The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Jordi Jaria i Manzano, Nathalie Chalifour and Louis J. Kotzé
Chapter 13: Environmentally displaced persons in the Niger Delta: challenges and prospects
A major consequence of oil and gas activities is pollution. In fact, virtually all the oil and gas activities are prone to pollution and this continues to cause health, environmental, developmental and socio-economic problems. Also, pollution and incidences has been a subject of conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Pollution causes degradation which had sometimes led to environmental displacement of the Niger Deltans. This chapter defines in general terms the concept of environmental displacement and environmentally and internally displaced persons, addresses issues of socio-economic impacts of oil pollutions, evaluates the position of Niger Deltans and challenges of securing justice for the displaced Niger Deltans. The study finds that the environmentally-displaced Niger Deltans are not adequately protected either in international law or under Nigerian laws, and therefore need more adequate protection. The chapter concludes that environmentally-displaced Niger Deltans, though not protected under any specific law, are entitled to respect for their human rights. It therefore recommend actions under the fundamental human rights regime as a temporary solution, followed by a more tailored solution which includes creating a legally enforceable framework to be built on internationally agreed principles and strengthening the international machinery which makes countries accountable.
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