The What is illegal logging; 2. What are

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Last updated: April 12, 2019

The importance of forestryresources cannot be over emphasized. From time immemorial, Forestry resources,like any other natural resources have always been essential to the survival ofmankind.

Hence, there is a need for the sustainable management and developmentof forestry resources. However, this can only be achieved by the promulgationand enforcement of laws and practices that will ensure that forests are notexploited in an irresponsible and unsustainable manner. Less than 10% of Nigeria’sland is covered by forests, and only 20,000 hectares of the country’s primaryforests remain.

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There have been high rates of deforestation in the country; theannual rate was 5% between 2010 and 2015 In spite of the strategicsoico – economic and cultural significance of forests, the sustainablemanagement of forestry resources is not without challenges. Illegal logging istoday one of the biggest challenges in the sustainability of forestryresources. Illegal logging can simply be described as harvesting of timber inviolation of national laws and practices. The need to curb illegal logging hastaken a central stage in international foreign agenda as it does not only causeforest degradation thereby ……………., it results in loss of biodiversity, deprivesthe government of huge sums of money in tax and revenue.  This dissertation seeks todiscuss the menace of illegal logging as it affects the sustainable managementof forestry resources in Nigeria. The need for Nigeria to shift its focus onoil revenue and maximise income revenue from other of its natural resources islong overdue.

A brief analysis of the occurrence of illegal logging and itsimpact on the Nigerian environment, society and economy and the role andresponse of the international community in tackling illegal logging and tradeshall also be discussed.        These among others are thepertinent socio – legal issues that this dissertation shall aim to address: 1.   What is illegal logging;2.   What are the root causes of illegal logging activitiesin Nigerian forest;3.

   To what extent are the anti-illegal logginglaws enforced by the regulators;4.   What are the pre-emptive methods adopted intackling illegal logging;5.   What is the regulatory regime for exploitationof forestry resources in Nigeria;6.   Are there adequate laws governing logging oftimber products;7.   How have these laws operated in curbing illegallogging actives in Nigeria;8.   What role have the government played intackling illegal logging in Nigeria;9.

   How has Nigeria participated or benefited fromthe international initiatives in tackling illegal logging and trade.  LITERATUREREVIEW National and State Legislation National Legislation and StateLegislationBy virtue of section 20 of theNigerian Constitution provides for the protection and improvement of theenvironment is recognised as national objective. On one hand, section 12provides that international treaties (including environmental treaties) can beratified by the National Assembly and should be implemented as law in Nigeria,while section ………..allow states to legislate and pass laws for the regulationof environmental activities in their state. The environmental impact assessmentact is also a major regulatory too in the forestry industry in Nigeria as itmakes it mandatory for there to be an assessment of the likely effect anyactivity sought to be undertaken by any person, authority corporate body orincorporated, including all organs of government, will have on theenvironment.  Other legislationsconcerning the environment in Nigeria include the National EnvironmentalStandards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act, 2007. The nationalpark services act provides inta alia for the conservation of wildlife, theprotection of endangered species of wildlife plants and animals and theirhabitat, and the conservation of biological diversity in Nigeria.

Anotherimportant legislation is the Endangered species act which provide for theconservation and management of Nigeria’s wildlife and the protection of some ofher endangered species in danger of extinction as a result ofover-exploitation, as required under certain international treaties whichNigeria is a signatory. It is pertinent to note thatunder the Nigerian legal system, state are empowered to make their own laws toregulate environment which includes the protection and preservation of forestryresources. In Lagos state, south west of Nigeria, the Lagos state environmentalprotection agency (LASEPA) is saddled with the responsibility to enforceenvironmental laws in the state. Books, Journals, InternationalTreaties Literature on illegal loggingand forest management is replete. Authors and writers like Bass and Brack havewritten extensively on the topic. In addition, the literature shows thatillegal logging undermines the rule of law, fuels corruption and is an obstaclefor development.

