Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria is a Nigerian advocacy group dedicated to the defence of the Human ecosystem in terms of human rights.
ERA/FoEN is the Nigerian chapter of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). ERA is also the coordinating NGO for the Oilwatch International as well as the host of the secretariat of the Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative (ATCRI).ERA is also the coordinating NGO for the Nigerian Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA).
The organization's committed struggles for environmental human rights has won it recognition through awards such as Sophie Prize (1998) for excellence and courage in the struggle for environmental Justice and the Bloomberg Award for Tobacco control activism (2009)
The organization is dedicated to the defense of human ecosystem in terms of human rights and to the promotion of environmentally responsible governmental, commercial, community and individual practice in Nigeria through the empowerment of local people. It describes itself as having two purposes:
- To act as a peaceful pressure group campaigning for change in the policies of governmental, non-governmental and commercial organization where those policies are likely to act against environmental human rights and
- To enable local people defend their environmental human rights in Law
The organisation is dedicated to the defence of human ecosystems in terms of human rights, and to the promotion of environmentally responsible governmental, commercial, community and individual practice in Nigeria through the empowerment of local people. It describes itself as having two purposes:
• to act as a peaceful pressure group, campaigning for change in the policies of governmental, non-governmental and commercial organisations where those policies are likely to act against environmental human rights; and
• to enable local people to defend their environmental human rights in law.
ERA is bound together and guided by a philosophy which avoids moral ambiguity when approaching problems of human ecology. This philosophy is not a dogma, but a guide based upon the following beliefs described below
ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
Article 24 of the African charter of Human and Peoples' Right states that:
"All people shall have a right to (a) generally satisfactory environment favorable to their development."
ERA believes that a respect for all forms of life is an essential foundation to human happiness. In other words, a genuine concern for human kind and our habitat depends upon a respect for other animals and their habitats, and upon recognition of the importance of diversity. Human kind cannot achieve happiness in a degraded environment; living in harmony with other forms of life (as in some traditional relationships between people and their environment) is in itself a human rights. Furthermore, every individual and responsible human being has an equal right to happiness, regardless of his or her wealth.
ALL ECOSYSTEMS ARE NOW HUMAN ECOSYSTEMS
This concept is central to the ERA philosophy. Because of humankind's growing dominance of the Biosphere, all ecosystems are now ultimately human ecosystems as seen, in ignorance, as something separated from humankind.
PRIMACY OF LOCAL INTEREST
People living in a locality have an investment in it's long term future. Outsiders, whether in government or non-government agencies, are more likely to be interested in short and medium term considerations. Outside interest may have rights that must be taken into considerations. However, local interests are more likely than any other to be concerned about genuine conservation and must take priority when decisions are being made.
ERA is open to membership from all parts of Nigeria. Membership is independent of the centre but cannot be independent of the philosophy. Membership is built around projects and communities. We work with volunteers.