Global Urban Research Unit

Ogwu

Friday Adejoh Ogwu

Environmental Justice, Planning and Oil and Gas Pipelines in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Abstract

This thesis analyses the impact of oil and gas pipelines on the environment and settlements from the perspective of environmental justice, using a case study of the oilproducing communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Within Nigeria, this region is most affected by oil and gas pipeline activities, in terms of both socio-economic and environmental impacts. This state of affairs raises issues of environmental justice among the stakeholders. The research for this thesis took place in three case study areas, and included a total of six group discussions, 30 in-depth interviews and two workshops.

Analysis of this data showed that the oil and gas pipeline network has not improved the environmental and economic conditions of the people in the communities it traverses. The empirical evidence equally suggests that the lack of community involvement and appropriate recognition given to some groups of stakeholders in the management of the oil and gas pipeline project is strongly related to the incidence of pipeline network sabotage.

The research advocates a new approach, based on the core principles of environmental justice that promotes inclusion of the necessary stakeholders, including the physical planners, and would incorporate local knowledge and experience into the environmental management of the region. Such a framework will not only protect the environment and people from the impacts of the pipelines, but will also protect the pipelines from vandalism and save Nigeria many billions of dollars, lives and livelihoods over the coming years.