LONDON, UK, 18 October 2006 — Communities living next door to the oil giant Shell are in London this week to expose the oil giant’s hypocrisy in sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition – to be announced on Wednesday 18 October.
Friends of the Earth International
Wednesday 18 October 2006
Shell is the new sponsor of this year’s prestigious wildlife prize, which is jointly organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, contributing 750,000 GBP or 1,117,000 Euros .
But Shell’s neighbours have branded the oil giant a “wildlife destroyer” and say that Shell is trying to hide the damage it does to wildlife and the environment behind the prestigious wildlife prize .
They are calling on the Natural History Museum to end the relationship with Shell, which they believe jeopardises the museum’s reputation and credibility. The museum is entering into the sponsorship despite carrying out an ethical review of Shell which identified problems with the company .
Paul De Clerck, Friends of the Earth International Corporates Campaigner said: “Shell’s sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award completely undermines its value. Shell’s is causing massive damage to wildlife and the environment, and no amount of sponsoring of green prizes will change that.”
Friends of the Earth’s Corporates Campaigner Hannah Griffiths added: “The Natural History Museum should not accept sponsorship from such a destructive company.”
The visitors, who will be speaking at public meetings in London, Birmingham and Manchester as well as visiting the Houses of Parliament , are in the UK to draw attention to the real impacts Shell has on wildlife, the environment and people around the world.
One of the speakers will be Terry Clancy from the Shell to Sea campaign in County Mayo, Ireland, where Shell plans to build an on-shore pipeline and gas terminal. The development threatens the unique habitat offered by Broadhaven Bay – an internationally important nature reserve – and will destroy peatlands and damage coastal grasslands .
The speakers will also highlight the damaging impacts on wildlife on the Russian island of Sakhalin, where Shell’s new platform and pipeline threaten the survival of the already critically endangered Western Pacific Grey Whale.
Friends of the Earth has also seen details of a report which states that Shell has destroyed several hundred Sakhalin or Glehn spruce – listed on the IUCN threatened species list. Part of a protected area over a kilometre long has been clear cut by Shell to make way for the pipeline .
Friends of the Earth, which is hosting the tour, has launched an online image gallery showing the damage caused by Shell .
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Friends of the Earth International Corporates Campaigner Paul De Clerck. Tel: +32-2-542 61 07 (Belgian number)
Friends of the Earth’s Corporates Campaigner Hannah Griffiths. Tel: +44-7855 841994
Friends of the Earth Press Office in London, UK. Tel: +44-20-7566 1649
NOTES TO EDITORS:
 See www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/exhib-index.html
 Shell is contributing £750,000 over two years for the two year deal it has signed with the Natural History Museum
 A briefing on Shell’s impacts on wildlife is available from Friends of the Earth www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/shell_wildlife_destroyer.pdf
 A copy of the ethical review is available for Friends of the Earth
 The Shell Neighbours will be speaking in London on Monday 16 October at 7pm at the London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES; on Tuesday 17 October at 6:30pm at Imperial College, Lecture Theatre 208, Skempton Building, Imperial College Road, London SW7; in Birmingham on Thursday 19 October; 7:30pm at the Warehouse Café, Birmingham Friends of the Earth, 54-57 Allison Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5TH; and in Manchester on Friday 20 October 7pm – Friends Meeting House.
 See http://www.corribsos.com/
 A translated copy is available from Friends of the Earth
 See http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/corporates/news/shell_wildlife_gallery.html and http://www.shelloiledwildlife.org.uk