Vol. 1 Issue 3, pp: (43-55), July 2016.
Article Number: PRJA15670421
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1Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa, Nigeria.
2Department of Zoology and Wildlife Conservation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Coastal areas, a transition between land and sea, are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. The Niger Delta coastal area is rich in biodiversity and resources which supports over 30 million people living in the region. More importantly, the economy of the country largely depends on oil and gas exploration from the region. However, over the last decades, inadequate management have caused severe environmental degradation, loss of aquatic biodiversity, habitat destruction, shoreline and coastal pollution within the region. In addition, with current projection of global climate change and sea level rise, the Niger Delta region is extremely under threat. In this paper, we review existing studies, highlights major threats affecting the Niger Delta, and propose a broader scientific approach through Integrated Coastal Zone Management for the long-term management and conservation of the Niger Delta. This process involves engaging with a wide range of stakeholders: governments, academicians, conservationists and policy- makers, non-governmental organizations, private investors and local communities in coastal management. The paper concludes that proper planning, integration and implementation of this process will serve to improve the overall situation of the Niger Delta communities, environment and biodiversity. Conservation of this ecosystem is in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity to which Nigeria is a signatory.Key words: Coastal area, Conservation, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), Niger Delta, Stakeholders, Threats to biodiversity.