The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) proudly joins the global community in celebrating our collective efforts towards a greener, healthier planet. This year’s World Environment Day theme is “Our land. Our future: land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience’’. The theme resonates deeply with HYPREP’s mission and ongoing efforts and achievements in Ogoniland and the wider Niger Delta region. The 2024 World Environment Day provides an opportunity to reflect, design, and facilitate approaches to protect our commonwealth – land, restore degraded ones, and discourage human activities that compromise the integrity of the environment and biodiversity.

For a region whose primary livelihood depends on fertile soil and flourishing river systems, restoring degraded environments is essential for recovering and sustaining biodiversity, improving agricultural productivity, and enhancing communities’ livelihoods. Indeed, the future of the Ogonis and the wider Niger Delta largely depends on their land. HYPREP is equipped with the necessary resources and strategically positioned to lead this generation to undertake this task decisively.

Within the context of Ogoniland and the wider Niger Delta, protecting and restoring the land is multifaceted. It requires a holistic approach to address endemic and emerging cultural trends that impact our land, avoid negative behaviours that degrade the environment, facilitate access to sustainable livelihoods, and mobilize stakeholders to achieve environmental sustainability. For example, issues related to pipeline vandalism, artisanal refining, indiscriminate dumping of waste, and plastic pollution are avoidable attitudinal trends in the region. Therefore, HYPREP has been at the forefront of designing and implementing holistic initiatives to address Ogoniland’s socio-ecological challenges of hydrocarbon pollution. HYPREP is remediating oil-degraded lands and shorelines, restoring mangroves, providing potable water, strengthening the public health system, building local capacity, constructing legacy infrastructures such as the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, creating alternative livelihoods, and promoting peaceful co-existence for a sustainable future of Ogoniland. We are committed to #GenerationRestoration by mobilizing citizen actions for nature conservation, as typified by the 20 environmental clubs HYPREP has established and continues to support in secondary schools in Ogoni.

HYPREP’s approach to community engagement is inclusive, consultative, and participatory. We recognize that true restoration goes beyond environmental clean-up. HYPREP actively involves local communities in our projects, ensuring they are beneficiaries and active participants in the remediation process. HYPREP co-designs ecological restoration projects with the communities for their net benefit, which enhances capacity development, project ownership, and execution by the communities. To mainstream mangrove restoration in Nigeria, HYPREP recently unveiled three classic reports, namely:

(1) Ogoniland and the Niger Delta: Mangrove Restoration and Conservation Strategy

(2) Mangroves in the Niger Delta: Restoration Manual, and

(3) Niger Delta Mangrove Restoration: Brief Field Guide.

We urgestakeholders to take definite stands to: 

  • Prevent oil pollution occasioned by oil theft, vandalism, and artisanal refining.
  • Prioritize oil infrastructure maintenance and monitoring to protect the environment.
  • Prevent and clean up plastic pollution that defaces and impairs land and wetlands.
  • Conduct adequate sensitization and awareness creation to mainstream good environmental behaviour.
  • Develop citizens’ capacity to pursue alternative and sustainable livelihoods, which will dissuade local communities from engaging in unethical environmental acts. 

HYPREP reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the remediation and restoration of Ogoniland!

Together, we can protect and restore Ogoniland. Together, we can protect our planet.

Prof Nenibarini Zabbey

Project Coordinator, HYPREP

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