Nnimmo Bassey

Nnimmo Bassey (born 1958) is a Nigerian architect, environmental activist, author and poet, who chaired Friends of the Earth International from 2008 through 2012[1] and was Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action for two decades.[2] He was one of Time magazine's Heroes of the Environment in 2009.[3] In 2010, Nnimmo Bassey was named a Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award,[4] and in 2012 he was awarded the Rafto Prize.[5] He serves on the Advisory Board and is Director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, an environmental think tank and advocacy organization.[6][7]

Nnimmo Bassey with his Right Livelihood Award


Bassey was born June 11, 1958. He studied architecture, practiced in the public sector (for 10 years) and thereafter continued in private practice. He was active on human rights issues in the 1980s when he served on the Board of Directors of Nigeria's Civil Liberties Organization. In 1993, he co-founded a Nigerian NGO known as Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth Nigeria) in order to advocate, educate and organize around environmental human rights issues in Nigeria. Since 1996, Bassey and Environmental Rights Action led Oilwatch Africa and, beginning in 2006, also led the Global South Network, Oilwatch International, striving to mobilize communities against the expansion of fossil fuels extraction. Bassey has served in the committees of both Oilwatch International and the regional arm, Oilwatch Africa since inception. Oilwatch Africa has membership in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Congo Democratic Republic, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Togo, Kenya, Swaziland, Mozambique, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and others. Membership of Oilwatch International spreads across South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The Network works to resist destructive oil, gas and coal extraction activities. It demands an urgent shift from the dominant petroleum-fueled civilization. In 2011, Bassey founded the Ecological think tank, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation promoting environmental/climate justice and food sovereignty in Nigeria and Africa.[8] At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Bassey - despite being accredited - was "physically kept out" of a meeting.[9]


  • To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa Publisher: Fahamu (Jul 1 2010) ISBN 1-906387-53-2 ISBN 978-1-906387-53-2

Other books by Bassey include:

  1. Patriots & Cockroaches (Poems) 1992
  2. Beyond Simple Lines: the Architecture of Chief G.Y. Aduku and Archcon (with Okechukwu Nwaeze) 1993
  3. The Management of Construction [1994]
  4. Poems on The Run (Poems) 1994
  5. Oilwatching in South America (Environment) [1997]
  6. Intercepted (Poems) 1998
  7. We Thought It Was Oil But It Was Blood (Poems), 2002
  8. Genetically Modified Organisms: the African Challenge (2004)
  9. Living Houses (Architecture), 2005
  10. Knee Deep in Crude, ERA Field Reports, ed (2009)
  11. The Nigerian Environment and the Rule of Law, ed (2009)
  12. I will Not Dance to Your Beat (poems) , Kraft Books, Ibadan. 2011
  13. We Thought It Was Oil But It Was Blood- Resistance to Military-Corporate Wedlock in Nigeria and Beyond. (TNI/Pluto Press, 2015)
  14. Oil Politics- Echoes of Ecological Wars- (Daraja Press, 2016) Trade and human rights in the Niger Delta

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nnimmo Bassey elected chair of Friends of the Earth International". Archived from the original on 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  2. ^ "The Right Livelyhood Award: List of Laureates: Nnimmo Bassey 2010". Right Livelihood Award Foundation. Archived from the original on 22 April 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  3. ^ http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1924149_1924153_1924211,00.html The Time - Heroes of the Environment 2009
  4. ^ "Right Livelihood Award: 2010 - Nnimmo Bassey". Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  5. ^ «Raftoprisen til Nnimmo Bassey», Vårt Land, 27. september 2012.
  6. ^ "Health of Mother Earth Foundation". Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  7. ^ "We Need to Overturn the System". Health of Mother Earth Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Nnimmo Bassey Biography". Friends of the Earth International. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  9. ^ http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/17/a_naked_form_of_blackmail_naomi

External linksEdit