Sustainable development challenges of contemporary technologies : Nigeria liquefied-natural-gas project as a case study
Oluwole, Samson Abayomi
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The way people view development is changing. The world now advocates for a development that also considers future generations. There is a paradigm shift towards sustainable development - a development in today's lifestyle without destroying the resources for tomorrow generations. Sustainable development is a broad concept that addresses how human activities impact on the economic, environmental and social well-being of an ecosystem; however, practical application of the sustainability concept is complex because its objective assessment is elusive. It is often said that the effect of technology on society has never been more profound than today. As mankind develops in science and technology to improve on his well-being, certain impacts are made on the systems that support human existence. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology, like gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology, is a latest innovation conceived to 'fight' the problem of gas flaring, and help contribute to the social and economic growth of the people; but it is necessary for man to know if these contemporary technologies are sustainable. This dissertation critically appraises the impact of the LNG project on the community of Bonny Island in Nigeria from a holistic perspective. The approach to the research work is three-fold: an appropriate sustainability framework is selected based on certain criteria; sustainability indicators are developed from the chosen framework; and the sustainability indicators are used to assess the impact of the project on the flora and fauna of the community. To have a clear picture of the impact of Nigeria LNG on its host community, Epe-Waterside is chosen as a control community because of its similar socio-geographical outlook to Bonny Island community. The control community is then subjected to the same set of sustainability indicators for a comparative analysis. The outcome of the research work shows that, though the economic and social conditions of Bonny Island seem much better, its environmental status remains a challenge. In other words, it can be concluded that the present approach to the operation of the LNG technology is not sustainable.
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