Friends of the Earth organises people's tribunal on rights, environment
Rita Uwaka, Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa, FoEA’s Forest and Biodiversity Programme, and Convener, regional exchange programme on FPIC. PHOTO: Agbonkhese Oboh.

Friends of the Earth Africa, through its Forest & Biodiversity Programme, will hold its first session of the African Peoples Tribunal from November 25 to 27 in Lagos, with five jurors interrogating cases of human rights violations and environmental degradation.

Affected communities and civil society will bring testimonies on cases of human rights violations and environmental degradation connected with monoculture tree plantation expansion from 10 countries across Africa.

According to Rita Uwaka, Coordinator of the African Friends of the Earth Forest and Biodiversity programme, “Aggressive land-grabbing and deforestation for the expansion of industrial tree plantations are causing a new wave of oppression and colonisation in Africa, with devastating impacts on people, including differentiated and aggravated consequences for women.”

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Also, Kwami Kpondzo, Human Rights Defenders focal point for Friends of the Earth Africa continues to explain that “In the face of ongoing social, environmental and gender injustice in Africa, defending people’s rights is crucial to dismantling corporate power and challenging the capitalist neoliberal model of industrial plantation expansion.”

A statement noted that in all of the 10 cases, international financiers, including development banks, private banks, investment funds and pension funds from all corners of the world, are found to be controlling and financing the controversial rubber, palm oil and timber plantation companies.

The five jurors are Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria; Ikal Angelei from Kenya, and Professor Alfred Apau Oteng-Yeboah, a Professor of Botany at the University of Ghana.

The other two are Professor Hamudi Ismail Majamba, an Associate Professor of Law specialising in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, and Ms. Makoma Lekalakala, a South African activist and Executive Director of Earthlife Africa.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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