Nnimmo Bassey - Hero of the Environment 2009

Time Magazine is in next week's special edition presenting "Heroes of the Environment 2009". Among those that Time believes deserve such an honorable title, is Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of ERA (Environmental Rights Action) in Nigeria and Chairman of Friends of the Earth International. Nnimmo Bassey has for twenty years been fighting for the rights of the people in Nigeria in connection with oil production in the country.

For many decades, the Nigerian people has experienced that drinking water sources are contaminated, that agricultural land is destroyed, that the fish dies and a dramatic increase in serious health damages of the many toxic gases in the air. Together with his colleagues in the organisation ERA (Environmental Rights Action), he has ensured that more and more of the inhabitants of the Niger Delta know their rights, that the infringements of the oil companies and the Nigerian authorities are made known and that they are held responsible. Bassey has, however, experienced that they are facing strong economic interests, and he has repeatedly been arrested and detained. They still continue the fight, which is supported by Friends of the Earth Norway, with funding from Norad's Oil for Development programme.