Angolans look to government, one another for action on the environment

Kelechi Amakoh, Carlos Pacatolo

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Angola is blessed with abundant natural resources, including oil, diamonds, and vast amounts of arable – though largely unused – land. Last year the country passed Nigeria to become Africa’s largest oil producer (Leao & Shetty, 2022). At the same time, Angola confronts a troubling array of environmental challenges, among them deforestation, soil erosion, poor water quality, pollution from mining and oil production, and the impacts of climate change (World Bank, 2021; Paca, Santos, Pires, Leitão, & Boaventura, 2019;, 2022; Neto & Maclean, 2021; World Rainforest Movement, 1999). In a presidential order in December, João Lourenço created a multidisciplinary working group to draw up a National Plan to Ban Plastics to “address environmental degradation,” regulate the production and use of these products, and comply with commitments under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other international agreements on environmental protection. Coordinated by the minister of state and chief of staff of the president of the Republic, the group includes ministers as well as civil society representatives, among them noted environmentalist Fernanda Renée Samuel (Jornal de Angola, 2023). In Angola, as in most countries, environmental governance raises wide-ranging questions for human health and economic well-being. Understanding popular perspectives and priorities can help strengthen efforts to prevent or mitigate negative outcomes, whether through policy advocacy or direct action. This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 questionnaire to explore Angolans’ experiences and perceptions of pollution, environmental governance, and natural resource extraction. Findings show that Angolans see environmental pollution, including trash and plastics, as a major problem in their communities, especially in urban areas. Most want the government to do more to address pollution and protect the environment, though not at the cost of jobs. Few Angolans think that local communities are getting a fair shake from the natural resource extraction industry, and support for tighter government regulations far exceeds opposition.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número de páginas12
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 17 jan. 2023
Publicado externamenteSim

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