84 Niger Delta · Nigeria
We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmond Tutu for more info visit http://www.100places.com - Niger Delta · Nigeria A Delicate Delta Home to 25 Million People The Niger Delta stretches for 20,000 square kilometres along Nigerias southern Atlantic Coast. The second largest delta in the world, it is home to around 25 million people, with rivers, creeks, estuaries, wetlands and thousands of villages scattered throughout the largest mangrove swamp in Africa. The deltas ecosystem has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, including numerous species of terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. It is also home to the widest range of butterfly species anywhere in the world. Not far from its main city, Port Harcourt, the delta also holds some of the worlds richest oil reserves, making Nigeria the worlds seventh largest oil producer. Extensive oil production has caused widespread pollution in parts of the delta. Most of the labourers in the oilfields are migrant workers. The local people, who come from 40 different ethnic groups, make their living from agriculture and fishing. They are some of the lowest paid people in Nigeria, most of them living below the poverty line. To add to this, rivalries between a number of warlords and different ethnic groups frequently lead to outbreaks of violence. Projected climate changes, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events, could lead to significantly increased flooding of the delta. The resulting intrusion of seawater into the sources of fresh water would threaten the whole ecosystem, destroying the mangroves and seriously affecting agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and the livelihood of the local communities. It may also have a serious impact on oil production. To compound matters, the people of the region would become increasingly vulnerable to water-borne diseases such as malaria, dysentery and cholera. By the end of this century, large parts of the delta may have been destroyed, forcing millions of people, deprived of a basic income, to abandon their homes and relocate.