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Allocation and sustainable management of non-living and living resources in the Gulf of Guinea

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2019
Number of pages296
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish


The Gulf of Guinea, lying off the western coast of central Africa, stretching from Cape Palmas in Liberia to the Gabon estuary, abounds with a variety of natural resources including hydrocarbons and multispecies fishery stocks. Exploiting these resources for their maximum benefit, however, is proving challenging for the States in the region. This is due to many factors, prominent among which are the many maritime boundary disputes among the states in the area. Despite this challenge, exploitation of oil and gas is actively on-going as multinational oil companies are directing attention to the region. This has increased the risks associated with on-going pollution of the marine environmental from exploitation, in the absence of a robust regulatory framework in the region. Another major problem is the management of the living marine resources and the conservation of the marine ecosystem, which are on the verge of collapse. This is due to lack of effective regulatory frameworks and weak monitoring and enforcement of existing regulation. No one state in the region is competent to deal with these problems alone. The solution promoted by international law in this regard, is regional cooperation. Nevertheless, cooperation among the states of the Gulf of Guinea for the exploitation of the resources and the protection of the marine environment is weak. This study focuses on how to ensure effective and sustainable management of the non-living and living resources in the Gulf of Guinea. Within this framework, the study highlights maritime boundary delimitation in the Gulf of Guinea, as an important prerequisite for resource allocation, exploitation, and management. The study explores how international law promotes the concept of regionalism in the allocation and sustainable exploitation of non-living and living resources of the oceans. The Gulf of Guinea, as a case study, therefore provides a practical demonstration of how states can cooperate, within the framework of international law and regionalism, to effectively allocate and sustainably manage the non-living and the living marine resources under their jurisdiction. It further demonstrates the importance of cooperation in the protection of the marine environment from pollution and its preservation for future generations.