A multi-criteria decision support framework for environmental impact and vulnerability assessments of oil activities
: a case study of the Niger Delta

  • Omoleomo Omo-Irabor

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The need for an environmental decision support framework that addresses sustainability issues has arisen, due to the long-term environmental and socioeconomic neglect of the Niger Delta region, over the last five decades. This research developed a multi-criteria decision support (MCDS) framework for this purpose, using remote sensing data, Geographic Information System (GIS), multicriteria analysis (MCA) and field survey. A modified Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Driving Forces-Pressure-State-Impact- Response (DPSIR) conceptual framework was applied in this research. A review of literature revealed the absence of a multidisciplinary approach, for prioritising areas that have been degraded by oil production and transportation activities. The report first establishes the plausible reasons contributory to the degeneration of the region to its present state, despite existing legislative and regulatory structures by successive governments. This thus established the Driving Forces and Pressures (D&P) attributed to oil exploration, production and transportation activities. The State (S) of the environment was revealed through a remote sensing methodology. Remote sensing methodology was used to examine, the spatial and temporal landscape changes in the study area. Also the major land cover classes (types) were established, for incorporation in the MCDS framework. The Impact (I) of oil activities on the ecosystem (especially pathways) was achieved through the analysis of the concentration of elements in soil and water samples collected from spill sites. The selection of vulnerable sources due to the proximity to oil facilities was achieved by means of Spatial Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE) involving the application of Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA), GIS techniques and stakeholder participation. Finally, this research approaches the Response (R) to environmental degradation through the prioritisation of contaminated areas. The involvement of multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests, coupled with the use of sustainability indicators that are intangible in monetary terms, makes the use of the developed framework a transparent and efficient tool for prioritising degraded areas.
Date of AwardDec 2008
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsPetroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)
SupervisorKehinde Oduyemi (Supervisor) & Joseph Akunna (Supervisor)

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