Communities Announce New Report on Royal Dutch Shell Corporation's Global Operations and Environmental Impacts.
Web Site Launched to Collect Stories from Shell Neighbors for New Book to be released later This Year.
Media Event: August
22, 2002 - 5 pm to 6:30 pm - Balalaika Hotel, Sandton - Oxford Room .
Featuring Shell Neighbors from Nigeria, United States and South Africa
(August 21, 2002,
Johannesburg, South Africa) In a notable gathering planned for Wednesday,
August 22, 2002, under the auspices of the World Summit for Sustainable
Development, activists struggling with Royal Dutch/Shell companies in
South Africa, Nigeria and the United States stood together at a Corporate
Accountability Week to announce an unprecedented effort to collect stories
and publish a global report on the world‚s second largest oil and chemical
corporation. For the first time, activists from the U.S. stood with South
Durban and Nigerian activists to collectively address the environmental
and community impact Shell all over the world. A special web site will
be launched to collect detailed stories of hope and ruin that have befallen
residents living near Shell operations.
We are announcing
the development of a special in-depth global report on Shell‚s environmental
footprint that will be released around the world later this year,‰ said
Denny Larson, Director of GCM, a global polluter watchdog group. „As part
of this fact-finding project, we are seeking information on Shell‚s environmental
performance and efforts in sustainable development from activists in the
over 140 regions in which Shell has operations.
For example, a unique
company-community dialog in Norco, Louisiana that led to a successful
relocation bid for impacted residents on the fenceline of Shell Chemical.
of intense community struggle culminated in sit down meetings with Shell
that finally built trust with local residents and a Shell buy out plan
for all families who wanted to move away from Shell‚s plants in Norco,"
said Louisiana environmental justice activist and resident, Margie Richard,
who traveled thousands of miles to meet with other Shell activists. "It
was never easy, but once Shell really heard community members talk about
the harm that had been done they gave us the choice to move away,"
she said. "Ours is a model of respect for human dignity and community
choice that Shell can and should replicate in all other the troubled areas
where Shell does business. People need people."
The Norco story stood
in stark contrast to stories of continued human rights abuse and environmental
devastation in Shell company towns in Africa. Shell is currently under
legal investigation for its role in the execution by hanging of eight
outspoken Shell critics in Nigeria, including writer and activist Ken
Saro-Wiwa. In South Durban, protests continue against Shell‚s massive
oil pipe line leaks that have devastated the health and environment of
the area and many people. Shell has refused to replace all of its aging
"In 2002, Shell's
over-aged pipelines continue to spew crude oil to pollute the land and
waters of the Niger Delta communities," said Isaac Osauka of Environmental
Rights Action of Nigeria. 'Flaring of gas continues unabated and the company
continues to invite soldiers to repress community protest as it did on
August 8, 2002, when soldiers shot and brutalized community women protesting
against the violations of Shell and the destruction of livelihood."
The special Shell
stories web site (www.shellfacts.com) contains the following information:
in South Africa, Nigeria, and the United States are collecting information
about Royal Dutch/Shell to understand how Shell has stated Business Principles
(adopted in 1977), and its more recent commitment to "sustainable
development," have actually worked in practice. How have Shell's
environmental, community, workplace, and ethical business practices worked
in your region? Send us your stories.
Shell case studies, workplace histories, company profiles, personal observations,
press accounts, & photographs of Shell's operations in your region/community.
How has their hardware performed - Shell‚s oil and gas wells, refineries,
chemical plants, fuel stations, development projects, tank farms, pipelines
and offshore rigs? The deadline is September 15, 2002, for submissions."
Global Community Monitor (GCM) is an international human rights and environmental
justice organization that empowers communities living on the fenceline of
heavy industry to monitor their own environmental conditions. GCM has developed
a unique "hands-on" simple air monitoring device housed inside a 5 gallon
plastic bucket fitted with a standard sampling bag. The system, known as
the "Bucket Brigade" has successfully been used in the United
States and Southern Africa to document toxic exposure and win pollution
reductions from major corporations, including Shell. More information on
GCM is available at: www.gcmonitor.org. GCM is a project of the Tides Center.