources management in order to tackle the complex, diverse and deeply rooted issues underlying worsening environmental degradation in Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background of the Study
There exists a delicate balance between economics and the environment and for several decades now, the challenge of achieving accelerated growth and poverty reduction while conserving the natural environment especially in poor countries has occupied the attention of policymakers and researchers. This global desire is expressed in many environment and development conferences including the environmental conference in Stockholm in 1972 and the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987 (which produced the landmark Brundtland Report: Our Common Future). Others include the UN conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992,the “Earth Summit” (which produced the Agenda 21 action plan for development and the Rio Declaration on environmental protection and responsible development), the Millennium Summit in New York in September 2000 producing the MDGs, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002 (CROP, 2005; Evans, 2004; Ralph & Roper, 2005).

More recently, according to United Nations (2012), the resolutions adopted during Rio+20 conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 acknowledged the need to further mainstream sustainable development at all levels. This means integrating economic, social and environmental aspects into development and recognizing their inter-linkages so as to achieve sustainable development in all its dimensions. These global initiatives and brainstorming are in recognition of the centrality of the natural capital (e.g. forest, arable land, water, rangeland, etc.) to long-term economic growth, human development and poverty reduction.
In Africa and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, it is acknowledged that the short- and medium-term options for fighting poverty and growing more sustainably lie in the rational management and utilization of its natural resources (Sergio, Anderson, Moes, Alam, Alemu, Macoun, Utria, Sanghvi, &Hewawasam, 2004). Forest, arableland, rangeland and water are critical natural resources not just in Africa but also in Nigeria. The forest, arableland, rangeland and water sectors present both unique opportunities and challenges (World Bank, 2002). They are key to poverty reduction, sustainable development, and the maintenance or conservation of environmental services which are central to achieving the goals and targets ofthe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations, and the Vision 20:2020, Medium Term Economic Plan and the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

As human capacity to alter and manipulate the quality and quantity of natural resources grows with economic and technological growth, the prospects of resource degradation has become a paramount development concern.The landmark report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), titled “Our Common Future”, warned that unless we change many of our lifestyle, the world will face unacceptable levels of environmental damage and human suffering. The Commission, echoing the urgent need for tailoring the pace and the pattern of global economic growth to the planet’s carrying capacity, said that: “Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable and to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (IFAD, 2007).

The natural environment plays roles or functions that are indispensable to economic life. According to environmental economists, these functions include: a) resource functions – the natural environment provides natural resources (renewable and non-renewable), e.g. mineral ores, crude petroleum, fish, crops and forests, that are inputs into human production processes; b) environmental service functions the natural environment provides the basic habitat for clean air, drinkable water, and suitable climate that directly support all forms of life on earth and ameliorate climate change processes; c) sink functions – the natural environment serves as a sink which absorbs (up to a point) the pollution and wastes generated by economic activity, e.g. fluid industrial wastes end up in rivers and oceans, used packaging goes into landfills, and car exhaust dissipates into the atmosphere.
The overexploitation, degradation and unsustainable management of environmental resources can threaten economic growth and poverty reduction efforts. On one hand, protecting the environment might increase or reduce poverty; while, on the other hand, reducing poverty might help or hurt the environment. In the last few years in Nigeria, losses in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and deforestation have been estimated at N120 billion (US$ 0.8 billion) per year (Eboh, Kalu, Achike, Ujah, Amakom, Oduh, Nzeh& Larsen, 2005b), representing about 15.48% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 at 1990 constant prices. According to the statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (2010), Nigeria is losing about 3.5% (350,000-400,000 hectares) of forest land per annum. If Nigeria should continue to lose its remaining forest resources, the economic cost will be higher than the current losses with a consequent loss in revenue, fuel wood supply and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) supply. But this could just be a micro view of the consequences. What about the wider socioeconomic implications?
Today in Nigeria, environmental resources including forests, arableland, rangeland and water are under pressure from natural hazards and expanding human population, which....
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Item Type: Ph.D Material  |  Attribute: 117 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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