Resilience of the Nigerian coastal socio-ecological system: case study of the Niger Delta region

Chinenye Joy Ijiomah


This dissertation is a study of the resilience of the Nigeria coastal socio-ecological system with focus on the Niger Delta region. Given the unpredictability of climate change, looming sea level rise, increased flooding incidences and the current gross environmental degradation resulting from oil pollution, the ability of the Niger Delta’s coastal socio-ecological system to anticipate, absorb, and recover from disturbances or shocks was investigated. The socio-ecological system framework was used to describe and analyze the Niger Delta coastal system and the social, environmental, governance and economic systems were evaluated using Bhamra (2015) resilience framework for measuring sustainable development and Nemec et al, (2013) methodology which is based on Walker and Salt (2006) resilience indicators to identify inherent vulnerabilities, gaps and resilience level. The research reveals that the Niger Delta coastal socio-ecological system has low resilience. Even though some policies that can address these gaps are in place, implementation is the problem. In concluding the research, steps taken by other countries to build resilience are examined and discussed and some recommendations are made towards building socio-ecological resilience in the coastal region.