Tamunobelema (Belema) Itamunoala
Tamunobelema Itamunoala is an LLM candidate at the University of Ottawa with a concentration in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law. She obtained her LL.B degree from Afe Babalola University in Nigeria, after which she proceeded to the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar. As a lawyer, Tamunobelema has worked with prominent legal organizations including leading law firms, the International Federation of Women Lawyers, and the Ministry of Justice in Nigeria. In the course of her LLM program, she has also volunteered with University of Ottawa food services and UOglobal at the University of Ottawa. Currently, she interns at Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa.
Tamunobelema is passionate about global environmental restoration, protection and sustainability. She is particularly interested in climate change mitigation and adaptation, oil spill cleanup measures, recycling practices, food security and poverty alleviation, reforestation and afforestation practices, judicial recognition and enforcement of environmental rights, enhancement of public interest environmental litigation, and environmental justice (especially the equitable distribution of burdens and benefits, and the adequate remediation and compensation for environmental harm). She has carried out research on various aspects of environmental law. Her most recent research has focused on enhancing climate change litigation and public interest environmental litigation in Nigeria. She is currently writing her Major Research Paper for her LLM degree, which focuses on enhancing Environmental Justice for the Niger Delta residents of Nigeria.
Having observed the dire implications of environmental pollution – especially oil and gas pollution – on the Niger Delta resident of Nigeria, as well as the enormous difficulties associated with litigating over environmental rights violations in Nigeria, Tamunobelema’s LLM research paper explores how environmental rights litigants in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria could leverage the extant Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules in Nigeria for securing their access to environmental Justice. However, as a Nigerian from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria who has witnessed the transition of the Niger Delta region from an era of resource blessing to resource curse, Tamunobelema passionately promotes the precautionary principle as a preferred option to remediation. Through her research paper, it is hoped that environmental rights litigants in Nigeria can gain insights about effective routes to environmental justice.
Tamunobelema has also developed a profound interest in the Canadian environmental framework. She is currently researching Ontario’s legal framework for forestry conservation and protection. She explores how the law could act as a catalyst for transforming Ontario’s forests into a significant carbon sink for a better climate.