News

  • Tuesday, 29th September 2009

    - By Stephan Faris

    It wasn't an oil spill that made Nnimmo Bassey an environmentalist. It was a massacre — the 1990 assault by Nigeria's armed forces on the village of Umuechem, where residents of the oil-rich Niger Delta had accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company of environmental degradation and economic neglect. In two days of violence, 80 people died and nearly 500 houses were destroyed. "We woke up from a sleep and ... everything was collapsing around us," says Bassey, 51, head of Environmental Rights Action, the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth. 

     Read the full article

  • Wednesday, 6th May 2009

    The 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, CSD17, opened on Monday at the UN Headquarters in New York. It is expected this time around that Africa will be in the spotlight throughout the negotiations at this policy session of CSD-17.

    This is to be expected because the continent has been set as a subtheme besides others like agriculture, rural development, land, desertification, drought, water and sanitation. When the sum of all these parts is taken together, all fingers point to Africa as a continent that has been left behind in the global scheme of things.

    Chair, Friends of the Earth International and ERA director, Nnimmo Bassey has been in attendance and there will be a side event on "Overturning False Solutions to the Food Crisis" today.

    Daily proceedings from stakeholder perspectives can be followed up at the Stakeholder Forum

  • CNN
    Saturday, 3rd January 2009
    Embedded video from <a href="http://www.cnn.com/video">CNN Video</a>
  • Saturday, 13th December 2008

    In a watershed event which, signposts a new dawn in the annals of Nigeria’s environmental evolution and the benefits of effective partnerships between civil society and the government, over 200 participants representing the academia, civil society groups, local communities, women groups, the media, government ministries and agencies, members of the national assembly, and friends from Norway and USA converged on Abuja for a two-day national consultation on the environment. The meeting was hosted by ERA in conjunction with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment.

    The theme of the consultative meeting was: The Nigerian Environment and the Rule of Law.

    In his opening remarks, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, Rev Nnimmo Bassey said the theme of the consultation was carefully chosen to push the issue of environmental rights and sustainability through the government’s avowed rule of law template.

    The Minister of Environment, in his speech stated that “if we must be taken seriously in our strives for an environmentally sustainable society we must have a comprehensive body of laws regulating the environmental sector”.

    The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in his remark stated “for this government, we believe that protecting the environment ultimately translates into good governance”, therefore “now is the time for us all to join hands in this most important assignment of our generation for the protection of our environment”.

  • Monday, 24th November 2008

    The Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Nnimmo Bassey has been elected chairperson of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), the largest grassroots environmental movement with members and associates from 77 countries of the world. Nnimmo Bassey was elected as FoEI chairperson at the Biennial General Meeting of the organisation held at Piliguin, Honduras on November 10-15, 2008.

    In a speech after the election, Bassey paid tribute to Meena Raman, immediate past chairperson of FoEI, describing her four-year term as an exemplary one which provided excellent work and leadership to all member groups of the federation. He promised prompt actions to mobilize and resist any form of environmental injustice in any part of the world, even as he maintained that corporate greed had fuelled avoidable crisis in all facet of life including the financial sector, where the current bail-outs of bankrupt companies in the global North was skewed in favour of the rich.

  • Tuesday, 1st July 2008
    By Jeff Conant

    Aside from the damage to ecosystems, drilling, spilling, and burning oil cause an array of health problems, such as asthma, cancers, skin disease, and nerve damage. This is one of the reasons why the environmental justice movement tries to clean up and shut down refineries, why we campaign to protect the Amazon and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and why OilWatch and others call for a moratorium on oil drilling and a transition to just, clean energy alternatives.

    Few resources exist to help community-based activists focus on oil’s immediate health impacts. Hesperian’s Community Guide to Environmental Health changes that. A popular education manual in the style of their widely used book, Where There Is No Doctor, the new Community Guide... provides an approach to health from the perspective of underlying social and ecological injustice.
  • Monday, 23rd June 2008

    The Guardian

    The General Manager of Nigerian Agip Oil Exploration Mr. Richard Ogunde, said on Friday in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, that Nigeria's oil reserve has only 43 years to dry up. Delivering a lecture at Tai Solarin University of Education, (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun said with reference to latest world oil data, he disclosed that the nation's reserve remained at 36.2 billion barrels. Ogunde said in the lecture, titled "Petroleum Exploration, The Economy and Science Education," that Nigeria had a yearly oil production capacity of 2.3 billion barrels. The Agip chief advised government to start looking for other oil reserves. He urged the Federal Government to seek other means of sustenance after oil might have disappeared, "especially now that we have abandoned agriculture. The geophysicist accused successive governments of conniving with the NNPC to misdirect, mismanage and mis-apply the country's oil revenue without commensurate infrastructure growth. Ogunde specifically criticised the NNPC policy of engaging in the direct sale of petroleum products by setting up retail outlets in parts of the country.

  • Monday, 28th April 2008

    Daily Independent, Thursday, April 24, 2008.


    There is a good deal of reason why we should be perturbed with the rather flippant manner in which the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Grace Ekpiwhre, is treating the issue of the introduction of Genetically Modified Crops (GM crops) into Nigeria's agrarian system.

    At a two-day round-table meeting with stakeholders on the subject recently, the Minister clearly jumped the gun in announcing that, "the meeting is intended to produce a blueprint for the introduction of Genetically Modified crops into Nigeria. It is therefore essential that you are part of this important effort of developing a road-map for the introduction of GM crops in Nigeria." The Minister, as we can see, has already come to the conclusion that GM crops are good for the country.

  • Thursday, 3rd January 2008
    The Sun Newspapers
    Thursday, January 3, 2008

    Over 1000 individuals from environmental, religious groups, local communities and academics from across the world have petitioned President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, urging him to ensure that gas flaring is brought to an end unequivocally by the first day of January, 2008.

    The petition was delivered at the weekend by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey to Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Barrister Calus Enoma for onward delivery to the president.
  • Saturday, 29th December 2007

    ThisDay Newspapers

    A World Bank research conducted about two years ago revealed that Nigeria loses about $2.5 billion annually to gas flare. Despite this huge economic loss, oil corporations operating in the country have been shifting the goal post for the deadline on gas flaring. However, environmental activists have urged the Federal Government not to extend the deadline beyond January 1, 2008. Godwin Haruna writes In Iwerekhan community in Ughelli local government council of Delta State, growing food crops remains a very difficult task for the inhabitants, who are mostly farmers. The other occupation that sustained their forebears besides farming, is fishing, but this too, is gone. With their major means of livelihood gone, the community also suffers from routine hardship brought on them by the loss of their shelter when the corrugated iron sheets mostly used on their roofs is worn out by the effects of harsh environment. The community also contends with strange ailments, which have made life rough and meaningless. According to the community leaders spoken to by THISDAY in March this year, their current problems were all brought on them by oil exploration activities with its concomitant gas flares and pollution of the land.

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