Challenges and opportunities for low-carbon remediation in the Niger Delta: towards sustainable environmental management

Ikeabiama Ndubuisi Azuazu, Kabari Sam, Pablo Campo, Frederic Coulon

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Abstract

There is increasing demand for low-carbon remediation strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable development in the management of environmental contamination. This trend is within the broader context of sustainable remediation strategies that balance environmental, economic, and social aspects. This article critically reviewed existing literature to evaluate and compare various low-carbon remediation methods, such as bioremediation, phytoremediation, in situ chemical oxidation, soil vapour extraction, and electrokinetic remediation, to identify suitable techniques for the remediation of oil-contaminated sites in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. We analysed the UK sustainable remediation frameworks (SuRF-UK) to glean lessons for the Nigerian context. Our findings indicate that bioremediation and phytoremediation are particularly promising low-carbon remediation technologies for the Niger Delta region due to their cost-effectiveness and adaptability to local conditions. We proposed a framework that deeply considers opportunities for achieving multiple goals including effective remediation and limited greenhouse gas emissions while returning net social and economic benefit to local communities. The proposed framework will help decision makers to implement effective remediation technologies that meet sustainability indices, integrates emissions considerations return net environmental benefit to local communities. There is a need for policymakers to establish and enforce policies and regulations that support sustainable remediation practises, build the capacity of stakeholders, invest in research and development, and promote collaboration among stakeholders to create a regulatory environment that supports sustainable remediation practises and promotes environmental sustainability in the region. This study provides insights for achieving low-carbon remediation in regions addressing land contamination by different contaminants and facilitates the adoption of remediation technologies that consider contextual socio-economic and environmental indices for sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number165739
Number of pages16
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume900
Early online date27 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • cost-effective remediation
  • sustainability
  • contaminated sites
  • Niger Delta
  • legacy oil spills
  • sustainable remediation
  • low-carbon remediation

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