The impact of climate change on the Niger Delta is severe, as extreme weather events have inflicted various degrees of stress on critical oil/gas infrastructure. Typically, assets managers and government agencies lack a clear framework for evaluating the vulnerability of these systems. This paper presents a participatory framework for the vulnerability assessment of critical oil/gas infrastructure to climate change impacts in the Niger Delta context. Through a critical review of relevant literature and triangulating observational and exploratory data from the field, this paper has developed a conceptual framework with three elements: (1) a preliminary scoping activity; (2) the vulnerability assessment; and (3) mainstreaming the results into institutional asset management codes. Scoping involves the definition of research aims and objectives, review of prevailing climate burdens and impacts, exploratory investigation, screening for new (planned) assets and selection of relevant infrastructure. The emphasis on screening for planned infrastructure is to facilitate the incorporation of sustainable adaptive capacities into the original design of identified systems. A conceptual framework for vulnerability assessment is presented as a robust systematic iterative model for the evaluation of selected assets using an appropriate methodology. In this study, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is applied while mainstreaming as part of the research framework is emphasised to aid commercial implementation from an expert-based perspective. The study recommends the use of other suitable methodologies and systematic approaches to test the flexibility of the framework.
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