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Oct 30, 2012

Voting now open for the 2012 Prix Pinocchio

by Denis Burke — last modified Oct 30, 2012 04:37 PM

The Pinocchio Sustainable Development Awards (PSDA), organised by Friends of the Earth (Les Amis de la Terre) - France, are intended to illustrate and denounce the negative impacts of some French companies that behave in total contradiction with the concepts of sustainable development that they boast of extensively.

PinnochioAll these commitments are legally non-binding and they are hence inefficient: while companies enjoy benefits in terms of the image they project to their shareholders, customers and citizens, they only engage in some general overall principles which are not very operational, and they are not accountable for their actions in case of non-compliance to this voluntary adherence. Although supported at the highest level by public governments that often favour the competitiveness of multinational corporations to Human Rights and environmental protection, these types of voluntary adherence have now largely proven ineffective.


Multinationals companies are taking advantage of legislative loopholes to conduct their activities to the detriment of respect of social, societal and environmental rights in the countries of the South.


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Oct 16, 2012

World Food Day

by Denis Burke — last modified Oct 16, 2012 11:55 AM

World Food Day -- a day to remember that nearly a billion people in the world are hungry despite the fact that there is enough food to go around. Food has been turned into a mere commodity to be exported, traded and speculated upon, rather than a basic human right.

The Traders

At this very moment we are supporting communities in Uganda and Argentina who are struggling to stop companies from taking their lands in order to reap heavy profits instead of healthy harvests. Fertile farmland and lush forests are being converted into soy and palm oil monoculture plantations. Crops are being grown and flown across the globe to feed cars and animals, rather than to feed local communities.

Make a gift to Friends of the Earth International today and help support our campaign to help communities in Uganda, Argentina and around the world keep control of their land.

Also on World Food Day, Friends of the Earth International released our latest Food Sovereignty Report. This year we take aim at the industry-supported myth of “sustainable intensification,” another name for the environmentally destructive corporate concentration of food production.
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Read the Report >

Learn more about our food sovereignty work >


Oct 11, 2012

Four Nigerian Plaintiffs take Shell to Court in The Netherlands

by Denis Burke — last modified Oct 11, 2012 05:50 PM

Plaintiffs from devastated communities in Nigeria tell their stories in their own words.

For the first time in history, a European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shall, has been brought to court in The Netherlands for damages it caused abroad. The plaintiffs are four Nigerians whose livelihoods and communities have been massively impacted by Shell's operations.



Plaintiff Alali Efanga takes Shell to court for pollution in Nigeria


The court case against Shell's oil spills in the Niger delta has been filed by the four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.


Plaintiff Chief Erich Dooh


The plaintiffs are demanding that Shell cleans up oil pollution in their villages and compensates them for damages they incurred. In this interview, Alali Efanga from the village of Oruma describes how he and his community have been affected by the oil spills.


Lawyers for both parties pleaded at a key hearing in The Hague on October 11, with a verdict expected on January 30, 2013.


Oct 09, 2012

Solidarity Statement concerning the masacre of the people of Totonicapán.

by Denis Burke — last modified Oct 09, 2012 06:07 PM

Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest environmental federation, firmly condemns the violent and repressive actions of the government of Guatemala against the Totonicapán Mayan K`iche people.

On 4 October 2012, these actions resulted in a massacare that caused the death of eigth indigenous people and dozens of injuries during a peaceful demonstration organised by 48 Cantones de Totonicapán, the ancient Maya people's organisation.



We are deeply concerned about Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina's repressive security policy. President Otto Perez Molina is a retired Army General and a graduate of Escuela de las Américas, who condones the militarization of indigenous territories and insists on constitutional reform to guarantee the involvement of the army in public safety.


Likewise, we condemn the strategy of repressing and criminalising social protests in Guatemala. The massacre in Totonicapán follows a crackdown in Santa Cruz Barillas' – where a community leader was killed and ten people were detained on political grounds – in early May this year and the subsequent state of emergency in the municipality.

This “security” policy goes hand-in-hand with unsustainable large scale development projects, involving indigenous territories without the consent of the people affected. This issue was
also one of the demands of the thousands of indigenous people who joined the demonstration on 4 October.

We sympathise with the families of the victims and join the call of our sister organisations to speak out against the violations of indigenous peoples' human rights in Guatemala. We call on the international community to stay vigilant and to express solidarity with the people of Guatemala.

We demand that the government of Guatemala will acknowledge its responsibility, and reconsider its policies to ensure respect to the freedom of expression, security, life, freedom of thought, and human rights of the Mayan communities.

In solidarity,


Nnimmo Bassey


Friends of the Earth International


For more information


Please use this declaration of solidarity as a model to express your concerns to the Guatemalan authorities:


Presidente de la República de Guatemala Sr. Otto Pérez Molina

Secretaria Privada de la Presidencia

6ta Avenida 4-46 de la Zona 1, Guatemala, Guatemala.

Teléfono: (502) 2230-1650.


Secretaria de Comunicación Social de la Presidencia

Palacio Nacional Guatemala, Guatemala 01001 Guatemala

Tel: (502) 2251-4016 / (502) 2339-2502.


Ministerio Público

Fiscal General del Ministerio Publico Dra. Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey.

Dirección: 15 Av. 15-16 Zona 1, 2º. Nivel, Ciudad de Guatemala.

Teléfonos: (502) 2411-9262 / (502) 2411-9174


Ministerio de Gobernación

Mauricio López Bonilla, ministro de Gobernación.

Dirección: 6ª. Av. 13-71 zona 1 Guatemala.

Teléfono: (502) 2413-8888.


Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos PDH

Jorge De León Duque, Procurador.

Dirección: 12 ave. 12-72 Zona 1, Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala.

Teléfono: 24241717, Call Center: 1555


Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas para Guatemala

Alberto Brunori, representante de la OACNUDH

Dirección: 5a Av. 5-55 Zona 14 Edif Europlaza, Torre III, Nivel 14, Ciudad de Guatemala, 01014, PBX: (502)

2382-3400, Fax: (502) 2382-3410