In a bid to ensure economic growth, experts have called for more effective protection of the environment through efficient cost and sustainable management of natural resources. At a recent training workshop organised by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors in Uyo, with the theme: ‘The challenges of environmental sustainability and the imperatives of efficient cost management in Nigeria’, stakeholders said many national development efforts and foreign direct investment projects had over the years failed to take into consideration their adverse impacts on the environment and natural resources.
Dr. Izuchukwu Onu of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Mr. Francis Emoh of the Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, said in a joint paper that for an efficient cost management of a sustainable environment in the country, it was imperative that the Environmental Impact Assessment and reports of projects should actively involve the public. “The Environmental Impact Assessment and reports of projects should utilise the indigenous environmental knowledge, integrate the strategic environmental analysis and environmental management system in project development and management,” they said.
The duo added that the EIA had become a proven effective tool for raising developers’ and administrative authorities’ awareness of the essential environmental issues that deserved attention and also ensured efficient coordination of administrative action as well as public opinion. Onu and Emoh stated, “EIA regulations force designers and planners to come up with alternates in terms of project design, scale and location. In so doing, it forces designers and planners to have a holistic view of any proposed project by considering all possible alternatives or scenarios, and this often results in better planning and design outcomes.”