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Transnational Corporations (TNCs) Corporations that operate in multiple countries Often seek out nations with lax environmental regulations to keep costs.

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Presentation on theme: "Transnational Corporations (TNCs) Corporations that operate in multiple countries Often seek out nations with lax environmental regulations to keep costs."— Presentation transcript:


2 Transnational Corporations (TNCs) Corporations that operate in multiple countries Often seek out nations with lax environmental regulations to keep costs minimized and profits maximized

3 The Niger River Delta

4 Background Niger Delta is one of world’s largest deltas and mangrove forests 1956 – Oil discovered in Nigeria 1960 – Independence from Britain  Federal Republic of Nigeria Discovery harms rural economy—poor farming and fishing Petroleum  World = 13th, OPEC = 6th

5 Actors Involved Nigerian Government - federal - 36 states - 600 local governments Transnational Oil Companies - Shell - Total - ExxonMobil - Chevron - Agip Minority Ethnic Groups - Ogon - Ijaw Grassroots Organizations - MOSOP - MEND - NDVF Non-Governmental Organizations - ERA - Oil Watch - ND – HERO International Community - American Oil consumers - EU - OPEC - UN

6 Overview of Policy Brief Impact on Environment Role of Government Ethnic Groups Shell Policy Prescriptions

7 Environmental Degradation of Delta Loss of livelihood for farmers/fishermen Polluted water source Public Health Impacts Destruction of wildlife habitat

8 Impacts of Oil Oil Spills Destruction of Fisheries Up to 1.5 million tons of oil have been spilled in this area over the past 50 years, making it one of the most polluted places on the planet "We never had fish brought in from outside. We had no idea what frozen fish meant. There were rumors that this fish was kept in a mortuary…Today, there is not a single person in my community you could describe as a fisherman. We depend almost totally on frozen fish." - Isaac Osuoka

9 Government and Oil Industry 1971 - Nigerian government ‘nationalizes’ oil industry $380 billion lost – “the institutionalized looting of national wealth” “We are not a poor country. We have oil, we have resources. But it is the management of those resources that has been lacking. They have been hijacked. And then when we come to vote them out of office for their misdeeds, they hijack that as well.” – Adhama

10 Government and Unrest Three main responses to anti-oil protests 1 - grant concessions 2 - depend on public relations 3 - use security measures

11 Corruption in Government 1999 - Transition from military dictatorship to ‘democracy’ Political violence and rigged elections Government officials + Corporation CEOs = Revolving Door Syndrome Corruption on all government levels: federal  state  local

12 Ethnic Groups & Internal Organizations More than 250 ethnic groups Hausa and Fulani: 29%, Yoruba: 21%, Igbo: 18%, Ijaw: 10% Basic human rights for minority ethnic groups ignored by federal government Ethnic strife (lack of local-local connections) Racism; marginalization of minority ethnic groups

13 “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” - John F. Kennedy

14 Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) "The Ogoni struggle is an archetypal 'David and Goliath' story with a seemingly powerless minority ethnic group taking on one of the world's largest and most powerful transnational companies.” (Wheeler et al. 2007)

15 Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF) - 2004: Armed force begins "bunkering" oil lines - Predominately Ijaw, rival with neighboring Itsekiri Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) - 2006: Violent force employed against oil barons, government officials - Remain unidentified - guerilla tactics - Goals: undermine authority of Nigerian State and stop Nigeria's oil exports

16 Shell: Masking Corporate Responsibility Promised to increase social and environmental responsibility after execution of Ken Saro- Wiwa Focused attention on the interconnectedness of business, the natural environment and human rights Reinvented corporate strategy in line with principles of sustainable development Shell created image of corporate social responsibility

17 “…where [Adam] Smith's colonists earned their record profits by seizing what he described as 'waste lands' for 'but a trifle,' today's multinationals see government programs, public assets and everything that is not for sale as terrain to be conquered and seized.” - Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine.

18 Environmental Degradation Economic Impoverishment Civil Unrest Military Repression Insurgency

19 Environmental Degradation Economic Impoverishment Civil Unrest Military Repression Insurgency Corporate Social Responsibility Ethnic Strife / Tribalism

20 Weak Ecological Modernization - Technological solutions - Corporatist style of policy-making -distancing of socio-political failures from economic circumstances Environmental Degradation Economic Impoverishment Civil Unrest Military Repression Insurgency Ethnic Strife / Tribalism Corporate Social Responsibility

21 Lack of Corporate Responsibility Economic Impoverishment Environmental Degradation Reduced Quality of Life for Locals Increasing Debt Lax Environmental Regulations Ethnic Strife Reliance on Foreign Help Paralysis of Federal Govt. Corruption of Local Govt.

22 Prescriptions Root out corruption - international regulation of the "revolving door” Tax foreign multinationals Increase environmental regulation Increase social spending Nationalize resources Use aid to fund creation of localized clean-up jobs Promote development of environmental cleanup industry

23 Works Cited K.K. Aaron, “Perspective: Big Oil, Rural Poverty, and Environmental Degradation in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria”, Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 2005, 11, 2, 127-134. Osuji, Leo and Augustine Uwakwe. “Petroleum Industry Effluents and Other Oxygen-Demanding Wastes in Niger Delta, Nigeria”, Chemistry & Biodiversity, 2006, Vol. 3, 705-717. Jike, V.T., “Environmental Degradation, Social Disequilibrium, and the Dilemma of Sustainable Development in the Niger- Delta of Nigeria”, Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 34, No. 5 (May, 2004), pp. 686-701. Ikelegbe, Augustine, “Civil society, oil and conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: Ramifications of civil society for a regional resource struggle”, The Journal of Modern African Studies, 2001, 39, 3, 437. Adams, W. M., “Indigenous use of wetlands and sustainable development in West Africa”, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 159, No. 2, July 1993, pp. 209-218. Osuji, Leo; Benjamin Ndukwu, Gordan Obute, and Ikechukwu Agbagwa, “Impact of four-dimensional seismic and production activities on the mangrove systems of the Niger Delta, Nigeria”, Chemistry and Ecology, Vol. 22, No. 5, October 2006, 415- 424. Frynas, George J. “Corporate and State Responses to Anti-Oil Protests in the Niger Delta.” African Affairs. 2001.. O’Neill, Tom. “Curse of the Black Gold: Hope and Betrayal in the Niger Delta.” National Geographic. February 2007.. Polgreen, Lydia. “Corrupt Nigerian election a setback for democracy.” International Herald Tribune. 23 April 2007.. “Criminal Politics: Violence, ‘Godfathers’ and Corruption in Nigeria.” Human Rights Watch. Vol. 19, No. 16(A). October 2007..Gore, C., Pratten, D. (2003). "The Politics of Plunder: the Rhetorics of Order and Disorder in Southern Nigeria." African Affairs: 102, 407. p. 211-240.

24 Manby, B. "The Price of Oil: Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights Violations in Nigeria's Oil Producing Communities." New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999. 202 pp. O'Rourke, D. (2005). "Market Movements: Nongovernmental Organization Strategies to Influence Global Production and Consumption." Journal of Industrial Ecology: 9(1-2). Pretty, J., Ward, H. (2001). "Social Capital and the Environment." World Development: 29(2). 209-229.

25 Image Credits http:// ml

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