By Prisca Sam-Duru
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation’s (HOMEF’s) School of Ecology (SoE), which is a platform for building people’s intellect and reasoning power around environmental and other socio-ecological issues, has announced that it will be focusing on environmental justice at its next session.
The next SoE session being the second in 2021, is scheduled to hold on April 6 and 7, 2021.
Understanding environmental justice according to HOMEF, is crucial for change. It is therefore of the view that “The concept of environmental justice deserves clear understanding to ensure that actions taken to correct environmental harms do not inadvertently generate more problems”.
The SoE session aims to ensure that climate actions do not place more burdens on victims but relieves them of the unfair harmful effects of years of resource-exploitation.
In a statement published on environewsnigeria.com, HOMEF Director, Nnimmo Bassey, stated: “The coming SoE session is informed by the need to reinforce knowledge on environmental justice and build resilience while creating and strengthening webs of resistance towards the change we seek to see in the society.”
According to the statement, “the session will canvass for fair treatment and inclusivity with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies – regardless of race, national origin, or income.
“This would entail equitable distribution of environmental risks and benefits; fair and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making; and recognition of community ways of life, local knowledge and cultural specificities.”
For HOMEF, promoting knowledge of environmental justice contributes to “Building Webs of Resistance and Change”. Interestingly, that is theme for HOMEF in 2021, which it intends to pursue “holistically and partly through her Ikike vehicle – the knowledge creation and sharing hub which includes the School of Ecology (SoE) and cuts across other projects in the non-governmental think tank group”.
For a successful session, HOMEF will feature credible and well-informed team of instigators from around the world who have been selected to speak on the subject matter.
The speakers include; Alberto Acosta, an Ecuadorian economist, researcher and former Minister of Energy and president of the country’s Constituent Assembly; Ivonne Yanez, a founding member of Accion Evologica and Oilwatch International, also from Ecuador; Dipti Bhatnagar and Daniel Ribero, both affiliated to Friends of the Earth Mozambique/International, will speak from Mozambique, while four speakers from Nigeria include Gabriel Umoh, a professor at the University of Uyo; Babatunde Bernard, an associate professor at the University of Port Harcourt; and Morris Alagoa, head of the Niger Delta Resource Centre of the Friends of the Earth Nigeria, and others.
The HOMEF Director, Nnimmo Bassey, will also be a resource person at the session.