||As demand for energy continues to grow, new sources of petroleum (oil and gas) must be found and produced. Natural resource discovery in a country can be the beginning of that country’s economic growth but could also be a resource curse if best sustainable policies and practices are not implemented.|
The main objective of this research is to analyze the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration and production on the coastal zone of The Gambia and to propose mitigative measures for managing the associated environmental and socio-economic impact to avoid future consequences.
Resources if well managed could promote sustainable economic development, employment creation, and a supply for energy for The Gambia. The exploitation and exploration of natural resources are always accompanied with various challenges such as evolving environmental laws and regulations that vary among nations, socio-economic concerns, and providing adequate returns to investors. A major challenge in the petroleum industry, particularly offshore petroleum exploration and production (EP) is it negative impact on the environment, various users of the sea, marine creatures, economics and social activities,and coastal dwellers. The effect of the petroleum industry on the environment can be so disastrous to the nation, that it requires a well designed policy to be initiated in order to effectively manage, control and monitor the adverse impact of the industry on the environment.
The Gambia’s emerging petroleum industry naturally would be followed by economic and infrastructural development and environmental challenges. From the respondents point of view, environmental and socio-economic impacts are a major national concern since the country is not well experienced in managing environmental problems caused by the exploitation for petroleum. Benefits and cost related to the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economic) in Petroleum Exploration and Production are clearly spelt out in this research.
This thesis explores the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of Petroleum Exploration and Production on the coastal zone of The Gambia based on respondents point of view and literature review. The research examine the frameworks put in place by experienced nations in the petroleum industry to manage the environmental challenges they faced . It will assess the effectiveness of the structures in determining whether Gambia is prepared to manage the environmental challenges to ensure sustainable development. The findings of this research indicates that the impacts of offshore Petroleum Exploration and Production will have net positive effect and promote sustainable environmental and socio-economic development of The Gambia, coastal zone in particularly.
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