AN APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE OF USE OF LEGISLATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTICE
This research project focuses on an appraisal of the role of use of legislation in environmental health practice in Nigeria. Like many developing countries, Nigeria has struggled to maintain a balance between its economic development and the sustainability of its environmental resources and health. This dichotomy is reflected by severe environmental problems including crude oil devastation of the Niger Delta’s marine environment and contaminated groundwater in Lagos, its largest megacity. The slow emergence of legal structures for protecting environmental resources indicates the national preoccupation with economic advancement, and has led to the sad neglect of the environment. This research work argues that although there is now more awareness about the importance of safeguarding environmental resources, the progress made is still paltry. This minor progress is highlighted by extensive and continuing pollution of important environmental resources. The research material concludes with a recommendation to strengthen laws and institutions for environmental enrichment and sustainable development.
Environmental law was developed in response to the public perception that human health and the environment were inadequately protected. It is at this point that the Environment needs protection, and whether law is successful in protection of the environment will depend significantly upon the range of entities that it is able to protect. It is imperative that Environmental law is a concept that will be discussed in this unit using various scholastic ideas in that direction and succinctly, students/readers will be abreast with the facts dealing with the topic. And the Government participation by all tiers is inevitable if measures designed to protect the environment is to be effective. It is at this point that, law has a key role to play regardless of technological or scientific design or devices. The core objective of preservation, conservation and maintenance of purify environment can only be achieved only if the law can be mobilized to operate in partnership with science and technology. Environmental law in Nigeria is that branch of public law which contains rules and regulations which have as their object or effect the protection of the environment.
It is one of the youngest courses of study in most Nigerian institutions of higher learning where law is being offered as a course of study. Environmental law cannot be discussed globally without the concept of the environment. The definition and the concept of the environment is the main hub of this study and law comes in as a predictable attendant to protect the environmental health by way of regulating and regularizing it against abuse and ill-treatment by the human elements (who are the presenters and beneficiaries of the environment).