OSLO, Sept 27 A Nigerian man who has fought
against environmental destruction on behalf of poor Africans has
won an annual Norwegian human rights award that sometimes
presages the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Rafto Foundation said on Thursday it awarded Nnimmo
Bassey, 54, its 2012 prize to recognise his fight for the right
to life, health, food and water, particularly for those
disadvantaged by the global oil industry.
"Nnimmo Bassey links human rights to the climate by
demonstrating how climate change has the greatest effect on the
world's most vulnerable people, the very people who have
contributed least to the problem in the first place," the
Bergen-based Rafto Foundation said in a statement.
The award comes as East Africa is going through a boom in
oil and gas exploration and as several west African nations
prepare to extract hydrocarbons.
"Nnimmo Bassey points to the injustices Africa has had to
tolerate through the way the rich world has for many years
exploited the continent's large resources of fossil fuels," the
Bassey is the chair of Friends of the Earth International, a
grassroots environmental organisation.
Four previous Rafto laureates - Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi,
East Timor's Jose Ramos-Horta, South Korea's Kim Dae-jung and
Iran's Shirin Ebadi - went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in
Bassey in 2010 was also the winner of the Right Livelihood
Award, which bills itself as the Alternative Nobel Prize.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by Jane Baird)