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[News]Environmental criminal Shell suffers new setbacks over environmental disasters in Niger Delta

Real World Radio http://www.radiomundoreal.fm/Environmental-criminal
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8 August | News | Extractive
industries | Climate
Justice and Energyhttp://www.radiomundoreal.fm/Justicia-climatica-y-energia
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 Environmental criminal Shell suffers new setbacks over environmental
disasters in Niger Delta
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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has just released a report
that reveals the true extent of the environmental devastation caused by
fifty years of oil operations by British-Dutch company Shell in Ogoniland,
Nigeria.

Meanwhile, British newspaper The Guardian reports that Shell will be forced
to pay a fine for hundreds of million US dollars by taking accountability
over the massive oil spills in the Bodo area in Ogoniland. Leigh Day’s law
firm, from London, England, filed an action against Shell on behalf of the
Bodo communities.

Oil pollution is widespread in Ogoniland and most people have been exposed
to chronic pollution all their lives, says the UNEP report published on
August 4. Hydrocarbon pollution, seriously hazardous to health, has reached
groundwater at 41 sites and benzene, a known carcinogen, has been found in
drinking water at a level 900 times above World Health Organization
standards.

The report, carried out by 50 international experts, took place over a two
year period and examined more than 200 locations in Ogoniland, reviewed more
than 5,000 medical records and engaged over 23,000 people at local community
meetings.

The report confirms that Shell has not only failed to meet the environmental
guidelines and standards for petroleum industries in Nigeria (EGASPIN) but
also its own standards.

The UNEP report also finds that fisheries have been destroyed and that
wetlands around Ogoniland are highly degraded.

The United Nations agency made some monitoring and compensation
recommendations. For example, it provides the creation of an Environmental
Restoration Fund for Ogoniland with an initial amount of 1 billion dollars,
which should be paid by Shell and the Nigerian government. The cleaning up
of the region might take from 25 to 30 years.

Friends of the Earth International welcomed UNEP’s report in a press release
issued August 4, about the crisis in Ogoniland and Shell’s accountability.
The environmental federation has been reporting the environmental and social
damage in Niger Delta for years. In fact, Environmental Rights Action
(Friends of the Earth Nigeria) and Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth
Netherlands) together with local communities have sued the giant oil
corporation over its damage in the region.

Friends of the Earth International calls for Shell to be held accountable
for the findings in this report.
As the party responsible for the
devastation it also calls on the corporation to start clean up operations
immediately and halt ongoing pollution such as routine gas flares: “Shell
should also apologize and compensate victims for the suffering they have
caused.”

Meanwhile, the law suit filed in London over Shell’s damage to the Bodo
communities sets an important precedent for the people affected by the oil
corporation in several parts of the world.
Many of them are requesting
environmental remediation and economic compensation.

The Guardian reports that the Bodo communities claim the British-Dutch
company had only offered to pay less than 6,000 US dollars, tens of rice and
bean bags over the rupture of the Bodo-Bonny trans-Niger pipeline. The
spills through the broken pipeline damage 20 square kilometers of crucial
land for food and the livelihood of local residents. It is estimated that it
would take 20 years to clean up the area.

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