|Title||The Dynamics of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry’s Environmental Regulation: Revealing/Storying Neglected Voices and Excluded Lives of Environmental Encounters and Affects|
The complex interaction of politics, power, economics and ‘subjectivisation’ of the human in natural resource exploration and production has demonstrated their impacts on the environment and ecosystem in anthropogenic and Anthropocenic dimensions. In Nigeria’s Niger Delta, these impacts have constantly materialised in the conflicts in the oil communities. This reality underscores the basis for this research’s narrative/analytical approach: the need to find a different way of narrating and dealing with the decades-long cataclysmic effects of oil and gas exploration on the people, environment, and ecosystem. The methodological approach adopted, autoethnography, will be justified through the view that within the gamut of qualitative methodology, autoethnography presents the most veritable avenue to reflexively create a forum for sharing with the world, the untold stories, and narratives of the people of the Niger Delta who exist in zones I refer to as zones of ‘exclusion’.
From these zones, I engage with the voice of an imagined character, ‘O’, whose journey’s narratives as first order observer, rouse my own memory of a difference between system and environment. The narrative’s reality, viewed from systems theory, is a fluctuation between the immersion in, and distance from, the observed, observing, and self-observation, yet with the increasing realisation of the interconnectedness and interaction between man and his natural environment. This folds into an affect that is immanent on the human psyche, particularly in ecological terms. It also results in the search of transcendent justice that will achieve relational and social interaction mechanisms among all stakeholders to minimise and manage environmental incidents that may imply degradation and severe damage to the ecosystem, the socio-economic linkages to the environment, and human health and life.
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