Map of Niger Delta MangrovesLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
This is a huge area that would have to be narrowed down if it is ever to be seriosly considered by UNESCO. It certainly has a turbulent past and present with its history of conflict and current state of insecurity - but in spite of this, the area contains some of the most spectacular and well developed mangrove forests anywhere in the world. I have travelled far and wide around the world and have never seen mangrove forests to compare in expanse and in height anywhere else. The beaches off the coast from Bayelsa and Delta States are spectacular with their white sands. I have also visited tiny coastal fishing communities in Delta State with their memories of the slave trade and graveyards behind their villages with the headstones of scores of young Europeans who died in the 1800's before the discovery of a cure for malaria. Further inland behind the impressive mangroves, there are still significant areas of swamp forest that contain many endemic and near endemics such as the Niger Delta Red Colobus, the white throated Guenon monkey, relict populations of chimpanzee and elephant and even possibly the only population of pygmy hippo outside of Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. Work is required to identify the best/most pristine parts of the vast Niger Delta and then to develop workable management plans for these discrete areas in partnership with the local communities, the government and the oil companies. Possibly only then might this very important part of Africa with its incredible human history/culture and biodiversity be protected for all of mankind.