LAW OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Environmental Law as a course of study is new on the Law Faculty's curriculum in Nigeria's tertiary institutions. The book "LAW OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION -- Materials and Texts" therefore, is pathbreaking. The "Environment" was described as “the issue of the year” internationally in 1970. It was not until 1988 that the "Environment" gained prominence as a prime issue in Nigeria, when institutional, legal, and policy aspects of the environment began to receive serious attention. One of the reasons for this delay is the primary concern at the early stage of our national development for the exploitation of our natural resources to secure the quantitative aspects of human needs -- more food, more water, more energy, etc. while little or no attention was paid to the qualitative aspect of the conservation of our natural resources and overall protection of the environment. Although, traditional society in its own unique way established certain norms of social behavior to secure human survival and protection against a hostile environment, today, rapid social and technological developments have generated a need for additional and scientifically articulated protection against new environmental risks caused partly or wholly by human action or interaction with nature and those naturally occurring within the ecosystem.
The widely publicized 1988 “Koko Toxic Waste Dump” issue provided the impetus which sparked national focus on the environment and environmental protection as a national policy. Prior to 1988, legal and administrative measures covered mainly protective and preventive measures relating to environmental sanitation and public health; warning and emergency measures to reduce potential harm in case of natural disasters and context of Nigerian Law which whilst paying due regard to global movements and ideas as well as the increasing interest of the international community on the problems pertaining to the environment. The author observed that "until the adoption of the National Policy on the Environment in 1989, Nigeria had no defined and clearly articulated national policy goals for the nations environment." The country enacted the Federal Environmental Protection /gene Decree 1988 No. 58 which came into force at the end of 1988 when it became what the author rightly described as "the statutory threshold of a national policyon environmental protection in Nigeria.' I would without hesitation recommend this work to anylawyer (be he a specialist or a generalpractitioner) who wishes to have a clear understanding of Environmental Law in Nigeria. It has been impressively well researched, well written and very readable. It is a reliable source of information for any practicing lawyer or legal scholar interested in the Law of Environment in Nigeria today. Every good library ought to have a copy