Application of Georeferencing in the management of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria that bears the bulk of the nation’s oil wealth has long been faced with environmental degradation and pollution. This being the direct result of oil spillage, gas flaring and other anthropogenic impacts that have for long characterized the activities of oil industries operating in the region. These have consistently endangered plant and animal life as well as the lives of humans in the area. The wide
range of important ecosystem goods and services provided by the Niger Delta region are under serious threat due to mainly the erratic and haphazard physical developments, as well as externalities from users (e.g. agriculture, oil and gas industries) therefore recognizing the continuous degradation of the region becomes imperative, as we do not even know the extent and magnitude of environmental pollution owing to dearth of information. It is therefore necessary to archive the pollution data in a georeferenced system for ease of retrieval and access, for the purpose of environmental management. One of the key technical issues that were considered towards environmental management solution in the Earth Summit of 1992 is the use and development of geotechnology to bridge the data gap that forms the basis for environmental policy decision and implementation. Georeferencing offers opportunities in the accurate monitoring and assessment of environmental changes and effects taking place in the area. It also helps to identify the driving forces of the environmental changes. GIS mapping will assist in assessing the spatial distribution and ecological change of the environment, identifying the baseline data of the region such as vegetation types and densities; the land use types and pollution “hot spots”. The paper examined appropriately, the application of Georeferencing for environmental resource assessment, monitoring and analysis; modeling and environmental information updating essential for environmental pollution archiving in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Keywords:Environmental pollution, Georeferencing, Geo-technology, Niger Delta Region, Environmental Sustainable Management.