1.1. Background of the study
Environmental planning the process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with the consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Environmental planning concerns itself with the decision making processes where they are required for managing relationships that exist within and between natural systems and human systems. Environmental planning endeavors to manage these processes in an effective, orderly, transparent and equitable manner for the benefit of all constituents within such systems for the present and for the future. Present day environmental planning practices are the result of continuous refinement and expansion of the scope of such decision making processes. Some of the main elements of present day environmental planning are:
The environmental planning assessments encompass areas such as landuse, socioeconomics, transportation, economic and housing characteristics, air pollution, noise pollution, the wetlands, habitat of the endangered species, flood zones susceptibility, coastal zones erosion, and visual studies among others, and is referred to as an Integrated environmental planning assessment. It is the ability to analyze environmental issues that will facilitate critical decision making.
Traditionally, environmental planning has been based predominantly on the interdisciplinary study of environmental systems, based mainly in the sciences and economics. The underlying value system has essentially been an economic market model. Some researchers believe that this approach does not capture the wide range of societal values and concerns about the environment and are suggesting a more multi-disciplinary approach that emphasizes long-term resource management and sustainability.
New approaches are emerging that combine interdisciplinary science, ecological economics, and social sciences. Most importantly though are the collaborative processes which aim to integrate a wide range of values and perspectives in environmental management. The ecosystem approach focuses on a new scientific framework from which to examine environmental problems, it focuses on an expanded definition of ecosystem.
1.2. Statement of the problem
Rural areas in Nigeria, over the years, have been observed to have suffered from utter neglect (Olatubosun 1975, Mabogunje, 1968 ) and exhibit what has been aptly described as 3Ds namely: depression, degradation and deprivation (Igiebor Nosa et. Al (1986a) The colonial administrators consistently adopted a nonchalant, yet exploitative attitude towards rural development through neglect, through meager budget allocation to rural sector and through failure to provide rural amenities and facilities (Olatubosun 1978 cited by Falade 1990). Viewed against the background of the fact that rural areas in Nigeria provides jobs for over 70% of the population and accounted for 84% of the Nation’s GDP at independence and about 60% as at 1965, the neglect suffered by the rural areas is pathetic and inexcusable.
1.3 Significance of the study
Rural development need to be looked into closely with relevant environmental objectives and targets if they are to effectively progress towards environmental planning. This study seeks to draw attention to rural environment for planning and development.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The objectives of this research include but not limited to;
1. To evaluate the impact of environmental planning on rural development.
2. To determine if environmental planning help in the development of rural communities.
1.5 Research questions
In order to achieve the above stated objectives, the following questions were asked;
1. Is there a significant impact of environmental planning on rural development?
2. Does environmental planning help in the development of rural communities?
1.6 Research hypotheses
1.7. Limitations of the study
The study was limited by two major factors; financial constraint and time. Insufficient fund and time tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in theprocess of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.8 Scope of the study
The study focuses on the impact of environmental planning on rural development using Uli Local Government Area of Anambra as a case study.
1.9 Definition of terms
Environment: This is the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.
Planning: This is the process of making plans for something.
Environmental Planning:Is the process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with the consideration given to the naturalenvironmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Development:Is the process of developing or being developed.
Rural Development: Is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.
Holmberg, J. (Ed.) (1992). Making Development Sustainable: Redefining Institutions, Policy, and Economics. Washington, DC: Island Press. London, S. (1995). Building collaborative communities. A paper prepared for Pew.
Miller, S.E., Shinn, C.W. & Bentley, W.R. (1994). Rural Resource Management: Problem Solving for the Long Term. Ames, IA: University of Iowa Press.
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