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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2006 / 0929

0929

media advisory
29 September 2006

Friends of the Earth International

NIGERIA: AWARD FOR COMMUNITY AFFECTED BY GAS FLARING

ABUJA, NIGERIA, September 29, 2006 – The Friends of the Earth International award [1] will be presented today to representatives of the Nigerian Iwherekan community for their victory in a court case in which they forced oil giant Shell to stop flaring gas in their community.

On April 11, 2006 a Nigerian High Court ordered Shell to provide detailed plans to stop gas flaring by May 2007, confirming a previous court order in favour of local resident Mr Jonah Gbemre and the Iwherekan community. These orders are a welcome victory for the mostly poor people affected by the wasteful and destructive practice of flaring in the oil-rich Niger delta.

The September 28-29 international conference on energy and climate change was organized in Abuja by Friends of the Earth International and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. [2]

Reverend Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, said: “We expected the judgment to be respected and that for once the oil corporations will bring their damaging and wasteful flaring activities to a halt. We are shocked that Shell is refusing to implement the order of the court and continues its harmful gas flaring.”

“Oil giant Shell was told twice now to stop gas flaring. Nevertheless, Shell plans to continue flaring until 2010. It is time that Shell starts to respect Nigerian law and stops breaching human rights in the Iwherekan community and in the rest of Nigeria,“ added Meena Raman, chair of Friends of the Earth International.

Nigeria has been the world's biggest gas flarer, and the practice has contributed more greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined, as well as poisoning localities with their toxic cocktail.

The practice costs Nigeria about US$2.5 billion annually, while about 66% of its population live on less than US$1 a day. Shell Nigeria has said that it does not plan to stop flaring before 2010.

For more information read the gas flaring report at http://www.foei.org/publications/pdfs/gasnigeria.pdf

IMAGES of gas flaring are available from http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/images/shell_nigeria_2006

for more information contact:

Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria:
Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director Tel: +234 8037274395 (Nigerian mobile) or email nnimmo@eraction.org
Chima Williams, lawyer Tel: +234 80 388 59477 or +234 80 236 49890 (Nigerian mobile)

notes to editors

[1] The Friends of the Earth International award is presented bi-annually to a group or person who has made an exceptional contribution to the environmental movement. Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) is the world's largest grassroots environmental federation with 71 national member groups in 70 countries and 1.5 million individual members and supporters. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria is a Nigerian advocacy non-governmental organisation founded in 1993 and focused on environmental and human rights issues in Nigeria.

[2] The Sept 28-29 Abuja conference on “Minimizing climate change impacts and curbing global energy chaos” is attended by around 100 international participants and addressed the following themes: Energy Crisis and Sustainable Resource Management; Affirming Energy Rights and National Sovereignty; The Unending Crisis in the Niger Delta; Trials and Tribulations of Challenging Corporate Control and Abuse of Energy Resource; Alternative Sources of Clean Energy.

 

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