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Improving Lives                                       Research * Training * Advocacy


NIDEREF is a member of National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND)

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This programme focuses on sustainable development which addresses the web of relationships between environmental protection, sustainable management of natural resources, and livelihood. In the Niger Delta context, the programme connects the extractive industry, specifically oil and gas, and the strong relationship between resource competition and conflict. The governance structure within which these interconnected issues are mediated is the basis of the programme.


The popular perception of the conflicts; environmental, resource and livelihood crisis in the Niger Delta seems to entirely focus on the international oil companies (IOCs) and the oil industry. While the conspicuous role of the IOCs in these issues is universally known, the contribution of the unsustainable survival strategies of the local population in aggravating the environmental crisis and resource conflict is hardly taken into account.  The depletion of the forest and mangrove vegetation for firewood and logging and farming, the use of chemicals and explosives in fishing, harmful agricultural techniques such as the use of unsafe chemical fertilizers and slash-and-burn methods which affect soil quality, are issues that raise sustainability question. These practices have combined with oil exploration to create a vicious circle of poverty by destroying livelihoods. In classic cases of resource conflict, Communities go to war over land matters and control and methods of exploitation of common marine resources.
 When the environment is destroyed and natural resources depleted in an indigenous economy that is nature-based, poverty underlined by loss of livelihood is the immediate outcome. Yet the local communities are hardly integrated into the benefit structure of the oil economy in order to improve living conditions. It is the aim of NIDEREF to reverse this trend through effective environmental and resource governance. The strategy is to empower the local communities to establish ownership of that governance process in order to sustain it. The tools for achieving these are advocacy, research and training.

tIssues currently being addressed under this programme include: 

●Illegal oil bunkering and artisanal refining
●Resource conflict 
●Oil industry and sustainable community development
● Environmental and social impact assessment
● Sustainable fishing and agricultural practices
Some Recent Projects
Advocacy and Training 
This project explored how women and youths could be effective instruments for promoting conflict prevention, environmental protection and sustainable natural resources exploitation, through inter-ethnic dialogue and collaboration. It was also about protecting women against violence, and about ethnic identity and empowerment. The target areas were the neighbouring ethnic communities of Ogoni and Andoni in the eastern Niger Delta. The two communities have historically been engaged in recurring and devastating conflicts over the control of natural resources and over issues related to environmental degradation, including oil spill and the use of destructive fishing techniques in their common waters. Ogoni and Andoni women and youths and older people were brought together in a series of activities focusing on conflict prevention, peace building and sustainable exploitation of the common natural resources of the two communities and the protection of oil pipelines in order to safeguard the environment. A Joint Conflict Resolution Committee was set up to drive the resource management and sustainable peace building process.
This project was about reclaiming communities that have been adversely affected by illegal oil bunkering and artisanal refining and other negative environmental activities in the Niger Delta. It explored how neighbouring ethnic communities which had often been in a state of conflict with each other over the control of their common resources could be mobilized to contribute to the revival of their communities while ensuring conflict prevention through joint environmental and natural resources management. This includes checking illegal bunkering and refining, preventing further destruction of the ecosystem, checking the destruction of fishery and marine life through the use of chemicals and explosives and generally undertaking conservation    measures. A major objective was to establish how environmental governance and natural resources management could mitigate poverty and promote livelihoods in these affected communities.  The geographical focus of the project was the four neighbouring local government areas (LGAs) of Khana, Gokana, Andoni, and Ogu-Bolo, which are occupied by different ethnic communities.
Rehabilitation of Female Victims of Trafficking in the Niger Delta through Counseling and Vocational Training
Female trafficking through prostitution, domestic and child labour are common in the Niger Delta. This is part of the problems created by the oil industry which is concentrated in the Niger Delta. Poverty is at the root of the problem. This project rehabilitates and reintegrates victims through psychological counseling and vocational training to make them live a normal life as productive members of their communities.
Social context of Illegal Oil Bunkering and Artisanal Refining in the Niger Delta
Crude oil theft (illegal bunkering in Nigerian parlance) and artisanal refining constitute a major challenge to the oil industry and the national economy in Nigeria. Nigeria loses to oil theft about 6 billion dollars per annum. Bunkering and refining have conspicuous environmental impact. Large quantities of crude oil are released into the environment when pipelines are broken to steal oil. Huge amounts of wastes from the artisanal refining process are also discharged into the environment. These spills and wastes compound the existing environmental devastation caused by multinational oil companies. The local fishing economy has collapsed while agricultural yields have declined significantly. Illegal bunkering and refining are engendering social dislocation in the communities. These economic, environmental and social issues connected to oil theft and illegal refining constitute the focus of this study whose specific objectives are:
1. To determine the social, economic, political and livelihood context of crude oil theft and illegal refining in the Niger Delta.
2. Based on the above analysis, proffer solutions which might lead to the mitigation of the problem.
Oil, Reinvented Ethnicity and Conflict in Nigeria: A study of Social Movements and Social Forces in the Niger Delta
From the early 1990s to the Amnesty programme in 2010 the Niger Delta was characterized by deadly conflicts underlined by ethnic assertiveness, resource competition and struggle for access to the benefits of the oil economy. This study investigated and analysed the conflicts and social movements and other forces that were central to the conflict dynamics of the region. In a sense it was a study of the changing political sociology of the Niger Delta.


Mission Statement
To mitigate poverty and conflict in the Niger Delta through good governance and the sustainable management of the region's environment and natural resources.

Office: No 6 Rumuchakara Close, Choba, Port Harcourt

Email : info@nideref.org

Telephone: 08112096344

Vision Statement
 A Niger Delta that enjoys prosperity through good governance,
sustainable management and equitable distribution of the proceeds of the
region’s environment and natural resources.

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