There are two sources that I would like to recognize for the conception of this work. My first thoughts regarding this book occurred during my participation in symposiums at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research during 1992 and 1993. The symposiums were organized for environmental specialists and natural resource managers. Discussion with colleagues in Nigeria convinced me of the need for this work. Hence,, my sincere gratitude to all my friends and colleagues at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Upon my return to my academic home, the University of Virginia, students in three of my courses -- Third World Environmental Planning and Management, International Sustainable Development, and Natural Systems and Environmental Planning -- asked questions and discussed issues that resulted in similar conclusions as those that occurred in Nigeria. Their curiosity expanded my understanding of sustainable development and sustainability issues. I thank those students who engaged in stimulating dialogues on community sustainability. I consider myself very fortunate to have known all of them.
The editing and writing of parts of this volume occurred at our home in Nigeria, where I spend valuable research time. I thank my family for providing the tranquil environment necessary to undertake scholarly work of this caliber. My utmost respect and admiration go to my mother, Elizabeth, for her patience and effort in providing a nurturing atmosphere conducive to scholarly work. I think that the uninterrupted time that I had while I was a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Scholar in Nigeria was instrumental in achieving some of the personal goals of scholarship and laying the groundwork for this book. The U.S. Department of Education officials deserve my gratitude for the confidence of the award.