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The Niger Delta wetlands: threats to ecosystem services, their importance to dependent communities and possible management measures

Adekola, Olalekan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9747-0583 and Mitchell, Gordon (2011) The Niger Delta wetlands: threats to ecosystem services, their importance to dependent communities and possible management measures. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 7 (1). pp. 50-68.

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Adekola and Mitchell 2011 (1).docx - Accepted Version

Abstract

The Niger Delta wetlands are changing rapidly, raising concern for the wetlands’ health and for communities
relying upon its ecosystem services. Knowledge on ecosystem service provision is important for effective ecosystem and livelihoods management, but is currently lacking for the Niger Delta. We synthesised literature and used the ‘Drivers–pressure–state–impact–response’ (DPSIR) framework to structure information on changes in the wetlands’ ecosystem services and implications for dependent communities. The wetlands’ ecosystem services are being eroded through oil and gas exploration, dredging, invasive plant infestation and wetland reclamation. This is exacerbated by rising demand for oil, population growth and weak governance. Mass fish migration, water pollution and reduction of wetland area are also evident, impacting ecosystem services and traditional livelihood systems. This has caused poverty; people have to buy goods that previously could be obtained from the wetlands. Effective wetland management will be aided by: recognition of ecosystem services’ contributions to community well-being; understanding how benefits are distributed over time, space, stakeholder; and how these changes in response to pressures. Since key pressures in the wetland are anthropogenic, understanding the role of institutions in relation to the Niger Delta’s ecosystem services is imperative.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2011.603138
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2799

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