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Environments 2017, 4(2), 28; doi:10.3390/environments4020028

Addressing Environmental Health Problems in Ogoniland through Implementation of United Nations Environment Program Recommendations: Environmental Management Strategies

Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Social Services Building, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM 88003-8001, USA
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract

On 4 August 2011, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) submitted an unprecedented, scientific, groundbreaking environmental assessment report (EAR) on Ogoniland to the Nigerian government. This was the outcome of a 14-month intensive evaluation of the extent of pollution. The intention was that UNEP’s recommendations would be implemented to restore the devastated environment, on the one hand, and on the other, counteract the numerous environmental health issues that have for decades, plagued Ogoniland. However, five years post-EAR, and despite the seriousness of the situation, no significant resolution has occurred on the part of the government or the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) or Shell. To date, millions of Niger Delta residents particularly those living in the oil-bearing communities, continue to suffer severe consequences. Although the assessment was conducted in Ogoniland, other communities in the Niger Delta are also affected. This article explores prevailing issues in the Niger Delta, using Ogoniland (a microcosm of the Niger Delta) as an example. A multidisciplinary approach for sustainable mitigation of environmental health risks in the Niger Delta is paramount, and environmental management tools offer valuable strategies. Adopting the UNEP’s recommendations for addressing environmental health problems requires implementing the environmental management/environmental management system (EM/EMS) model. However, the persistent lack of political will on the part of the Nigerian government, and the grossly nonchalant attitude by Shell remain major obstacles towards executing UNEP’s recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental assessment (EA); environmental assessment report (EAR); environmental health; environmental management/environmental management systems (EM/EMS) model; environmental management plan (EMP); multinational oil companies (MOCs); Niger Delta; Ogoni; Ogoniland; Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) environmental assessment (EA); environmental assessment report (EAR); environmental health; environmental management/environmental management systems (EM/EMS) model; environmental management plan (EMP); multinational oil companies (MOCs); Niger Delta; Ogoni; Ogoniland; Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yakubu, O.H. Addressing Environmental Health Problems in Ogoniland through Implementation of United Nations Environment Program Recommendations: Environmental Management Strategies. Environments 2017, 4, 28.

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