The Niger Delta is well known globally for its vast oil and gas reserves which account for over 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and over 80% of the national budget.  In addition to the huge oil and gas reserves, the Niger Delta is also endowed with rich agricultural land, biodiversity, extensive forest and aquatic resources which constitute the traditional sources of livelihood for the indigenous communities. Despite the enormous resource base of the Niger Delta, the region remains largely undeveloped and the tremendous potentials for economic growth and sustainable development have not been realized. The over-emphasis on the exploitation of the oil and gas reserves and the neglect and/or poor utilization of the other natural resources have resulted in the current predominantly oil dependent economy. The situation is further aggravated by escalating youth unemployment, poverty and environmental degradation/pollution. A new natural resources management paradigm and development agenda for the region is therefore imperative. This is what the Institute of Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development (INRES), University of Port Harcourt is set out to promote.



Optimizing the sustainable utilization of all the natural resources of the Niger Delta will transform the region from a predominantly oil and gas dependent economy to a more diversified one through rapid industrialization and improved productive capacity of the land, forest and aquatic resources. This would create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and reduce poverty. This is the reason why we have chosen “Optimizing the Utilization of the Natural Resources of the Niger Delta” as the theme for the 2nd Niger Delta Conference of the Institute of Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development scheduled to hold from 18th – 19th November 2013 at the University of Port Harcourt. There are four sub-themes, namely;

1.      Forest Resources

2.      Fisheries

3.      Water Resources, Flooding and Pollution

4.      Development policies and human resources skills

In addition to the presentation of scientific/technical papers on the four sub-themes, there will be two Panel Discussions by various renowned experts.

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