Inclusive environmental decision-making in a developing nation: insights from the Ogoni remediation project, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Kabari Sam, Tubodenyefa Zibima

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Abstract

Greater involvement of women is globally believed to enhance environmental management outcomes. Despite being disproportionately affected by environmental degradation primarily caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, women in the region are often excluded in environmental decision-making processes. Women involved in farming and fishing face increased vulnerability to contaminated land, food insecurity and conflicts driven by environmental degradation. Using a mixed approach, women, lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, civil society organizations, environmental management practitioners, and government agents responsible for environmental remediation were engaged through interviews, focus group discussions and questionnaires to examine women’s inclusion in environmental decision-making and governance in the Ogoni contaminated land remediation project in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The results indicate that lack of trust and confidence in drivers of the environmental decision-making process could affect women’s participation and involvement in environmental management. Although cultural beliefs and practices impede the participation of women in the region, their actual participation does not independently translate into inclusion in environmental decision-making due to limited capacity, confidence and trust in the process. Creating platforms for capacity building, developing gender policy, adapting appropriate communication strategies, initiating women networks and strengthening social cohesion could enhance women involvement in environmental decision-making in regions with similar cultural context to the Niger Delta region.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Management
Early online date29 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 29 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • comminication
  • cultural beliefs
  • gender policy
  • inclusion
  • Niger Delta

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