Health of Mother Earth Foundation held a Forest Town Hall Meeting on Monday – June 5, 2017 in commemoration of World Environment Day, at Apo Apartments in Abuja. The meeting was attended by 150 people including representatives from forest communities, CSOs, government and the media. At the meeting, it was resolved that we must continue to demand for justice for our environment and communities.
Progress has been measured by how much humans are able to transform Nature and increasingly this has been seen to be directly related to how exploitative of Nature and how polluting a nation or corporate entity can be. Clearly, the environmental crises confronting the world is inseparable from the economic crisis.
Women play critical roles in peace and conflict resolution at local, national and international levels. At the same time, women have been the unfortunate victims of crises arising from political and environmental wars. Collaborating with the Centre for Conflict and Gender Studies, University of Port Harcourt, we marked 2017 International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament with a background interrogation of the how the concept of Re-Source Democracy could be used in conflict resolution and especially in urging elimination of the abuse of nature’s gifts to humankind. The day was also used to recognise some women who have been outstanding amazons in conflict resolution.
The need for public consultation and participation in the approval processes of applications that directly affect the people’s health and well-being cannot be over stressed. Many issues surround the matter of our food and agricultural modern biotechnology that require clarifications and in-depth interrogations. These include legal frameworks that can impeded the achievement of the right to safe and nutritious food.
Should science not be to the advantage of society? Does science always serve the public interest? These were among the questions posed at the media training on Biosafety organised by HOMEF in Abuja recently. The answers to these questions may be obvious, but the training session went ahead to address the contentious question on whether science was being used in the public’s interest in matters of food safety in Nigeria.
For two days, HOMEF and allies engaged the media and with lawyers in Abuja, Nigeria, on issues of biosafety and genetic engineering. Many questions were raised and strategies to push for safe and wholesome foods were drawn up. We share here the welcome words by the Director of HOMEF. He argued that this matter has intergenerational implications and that lapses have consequences for Nigerians yet unborn. He noted that laws are not cast in concrete and that the right to safe and nutritious food is a universal right. Genetic engineering in agriculture challenges that right by the creation of novel organisms, dependence on toxic chemicals and abridgement of the rights of farmers to preserve and share seeds and to stay free from contamination.
Monsanto Tribunal has released its findings. They show starkly that Monsanto’s activities undermine basic human rights and that victims of multinational corporations need better protective regulations. The Tribunal also holds that international courts should recognize ecocide as a crime. Read the full press release from Seed Freedom.
The shocking news that all previous claims by Shell that they did nothing wrong with the highly contentious OPL 245 oil bloc deals were false hit Nigerians yesterday. Global Witness noted that in a statement to the New York Times, Shell’s Vice President for Global Media Relations, agreed that, “Over time, it became clear to us that Etete was involved in Malabu and that the only way to resolve the impasse through a negotiated settlement was to engage with Etete and Malabu, whether we liked it or not”. He added Shell knew that the Nigerian government “would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the block”.
The task of ensuring that science responds to popular needs of society should be the major challenge that scientists have to overcome. While that task is met regularly, the issue of presenting science in a way that citizens can easily grasp can be daunting. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), the ecological think tank, hosted media practitioners in Benin City recently at a training focusing on Biosafety and agricultural modern biotechnology in particular.
Mass #Breakfree Actions in Ogoni, Nigeria. On the 30th of March 2017, hundreds of climate activists as well as concerned and affected Nigerians joined ongoing actions around the world aimed at pressing home the need to address our dependence on fossil fuels which poisons our planet and threatens to eliminate all of us.