Mangrove forests within the Niger Delta region (NDR) provide vital ecosystem services (ES) including fisheries, flood control and storm protection that are critical for the sustenance of the local communities. Unsustainable human activities (e.g. over-exploitation of forest resources for fuelwood and commercial use), oil and gas exploration activities (e.g. dredging, infrastructure such as pipe and seismic lines), and urbanisation, have resulted in the degradation and loss of the mangrove forests in the NDR. In turn, this has affected the structure of this ecosystem, substantially influencing fisheries and leaving communities more vulnerable to floods and destruction by storms. Reliable information on the dynamics of mangrove degradation and loss is, therefore, needed but is currently lacking.
This PhD project, carried out by Iliya Nababa, employs Landsat data to quantify changes of mangrove in the NDR. Initial results show that large areas previously covered by mangroves have now been disturbed. Based on these results, suggestions are made for appropriate resource management, policy development and implementation for the NDR mangrove forest.