A review of the threat of oil exploitation to mangrove ecosystem: Insights from Niger Delta, Nigeria

Amarachi Paschaline Onyena, Kabari Sam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Mangroves supply various goods and provide invaluable ecological services to humanity. They serve as habitat to different species of fishes, provide a variety of plant products, improve water quality, provide fish and shellfish for local communities, ensure coastal stabilization, provide food chain support for near-shore fisheries, and undertake carbon sequestration. They also serve as source of fuel, medicinal ornaments, and honey for the local population. Despite these socio-economic and environmental benefits of mangroves, its depletion is a continuous practice in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This is caused primarily by anthropogenic activities, including over exploitation, oil spills, and crude oil exploratory activities. These activities have destroyed livelihood structures, affected global warming control measures, and affected the coastal system stabilization of the Niger Delta region. This paper reviews existing literature and analysed identified gaps. The review indicated a lack of participatory framework for mangrove conservation in coastal communities in the Niger Delta despite the desperate need given the level of mangrove degradation in the region. In addition, mangrove conservation policies exclude community participation and negates co-management frameworks for mangrove conservation and protection in the region. This paper reviews the impacts of land contamination on mangrove ecosystems and socio-economic activities of local communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A framework for mangrove conservation in the coastal communities is also proposed, with emphasis on the need to develop the capacity of a critical mass of locals and provide low-to medium-level manpower in mangrove restoration in the Niger Delta region.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00961
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume22
Early online date6 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Artisanal refining
  • Climate change
  • Environmental refugees
  • Occupational dislocation
  • Rural-urban drift

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