The menace of illegal logging and the need to control the itsassociated problem has gained attention from the international community.International treaties have emerged overtime to tackle the problem.  As such, the studiesconsidered in this literature review relate to both illegal logging andsustainable management of forest resources as these are very closely linked.   In recognition of its role asone of the world’s largest markets for timber products, the EU has adopted itsForest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan that sets outa range of measures to tackle illegal logging another EU instrument worthy ofnote is the Timber Regulation (EUTR).These are EU’s key pieces of legislation that help tackle this issue. The EUinstitutions are currently reviewing the EUTR. The FLEGT needs to be betterimplemented and further improved, so it can address new EU challenges like activitiesthat result in forest degradation, including illegal logging.

 The FLEGT Action Planrecognises the role of trade agreements as a way of reducing the illegal timbertrade and thus introduced the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), whichare bilateral trade agreements between the EU and producer countries. Thisreport explains how VPAs function, the areas in which VPAs have been introduced(including the Central African Republic) and what progress has been made.  The Lacey Act is a 1900 UnitedStates law that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife. In 2008, the Act wasamended to include plants and plant products such as timber and paper. Thislandmark legislation is the world’s first ban on trade in illegally sourcedwood products.There are two major componentsto the plant amendments: a ban on trading plants or plant products harvested inviolation of the law; and a requirement to declare the scientific name, value,quantity, and country of harvest origin for some products.

The Lacey Act is a fact-basedstatute with strict liability, which means that only actual legality counts (nothird-party certification or verification schemes can be used to”prove” legality under the Act) and that violators of the law can facecriminal and civil sanctions even if they did not know that they were dealingwith an illegally harvested product.Penalties for violating theLacey Act vary in severity based on the violator’s level of knowledge about theproduct: penalties are higher for those who knew they were trading in illegallyharvested materials. For those who did not know, penalties vary based onwhether the individual or company in question did everything possible todetermine that the product was legal. In the U.S. system, this is called”due care,” and is a legal concept designed to encourage flexibilityin the marketplace. Australia’s illegal logging laws, like similar legislation in the European Unionand the United States, has been designed to support the trade of legal timberinto the Australian market.

The laws consist of the Illegal LoggingProhibition Act 2012 (the Act) and the Illegal LoggingProhibition Regulation 2012 (the Regulation). The Act commenced on 28November 2012 and establishes Australia’s illegal logging framework. The Actmakes it a criminal offense to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly importwood, pulp and paper products into Australia or process Australian raw logsthat have been illegally logged. It also outlines that businesses mustundertake ‘due diligence’ on certain regulated processes.

 The Regulation commenced on 30November 2014 and describes the due diligence process that businesses mustundertake. Due diligence requires importers of regulated timber products andAustralian processors of raw logs to minimize the risk that the wood orwood-fiber has been illegally logged.These treaties like shall allbe taken into consideration in the course of this research.   Methodologyand Methods MethodologyResearch methodology is thestrategy in which a research is carried out. A research is always faced withthe challenge of adopting a research methodology from various options. However,one must adopt methodology which is most suitable for the research and whichthe aim of the research is most achievable. This dissertation is aimed atanalysing the problems of illegal logging and how it has affected thesustainability of forestry resources in Nigeria.

It is without doubt that themenace of illegal logging does not only reside within the ambit of the law, italso has a huge impact on the society and the economy of any given state.Hence, discussions of wider ethical issues. it is therefore imperative that further shouldcarried out beyond the ambit legal perspective. Essentially, the chosenmethodology shall need to permit social culture, expectations and values to beconsidered hence this research must not be centred a single discipline. Against this backdrop, themost appropriate methodology which is adopted for this research is the socio –legal methodology which allows for fusion of both legal and socialperspectives. A socio-legal approach is hereby adopted.

                                                It is pertinent to state thatthe socio-legal methodology will not only be concerned with the rules of lawconcerning the research question. It will juxtapose this with social, economic,political, and psychological considerations of the issues herein. It allows fora systematic and regular reference to the context of the problem which lawswere supposed to resolved, the purpose they were to serve and the effect theyhave. One can then boldly counter the notion that law is usually conservativeto the social issues it was supposed to regulate.Because socio-legalmethodology is interdisciplinary, it allows the building of bridges between thelaw and other disciplines such as economics, sociology, politics, etc.  This method presents the lawas a useful part of the wider society. In conclusion, socio-legal methodologyfunctionalises law making it an effective instrument for the achievement ofeconomic, social, and political objectives.

