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INTERNACIONAL - INFORME DEL PNUMA - Shell es culpable de crimenes de lesa humanidad, dice Oilwatch Internacional (en Inglés) Imprimir E-mail
Petróleo en Latinoamerica - Región Sudamericana
Martes, 09 de Agosto de 2011 13:39
Press Release 6 August 2011.
(Lagos, Quito) UNEP Report: Shell guilty of crime against humanity, says Oilwatch International

Oilwatch International has welcomed the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland carried out by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), noting however, that the severity of the pollution of Ogoniland can only be described as a 'crime against humanity' for which Shell must be adequately made to account.

 

In a statement issued yesterday, Oilwatch International said that the widespread pollution documented in the report does not come as a surprise as it confirmed 'the putrid conditions' the people have been living in for decades.

The UNEP assessment presented to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday documented hydrocarbon pollution in surface water throughout the creeks of Ogoniland and up to 8cm on groundwater that supply drinking wells at 41 sites including a serious case in Nisisioken Ogale in Eleme, Rivers State. Sampled soil also revealed hydrocarbons up to a depth of five metres in 49 observed sites, while, benzene, a known carcinogenic substance was found in drinking water at a level 900 times above World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable standards. Fisheries were observed to have been destroyed while wetlands around Ogoniland were documented as highly degraded, thus impacting livelihoods.

The ecological damage will take 30 years to remediate. The assessment also indicated that Shell has not met the minimum requirements of the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industries in Nigeria (EGASPIN) as well as its own minimum standards.

"The outcome of the assessment vindicates our past charges that Shell has been operating on the basis of double standards and far below internationally accepted standards. It is sad that while Shell had always been quick to deny engaging in acts inimical to the environment in Ogoniland, it will take up to 30 years to clean up the mess it has created, especially on the mangroves of the region. The entire saga smacks of a situation of complete livelihoods decimation of the Ogoni people," said Coordinator of Oilwatch International, Nnimmo Bassey.

Bassey explained that UNEP's recommendation that an Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland be set up with a take off sum of $1 billion is commendable but went on to add that: "We need a larger fund for the entire Niger Delta and a halt to the pursuit of tokenism where post card projects are embarked upon while the people live in the midst of poisons. The massive degradation which the UNEP report documents again reinforces our conviction that fossil fuels extraction largely benefits oil companies while the true cost of oil is externalised on poor communities that suffer loss of land, polluted waters, dislocation of livelihoods, health impacts and other fallouts of their voracious appetite."

Bassey explained that: "With the catalogue of damage done and still being done to the Ogoni environment it will be absolutely outrageous for anyone to dare suggest that oil extraction should be resumed in Ogoniland. Ogoni oil should be left in the soil. Shell should instead prepare a transparent decommissioning plan and embark on it immediately."

Esperanza Martinez, member Oilwatch International steering committee, noted that the report was horrific and insisted that Shell must apologise to the Ogoni people, take full responsibility for the clean up and compensate the people adequately. She also added, "the Nigerian government should take a cue from the Yasuni where the government of Ecuador plans not to extract the huge oil reserves there in order to save the environment and the planet. The Ogoni saga shows very forcefully that crude oil in Ogoniland should be left in the soil. Shell cannot deny the harm it has done in Ogoni. Alart from the spills there are toxic wastes from drilling that they dumped in unlined pits in Ogoni land. This is an ecological crime and Shell must answer for it."

For more information:
Nnimmo Bassey, Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spam bots. Necesita activar JavaScript para visualizarla . Tel: +234 803 727 4395
Esperanza Martinez, Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spam bots. Necesita activar JavaScript para visualizarla . Tel:+593 99825637