March 23, 2018
Millions of people in South Sudan got some potentially good news this week. The country‘s parliament announced the staging of a hearing on one of the country‘s worst crises – the contamination of its ground water by greed-driven oil companies.
The hearing comes after the rendering of a tearful plea by South Sudan‘s minister of the environment at December 2017’s staging of the UN General Environment Assembly. The plea: “help us solve this grave and growing crisis“.
The hearing and the plea represent a stunning about-face by the government and the parliament of South Sudan, which had repeatedly and forcibly denied the existence of the crisis – and had persecuted journalists and victims daring to claim such.
The hearing represents the latest success in the campaign for clean water in South Sudan, which was launched by Sign of Hope in 2008. In September 2017, this heroic German NGO brought Terry Swartzberg, the Munich-based ethical campaigner, on board. His brief: to devise and implement a strategy of campaign development.
Entailed in this brief: the further development of the campaign’s infrastructure; the broadening and deepening the reporting from South Sudan and in the world’s media on the crisis; and the building up a network comprised of leading environmental and human rights organizations and platforms around the world and of stakeholders in South Sudan.
As the government’s actions show and as the recent spate of reports in the media indicate, this campaign has achieved the milestones established for it.
As Terry Swartzberg puts it:
“These accomplishments are heartening, and are the result of the close working relationship between the dedicated and capable people at Sign of Hope, Terry Swartzberg, and the worldwide network of activists which we work.
But we still have a long way to go to achieve our goals, which are ensuring that each of the 12 million South Sudanese, their livestock and farms have clean, easily-accessible water to drink and to use; that the millions of victims get the treatment and compensation that they so desperately need; and that the thousands of hot spots – places of oil contamination – get cleaned up,” concludes Terry Swartzberg.
For further information on Big Oil’s contamination of water, lives and politics in South Sudan:
New commission for Swartzberg:
Joining the coalition to stop Big Oil’s poisoning of the water in Africa
April 3, 2017
Three hundred million people in Africa are going thirsty – or are drinking water that is making them sick – or even killing them – and deforming their offspring.
A broadly-based coalition has emerged to put an end to this unconscionable fact. One of the coalition’s main targets is Big Oil, whose spewing of oil and dumping of wastes is one of the main causes of this crisis, which is gripping such highly troubled countries as South Sudan.
A key part of this coalition is Sign of Hope. This Germany-based NGO was one of the first to provide solid proof of Big Oil’s misdeeds in South Sudan – and to try to build support to get the oil companies to cease and desist. While doing such, Sign of Hope has also been busy drilling wells, providing medical care and taking other actions to help the people of South Sudan.
Terry Swartzberg has been commissioned by Sign of Hope with a number of responsibilities in this area. They share a common objective: getting the world involved in the fight for clean water in Africa.
For further information:
Swartzberg Climate Citizenship:
Reporting for the UNFCCC on the people fighting to save the climate
Munich, January 7, 2015
Now on-line at www.unfccc.int:”Voices from Lima to Paris”
This series looks at the people who have put their hearts, souls and minds into the fight to save the climate – and thus humanity itself.
Commissioned by the Bonn-based United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the series was written by Swartzberg Climate Citizenship and photographed by the Munich-based Hans-Jürgen Staudt. It features interviews with the people who attended the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20), which was held in Lima from December 1 – 14, 2014.
These people include Christiana Figueres, the tough-minded, warmhearted head of the UNFCCC and thus of the campaign to get an agreement in Paris in December 2015 that is capable of curtailing global warming.
Other persons profiled included crusading forestry experts from Bhutan, Peru and Kenya; negotiation-trackers from Bangladesh and Spain; and such well-known and respected figures in the world climate community as the World Bank’s Rachel Kyte.
This represents the second such commission from the UNFCCC for Swartzberg Climate Citizenship, which served in a similar role at COP 19 in Warsaw.
The UNFCCC has thus joined the EU Directorates General on the Environment and Technology, Germany’s Ministries of the Environment and Research and other institutions in forming Swartzberg CC’s portfolio of prestigious clients.
For further information
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