RIGHTS ACTION FRIENDS OF THE EARTH NIGERIA ERA/FoEN Dr Godwin Ojo, Political Ecologist, Executive Director
TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND CONFLICTS
>Defining > Why >Case >Emerging >Conclusions
OUTLINE >Introduction environmental environmental conflicts
conflicts persists studies Trends
1. Introduction:Defining Justice &
i. There is a casual relationship between environmental conflicts and environmental justice >EJ â€“ response to corporations violations of regulations and failure to fulfill obligations.
ii. PREMISE: Emerging insidious business risks from oil, gas and mining conflicts which seek not only to /Challenge/reduce/dismantle corporate power but to enthrone a new order of resource ownership, self determination and control of natural resources and modes production. >Backlash from decades of environmental degradation and injustices and disregard for community concerns.
2.Why Environmental injustices and conflicts persists? i. Growing energy demands leading to increasing violent conflicts, human rights violations and poverty at the sites of extraction. ii. Expansion to new energy frontiers such as shale gas and fracking, tar sands, biofuels and other unconventional oil are leading to land grabbing, energy grabbing. iii. Differing Notions of Energy Security. While in the global north energy security might mean militarization of pipelines and drilling of oil behind military shields, the regions where these resources are exploited lack access to energy leading to insecurity, violence, kidnapping for ransom and sabotage of facilities.
2.Why environmental injustices and conflicts persists..ctd iv. Impunity of the oil companies and fragile states. >Early in 2013, Ghanaâ€™s recent mining law passed by the law makers which will allow the national government to increase revenue from taxes from the companies was put on hold from implementation indefinitely.
2. ii. Impunity and fragile states ii. In Nigeria, the slogan by CSOs is Publish What You Pump (Lack of transparency and accountability). >the shame of a nation the volume of oil being produced these past 50 years unknown. >Export Terminal Records 2.4mbpd. >What about the 10,000 oil spills sites which equals one Valdez oil spill (500,000) every year? Oil theft nearing about 500,000 barrels per day? Who is afraid of real time digital metering?
2. Why environmental injustices and conflicts perists... iii. Violence as the monopoly of the companies and the state? >Communities ask: Have You killed and also Taken Possession?
>From the Chevron-Texacco case in Ecuador to the Marikana massacre in South Africa, Africa Barrick Gold Mine communities in Tanzania (2000 people armed with machetes, stones and harmers to seize its gold, and the oil-insurgency in Nigeriaâ€™s Niger Delta (reduced production by 2/3rd) the stories are similar. >one of skewed relations of power and leading to environmental degradation, dispossession and impoverishment of these communities endowed with rich natural resources.
Demonstrators at Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
3.ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ACROSS FRONTIERS i. EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF JURISDICTION: Court Cases Across Territorial Boundaries >Notwithstanding the Kiobel vs Shell case in the US, there is a growing acceptance of seeking environmental justice in the courts in the UK and other European countries. While hundreds of court Over 500 court cases currently on-going against oil companies in Nigeria, and there several others on-going outside the country. >The Bodo community (15,000 victims) against Shell, London; >The five fishermen versus Shell holding in the Hague.
>These cases marks a watershed for floodgates of court cases within and outside Nigeria
4.ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE KEY DEMANDS (LARGELY IGNORED) 4.1. Environmental clean up of sites of pollution (often neglected/ignored) 4.2. Compensation to victims for social and ecological dislocation, eviction, and destruction of livelihood sources, biodiversity and habitat loses top the priority area of demand.
4.Environmental Justice Key Demands
4.3. Remediation/restoring the environment to its natural nature. This is hardly a priority in community demands and court judgments.
4. Environmental Justice Key Demands > 4.4. Preventive measures against future reoccurrence.
4.5. criminal proceedings against CEOs for crimes against humanity or ecocide at the ICJ or establishing such court system exclusively for environmental justice cases similar to the ICJ. Backlash: Corporations drag on cases to last
beyond a lifetime.
5.EMERGING ISSUES: corporate nemesis? I. From resentment to CREED, community self determination, ownership and production. -20% of Shell oil production in Nigeria locked up by community action against Shellâ€™s failure to address human rights and environmental problems since two decades.
Local artisanal refineries has captured about 20% of the refined products and sales. -Corporate nemesis leading to increasing stakes towards: nationalism and indigenization policies.
5.Environmental Justice Now II. Accounting for the externalities in production process will lead to a much more viable option. •UNEP Report 2011 recommends initial$1,012,448,640 for clean up and restoration fund for Ogoni devastation by Shell. •ERA recommends US$100 billion remediation for ND •Shell’s case in the Netherlands/UK - huge liabilities including US$5 billion administrative fines on its Bonga spill offshore in 2012. Other court cases locally are recording greater victories. •Oil and gas business are unviable: leave the oil in the soil, coal in the hole, and tar sands in the sand.
7. Conclusion: PURGING CORPORATIONS FROM CORPORATE NEMESIS and excess power? The risks to business is rising by the day and will continue with greater intensity and backlash from decades of injustices unless action is taken to compel companies to respect environmental justice, paying up the true costs of production, put people first before profits. By mapping sources of conflict hotpots and their causes EJOLT encouraging deeper understanding of such conflicts and resolution by championing the quest for environmental justice across the globe. This initiative embraces joint activists and academicians actions in ways that complement each other and promote learning.
Published on Apr 10, 2014
Presentation given by Godwin Ojo from Friends of the Earth Nigeria during the launch of Environmental Justice Atlas held on 19 March 2014 in...