Stakeholders Seek Integrated Framework To Sustain Rivers, Deltas In Africa


Yenagoa – Participants at a two-day international conference on rivers and deltas in Africa has advocated an integrated and multi-sectoral framework towards addressing issues of ecosystems management and challenges of the rivers and deltas in Africa.

The stakeholders called on the federal government to encourage research in ecosystems services for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.

The participants, who were drawn from the academia, government, non-governmental organisations and community representatives, observed that there had not been sufficient investment in the ecosystems services in the region to complement revenue from oil and gas.

The international conference with the theme, “Sustaining Ecosystems Services of Africa’s Rivers and Deltas”, was organised by a consortium of universities in the Niger Delta and hosted by the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State.

The universities include the University of Port Harcourt; Federal University, Otuoke; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Delta State University, Abraka; University of Calabar, Calabar; University of Uyo, Uyo; Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt; University of Benin, Benin; and the Foundation for the Conservation of Nigerian Rivers.

The conference was the second in the series in response to a 10-year Global Delta Sustainable Initiative agreed upon by a network of international experts on rivers and deltas at a conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in September 2013.

The stakeholders, in an eight-point communiqué, urged the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to collaborate with government, host communities, NGOs and other corporate bodies to chart a new course for sustainable development agenda for the Niger Delta.

They also called for a paradigm shift from the current flood control and crisis management approach to sustainable and integrated flood-risk management method in line with global best practice to address flood disasters in the region, Nigeria and Africa.

They further suggested that tertiary institutions in the Niger Delta should strengthen research collaboration on sustainable development activities in the region.

The participants added that the IOCs and government and communities should emphasize and carry out modern environmental pollution control measures to save the rivers and deltas.


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Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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