It can rightly be used to persuadegovernment, regulators, business representatives, indigenous people and otherinterested parties concerned with the administration of justice and the legalsystem.  MethodMethod refers to ‘the range oftechniques that are available to us to collect evidence. A socio-legalmethodology allows research to operate ‘within very different definitions ofthe appropriate range and scope of relevant sources of materials According to Matt Hen et al, method is a ‘wide range oftechniques that are available to us to collect evidence about the social world’.It is going to critically utilise existing social data, literature, and legalprinciples in arriving at a beneficial and acceptable position on the subjectmatter. In doing this, the research shall employ primary sources such as theConstitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Laws of the FederalRepublic of Nigeria on the relevant subjects like the environment, wild life,endangered species etc.

, as well as relevant gazetted government policies.Secondary sources will also be extensive utilised. The sources include books,journals and articles, media reports, international organisations publicationon the subjects, relative government publications, and relevant Internetmaterials. The materials will be extracted from the University of the West ofEngland Library (physical and electronic), because the library is well andconstantly updated on historical and current materials concerning the researchquestion. The research will heavily utilise relevant words, notes and phraseson forestry governance and sustainable management of forestry resources, andits inherent challenges.

 Manual and physical searchesof in the library will also be carried out uncover relevant sources fallingoutside of these search terms. Searching numerous libraries shall provide thebest chance of collecting all relevant information. The use of online searchengines with global databases such as Google Scholar, will be very helpful inidentify key work and terminology utilised within this topic. This, however,must be approached with caution as it may produce thousands of results at anytime, much of which will be irrelevant material. Legal database searching willbe an essential method. Databases such as Westlaw, Lexis Library and Heinonlineshall be heavily utilised.

Different databases embody differing sources oflegal data and journals, so all available will require exploration. The UWElibrary electronic catalogue provides an invaluable way of searching acrossthese databases in a generalised manner. Although large numbers of documentsshall undoubtedly be returned using this method, layering searches/terms willsystematically taper results.  Benefitsof Socio of Legal MethodThis research is predicated onthe tackling illegal logging and the sustainable maintenance of forestryresources in Nigeria.

Because of the nature of the research, social and legalindices will be employed in arriving at a satisfactory answer. Thus, the socio-legalmethodology presents the best possible approach for executing this research.This is because of the benefits the approach presents to the researcher. Suchthat the researcher will have unrestricted access to a wide variety ofresources concerning the research question.

 There are other benefitsavailable to the researcher from adopting this approach.For instance, the socio-legalmethodology will not excessively concentrate on the rules of law concerning theresearch question. It will juxtapose this with social, economic, political, andpsychological considerations of the issues herein. ‘It affords systematic andregular reference to the context of the problem which laws were supposed toresolved, the purpose they were to serve and the effect they have. It thereforepresents an opportunity to counter the perspective that law is usuallyconservative to the social issues it was supposed to regulate. Because socio-legalmethodology is interdisciplinary, it allows the building of bridges between thelaw and other disciplines such as economics, sociology, politics, etc.

Forinstance, in the consideration of the issue that the contamination of the NigerDelta environment through oil and gas activities is a breach of fundamentalright to life, what will be the economic impact of the enforcement of thisright? This method presents the law as a useful part of the wider society.Finally, and very importantly, socio-legal methodology functionalises lawmaking it an effective instrument for the achievement of economic, social, andpolitical objectives. It impacts upon government policy-makers, regulators,business representatives, and other interested parties concerned with theadministration of justice and the legal system. ReflectivediaryThough my background in thelegal has mainly been centred around litigation, while I worked in a law firmin Nigeria, I have always had interest in environmental law and natural resourcelaw. I didn’t have to ponder about doing my LLM in environmental law in UWE, especiallyin England. One can rightly say that I am pro clean and green environmentbecause of my roots in Nigeria which is the Niger delta area of Nigeria. TheNiger Delta though is mainly known to be an oil rich region, faced with seriesof environmental harzards, however, it is often discussed or known forenvironmental issues like oil spillage, green house gas emission, pollutionetc, the region is also troubled by the activity of indiscriminate and unlawfulharvesting of forestry product is as dangerous to the environment like anyother environmental hazard. These activities have ben recurrent as though therewere no regard for the environment or there were no proper regulation of activitiesgoing on in the forest.

