Addressing the South South’s Environmental Emergency: The vital importance of environmental issues in securing stability and prosperity in the Niger Delta

Nigeria is experiencing a national environmental emergency. Desertification in the North and rising sea levels in the South have led to higher than usual rates of migration, pressure on a weak supply chain for resources, and an additional strain on service provision in Nigeria’s major cities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that a 2 metre sea level rise will displace 10 million people from the Southern Coastlines of Nigeria.

This paper calls for a high profile intervention on environmental issues to avoid Nigeria slipping further into conflict in the North and South. The paper argues that any discussion on sustainable development, prosperity and economic security in the Niger Delta must recognise the economic importance of the services provided by local ecosystems. Equally, the paper argues that discussion related to the stability of the Niger Delta region must recognise that the loss of sustainable livelihoods as a result of environmental degradation has been a major contributor to the conflict in the Niger Delta over recent years.

The paper outlines SDN’s research and work around developing recommendation on environmental policy in the areas of gas flaring and oil spill compensation processes, as well as revisiting the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) process and forms.

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