Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Nigeria

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Nnimmo Bassey: Friend of the Earth, Peaceful Revolutionary

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One of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment 2009, Nnimmo Bassey is a modern day revolutionary, who speaks of the resistance and the defence of human rights in the same breath. The intersection between human rights and environmental rights is fundamental for him and, in this exclusive interview, the Friends of the Earth chair talks about the situation in the Niger Delta.

Go to the full interview


Copenhagen not a fair deal, Gas flaring must end

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Communiqué Issued at the end of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Retreat of Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) at its Annual General Meeting and Retreat held in Oghara, Delta State from February 8 to 12 , evaluated current events in the country and globally as they relate to environmental justice and climate change.

The meeting attended by ERA/FoEN Board, Management, Staff, community campaigners on the platform of Host Communities Network (HoCoN), students and volunteers, expressed dissatisfaction over the state of the Nigerian environment.


Two Nigerians sue Shell at The Hague

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December 3, 2009 01:59AMT
By Elor Nkereuwem  
For the first time, a court in The Hague, The Netherlands, will today begin a sitting to determine the liability of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS), the parent
company of the Nigerian multinational oil company Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), for oil spills in Nigeria.
Two Nigerians, Fidelis Oguru and Alali Efanga, who claim that their sources of livelihood had been destroyed as a result of oil spills from SPDC's facilities, have
dragged the parent company of SPDC, RDS, to the courts in The Netherlands. The men, in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie), an
environment organisation which campaigns against environmental damage, have brought the legal proceedings against SPDC and RDS alleging that "as the result of SPDC's
negligence, agricultural lands have been devastated, drinking water polluted, fish ponds made unusable and the environment and health of local people harmed."
According to the group, the oil spill took place on June 26, 2005 from a high pressure pipe-line, a facility owned by SPDC in Oruma, Bayelsa State. The group also
said that the spill happened in the rainy season which aided the spread of the oil further into the forest and the creeks up to the community's drinking water supply. 


Nigerian farmers versus Shell Trial begins

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A unique court case, brought by four Nigerian victims from Goi-Ogoni, Rivers State, Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom State and Oruma, Rivers State of Shell oil leaks, in conjunction with Milieudefensie [Friends of the Earth Netherlands], begins on Thursday in the court at The Hague. This is the first time in history that a Dutch company has been brought to trial before a Dutch court for damages occurring abroad.

The Nigerian farmers and fishers, who lost their livelihoods after oil from leaking Shell pipelines streamed over their fields and fishing ponds, are claiming compensation from the Dutch multinational. They also want Shell to clean up the oil which remains in the ground, so that they can fish and farm once again.

Nnimmo is one of Time's Heroes of the Environment

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Nnimmo Bassey - 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. 

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CSD17 Opens

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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



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Embedded video from <a href="http://www.cnn.com/video">CNN Video</a>

ERA hosts National Environmental Consultation

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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”.


Nnimmo Bassey elected chair of Friends of the Earth International

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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.

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Green Hotlines

Green Hotlines
Is there a spill, pipeline rupture, fire, gas flare, water, land or air pollution in your community or one you know about? Do you need assistance to respond, and prevent future occurrences or have you noticed any activity that threatens the environment?

In the event of any ecological disaster or threat to the environment, call our toll-free GREEN LINES:  08031230088 & 08031230089

Papers and Presentations

Leave Oil in the Soil


ERA recently presented a proposal to the Federal Government of Nigeria on how to build a Post Petroleum Nigeria. The event took place at the National Environmental Consultation held in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Click on the photo to read or download a copy of the proposal.

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COP15/Kilmaforum Videos