This have not only persuaded me to concern myself with theseillegal forest activities. When the opportunity came toundergo my masters, I did not hesitate to opt into the environmental law postgraduate program as a strong duty to help the people of Niger Delta device areform to totally eradicate the practice of illegal logging which will onlydeplete the God given natural resources of Nigeria. Since my arrival in UWE abouta year ago, I have no harboured any iota of regret in doing masters.

I havebenefited immensely from the brilliant lectures and its vast educationsequipment and its very conducive learning environment. RESUMPTIONIN JANUARY 2017WhenI arrived at Gatwick Airport in January 2017, I was greeted with freezing cold.Having lived in Africa all my life, it took a while before I could adapt to thecold weather in England.

I must admit that this affected my studies in the 1stsemester as I was unable to concentrate while reading. The heating systemwasn’t of any help. On the other hand, feeding and footing the house bills wasn’teasy as well due to financial shortages. Thankfully, that didn’t last too long.

Lectures have been broad, interactive, participatory, and above all expository.There are things I have learned concerning the environment, its resources, and theright of people to enjoy these resources, that if applied in live situations,it will create boundless opportunities for redressing the damages caused to theenvironment. In spite of this, this, I have to admit the inherent difficultiesin studying, evaluating, analysing the different and varied literatures andmaterials. This exercise is time consuming affects time and speed because everyacademic work demands that one should take a position. Such stands have to be enlightening,critical, and should present the best possible solution to any given problem. fortunately,the UWE is well endowed with modern facilities and technology to ensure thatresearch work is carried out in the most safe and convenient way.

 The UWE academic environment is of highstandards and its Library world class. My writing and oratory skills have beengreatly enhanced, and my knowledge of the law and legal instruments especiallyinternational instruments has been well developed.   DecidingOn a Dissertation TopicAlthoughI did not have much thoughts in choosing a dissertation topic.

I consideredother areas in environmental law that needed to be looked into. At the end ofthe day I had to choose the topic that affects me and my immediate communitymost. I must say that there’s no environmental issue that is more importantthan the other, but I had to go for the topic that I had passion for s thiswill help me to progress in my research without bored or fed up. Theopportunity to finally dwell on the present topic came during a NaturalResources Law class on forestry resources. During that class, I became aware oftremendous regulatory and pre – emptive methods that both the internationalcommunity and other western countries have been implementing to fight illegallogging in order to preserve their forestry resources for their future generation.This was a motivation for me to go ahead with the topic.  Further readings exposed me to other instrumentslike FLEGT, Lacey act, CITES (Convention on International Trade inEndangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora),  EU Timber regulation etc and how theseinstruments have been operating in the western world.   It wasat this point that the dissertation topic was formulated.

Iam optimistic that at the end, the dissertation would have assisted in a betterunderstanding of the issues canvassed, particularly, particularly the reformsneeded in Nigeria to fight illegal logging.The issues in this research are found in awide range of literature covering every aspect of the research. The issues cutacross law, history, politics, sociology, economy, etc. The online library ofthe UWE is another beautiful system. One can easily access relevant data basedon these issues in the research. The library is even more beneficial when theinformation sought is broken down in bits. I have found this method veryuseful.  In concluding, I must state that in furtherpost graduate research endeavors, getting in touch with lecturers, colleaguesand learned friends about the potential topic timeously will be very helpfuland make things a little less challenging.

Also sharing research ideas withpersons of common interest or have expertise is of immense importance. One should be willing to explore new researchtools and methods you have never used before i.e to explore new legaldatabases.

It is also pertinent to make good use of university resources suchas the Learning Development Centre.it is also important to jot crucial pointsand ideas that may skip one’s mind in a handy notebook. Lastly, one should notunderestimate any type of research project as this may result in overconfidence which always results in failure.                        

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