FoE to petition ECOWAS, others over environmental violations

Friends of the Earth-Africa (FoE Africa), a non-governmental environmental organisation has hinted on petitioning the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as other international bodies, about the violations and abuse of the environment.

According to the group, issues of pollution, degradation, land grabbing, illegal mining, and logging are practices which affect the environment negatively and deprive people off their use of these resources positively, hence the petition.

Some members of FoE

The group made this known at a worship programme, organised in Accra. Present at the workshop were a number of the organisations from different Africa countries, including Tanzania, Cameron, Liberia and the host country, Ghana.

Sharing experiences of the violations in their various countries, and the steps being taken to mitigate the situation, Franklin Leonard Masika from Tanzania said he believed his country had the biggest resources in the East Africa sub-region, but that had not translated into wealth.

He said there were a lot of degradation, land grabbing, and pollution activities being carried out by some multinational organisations.

He said activities of land grabbing, for instance, had robbed many families off pieces of land they depended on for survival.

He noted that these companies, after taking hold of the land for their parochial interests, either pay less or sometimes no compensations at all to the respective families.

He said his outfit, which worked directly with these impoverished families, had tried, and in some cases, succeeded in getting compensations for these families, but that was not enough, hence, his support for ECOWAS to be petitioned.

Flora Lamero Zok from Cameroon, who also narrated a similar experience, said FoE Cameroon was working to ensure that the land laws were reformed.

She said, to ensure that the laws reflected the interests of the minority group, FoE Cameroon was working with the groups to ensure that their views were captured in the land law reformation.

She noted that more attention would be given to the issues when escalated to the international level, hence, her conviction in joining her colleagues to petition the international bodies.

In Ghana, Mr. Nehemia Tettey Odjer-Bio, Programs Coordinator, Forests and Biodiversity, FoE Ghana, noted that his outfit had also put in place some initiatives that would help salvage the situation of illegal logging and mining.

He said, FoE Ghana was embarking on the Green Livelihood Project, which sought to re-plant trees that had already been felled.

He also spoke about the monitoring of environmental illegalities and engagements with the local communities, and that the wildlife sector had not been left out. He noted that his outfit was working hard to ensure that Parliament passes a Wild Life Resources Management Bill, which would offer protection for the wildlife sector.

He,  just like his colleagues, believed that petitioning international bodies would help salvage the environment from further violations, and enable people whose livelihoods depended solely on it to get the most out of it.

About FoE

Friends of the Earth – Africa (FoE – Africa) is a non-governmental environmental organisation, which operates in 72 countries around the world and 11 countries in Africa, (of which the West Africa sub-region is one) to check abuse and other human rights violations by these multinational companies operating on the Continent.


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