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Collaborative Environmental Management: A Case Study Research of Stakeholders’ Collaboration in the Nigerian Oil-producing Region
A myriad of environmental issues face the Nigerian industrial region, resulting from; oil and gas production, mining, manufacturing and domestic wastes. Amidst these, much effort has been directed by stakeholders in the Nigerian oil producing regions, because of the impacts of the region on the wider Nigerian economy. Although collaborative environmental management has been noted as an effective approach in managing environmental issues, little attention has been given to the roles and practices of stakeholders in effecting a collaborative environmental management framework for the Nigerian oil-producing region. This paper produces a framework to expand and deepen knowledge relating to stakeholders aspects of collaborative roles in managing environmental issues in the Nigeria oil-producing region. The knowledge is derived from analysis of stakeholders’ practices – studied through multiple case studies using document analysis. Selected documents of key stakeholders – Nigerian government agencies, multi-national oil companies and host communities, were analyzed. Open and selective coding was employed manually during document analysis of data collected from the offices and websites of the stakeholders. The findings showed that the stakeholders have a range of roles, practices, interests, drivers and barriers regarding their collaborative roles in managing environmental issues. While they have interests for efficient resource use, compliance to standards, sharing of responsibilities, generating of new solutions, and shared objectives; there is evidence of major barriers and these include resource allocation, disjointed policy, ineffective monitoring, diverse socio- economic interests, lack of stakeholders’ commitment and limited knowledge sharing. However, host communities hold deep concerns over the collaborative roles of stakeholders for economic interests, particularly, where government agencies and multi-national oil companies are involved. With these barriers and concerns, a genuine stakeholders’ collaboration is found to be limited, and as a result, optimal environmental management practices and policies have not been successfully implemented in the Nigeria oil-producing region. A framework is produced that describes practices that characterize collaborative environmental management might be employed to satisfy the stakeholders’ interests. The framework recommends critical factors, based on the findings, which may guide a collaborative environmental management in the oil producing regions. The recommendations are designed to re-define the practices of stakeholders in managing environmental issues in the oil producing regions, not as something wholly new, but as an approach essential for implementing a sustainable environmental policy. This research outcome may clarify areas for future research as well as to contribute to industry guidance in the area of collaborative environmental management.
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