17 June 2013

A STROLL WITH NNIMMO BASSEY (For World Day To Combat Desertification And Drought)

Image Credit: New Internationalist

In 2009 TIME Magazine listed him as one of the ‘Heroes of  the Environment’, In 2010 he won the Right Livelihood Award, and last year (2012) he won the Rafto Prize.

All these just go to show the great job Mr. Nnimmo is doing for the Earth, and the preservation of her resources. As ex-elected chair of ‘Friends of  the Earth International’, Mr. Nnimmo continues to actively tend and clean the earth. I was lucky to get him to STROLL with me for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought . . . and here is our discussion

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for making out time to talk with me sir, I really appreciate. You've been an
environmental activist for quite a while now, what
has kept you this long? Despite the challenges, why haven’t you given up?
Nnimmo: Simple: the environment is our life. We have no option!
Ebenezar: The theme for this year's 'World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought' is; 'Drought and water scarcity' and a couple of months back we had World Water Day on the UN calendar. Many people are predicting that the world is running out of water, do you think this is true? If Yes, what can we do about this?
Nnimmo: Water is a critical resource and this is seriously threatened at the
moment. Water will not necessarily dry up, but potable water is getting
exhausted. This is due to pollution (like in the Niger Delta), wasteful
usage, climate change poor management and the like. The right to water is
daily being abridged and conflicts are increasing. This is a huge challenge.
Ebenezar: Now let's talk about Poetry, you have a lot of publications on the environment, when should we expect your published collection of poems? Or do you have any?
Nnimmo: I have five published collections of poetry.
Image Credit: TIME

Ebenezar: Oh Okay, That’s great... I’d have to get myself a copy of one those collections. Recently Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth, Nigeria) celebrated her 20th anniversary. As executive director of this body, what do you think has been the high point for ERA so far? And what do you still wish to achieve as an organization?
Nnimmo: I ceased being the executive director of ERA at the 20th anniversary
celebrations you referred to. Over the period of 20 years ERA succeeded in
exposing environmental crimes and stood with community people to fight for
environmental justice. We have done this through advocacy, mobilizations,
litigation, lobby and solidarity actions. The organization will continue its work as an environmental justice advocacy group, working with oppressed people locally, nationally and globally.

Ebenezar: I'm sure you know late Prof. Wangari Maathai of blessed memory and her environmental activism with the Green Belt Movement, just like you, there are a couple of other African environmental activist on the continent. With all the work being done, Do you think Africa is green yet?
Nnimmo: Prof Maathai pioneered an important work and I am happy to say that her
legacy is still being advanced. There are a lot of environmental activists on the continent working on diverse aspects. All these add up to better protecting our environment. Africa's challenges are several and there are many reasons for that. critical reason is the enthronement of neoliberal political and economic policies that stiffle local wisdom and promote exploitation and environmental degradation. We must keep up fighting for
Africa's liberation and defense of our land and freedom.

Ebenezar: Finally, you've been really honored for your great work so far by TIME magazine, you've also been given the Right livelihood award(2010) and the Rafto prize(2012). . .just to name a few. Now, as ex-elected Chair of Friends of the Earth International, what are some things you still wish to achieve?
Nnimmo: My tenure as chair of Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) was for the period 2008-2012. I am no longer the chair although I am still in the executive board of that federation. We work for the transformation of the world from destructive exploitation of peoples and resources to a world where nature and peoples rights are respected. we continue to work to eliminate the strangle-hold of transnational corporations on our structures, environmentally damaging policies and actions and the recovery of the sovereignty of the peoples over our energy as well as food.

Ebenezar: Thank you so much for your time, sir. Good luck in all your projects.

Nnimmo: Thank you Ebenezar, All the Best.

To contact Mr. Nnimmo Bassey visit www.eraction.org or follow his blog at nnimmo.blogspot.com

 For every tree you cut, understand that you are invariably reducing the percentage of oxygen on earth. Yeah. . .every little habit counts!!! So be careful. But isn't it wonderful how wonderfully crafted the earth is?  The water cycle has been going on for billions of years now and it had been sustaining humanity. Let us not tamper with it!!!
Till my next Stroll, Jesus Loves You.

BY: Ebenezar Wikina (@poeticjazz)
All Rights Reserved

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