By Agbonkhese Oboh
Chairman, Board of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, has received an honorary degree at the University of York, United Kingdom, alongside 15 others, such as Game of Thrones star, Mark Addy; photojournalist, Lynsey Addario; video game designer, Charles Cecil; paediatrician, Professor Diana Gibb; historian, Professor Catherine Hall, and biologist and Nobel Prize winner, Richard Henderson.
Others are engineer and entrepreneur, Professor Irwin Jacobs; Professor of linguistics at Stanford University, Dr Ronald Kaplan; survival expert and TV presenter, Ray Mears; children’s author, Sir Michael Morpurgo; Professor of Physics at Michigan State University, Witold Nazarewicz; CEO of Smith & Nephew, Sir Christopher O’Donnell; economist, Professor Dani Rodrik, and President of Xiamen University, China, Professor Rong Zhang.
A statement by ERA/FoEN Head of Media & Campaigns, Philip Jakpor, said the recognition of Nnimmo Bassey by York University is well deserved in view of his contributions to environmental human rights causes in Nigeria and in the global sphere.
The honorary degree adds to a list of other recognitions Bassey has received. In 2009 he was named “Hero of the Environment” by Time Magazine, for his environmental rights advocacy in the Niger Delta region; 2010, he was conferred the Rights Livelihood Award “for revealing the full and ecological human horrors of oil production.”
Bassey led ERA/FoEN from 1993 to 2013 and has served as Chair, Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental network; and is currently Executive Director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF.