THE LAW OF THE SEA AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN NIGERIA A STUDY OF THE KOKO INCIDENT

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The environment is a beautiful place to live in once treated in that regard, it is to this extent that the environment cannot be discussed without its evolution world over. The environment as beautiful as we have described it is faced with the twin pressure of population and development, and these environmental menaces however, results in its deterioration and diminution of the natural resources at a frighteningly state.

 

Day in, day out, our environments are been polluted with various unlawful disposals of waste, like the traditional pollutants, despite this the sprain of unimpeded effluents and secretion from hazardous industries has caused pollution of the environment and consequent human health hazards.

 

The world becoming a global village has really affected the environment and generally the populace are not really ready to take care of the environment in proportion with the world developments, with the spring of reckless industrial growth and this may lead to an over exploitation and destruction of natural resources to an extent such that disaster will be the order of the day as the environmental support system has been damaged beyond repair.

In the words of Dharmendra S. Sengar (2007) he stated that there is a  need  then to strike a balance between environment and the technological development so that we may have sustainable development. He added further that “Environmental pollution which has become a worldwide problem,  many  nations is giving it some required attentions. The United Nations Conference on Human Environment in 1972 was an initial major effort to diagnose the unsatisfactory state of global environment.

 

The efforts of the United Nations cannot be overemphasized,  despite  these efforts most of the nations of the world, has no national policy or laws to protect their environment, despite various threat posed by the environmental hazards.

 

Then the advent of the United Nations Conference tagged the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment 1972, which for the first time in the history of the world, presented a communiqué on a legal regime for environmental protection, which highlights the problems and recommends measures to make the system of regulatory environmental management more effective and proactive.

Nigeria as a nation was not an except to the slow development of the concept of environmental law, the nation has no single policy or law relating to the protection of the environment and this has caused a whole lot of hazards to the environment and human in general.

 

This attitude however brought about the incident of the Koko Toxic waste that was dumped Koko in Delta State (then Bendel State) in 1988. This singular act  that is detrimental to the nation brought the Federal Government of Nigeria into action towards promulgating environmental law and enforcement of  international declaration on environmental laws.

Africa is not the only continent in the world that is affected by  these  multi various environmental problems, it is a global problem which the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment held by the United Nations  Organization on the problems of Human Environment had addressed.

 

In response to this declaration, African nations adopted this report by organizing Lawyers Seminar on the development of environmental protection legislation in the Economic Commission for Africa Region (ECA) which critically discussed at the second meeting of the Technical Preparatory Committee of the WHOLE in Freetown, Sierra Leone in March 1981. This conference report was adopted by   the 16th session of the Commission and 7th meeting of the conference of the Ministers which took place in Freetown in April 1981 by its Resolution 412 (xvi).

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