April 14, 2023

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Africa and its allies as part of moving its strategy of achieving its aim further, as it defends violation of human rights by multinational companies in the plantation sector, has resolved to push its goal at the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice instead of relying on member states.

Mr. James G. Otto of the Sustainable Development Institute of Liberia, and Co-coordinator of CRDD programme – Friends of the Earth Africa revealed this on Thursday, April 13, 2023 after a three days capacity enhancement workshop on how to strengthen knowledge, engaging in regional processes of decision making such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, ACHPR, ECOWAS and other bodies in Accra Ghana.

Participating countries are (FoE) African member groups from Cameroun, Togo, Tanzania, Liberia and Ghana together with civil society allies from Ghana have been learning and sharing strategies on how to effectively engage decision makers in those spaces in order to promote system change for an environmentally-just society through a human rights perspective.

This is at the backdrop of increased systemic violations (social, environmental, gender) associated with deforestation, forest ecosystems destruction for large scale agro-commodities expansion in Africa with records of devastating impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youths, including clampdown on environmental human rights defenders who speak truth to power and to corporate capture of our land, forest and its resources.

At a media engagement at the end of the workshop, James G. Otto, told journalists couple of steps have been taken and there is a strategy to engage regional blocs in West, East and Central Africa where serious human rights violation are being perpetrated.

“What we want to do is to have more engagement with these regional blocs, so that it would not appear that individuals within FoE Member States fight this cause; but the whole Friends of the Earth Africa network is engaged”.

And further revealed that specific cases need to be identified and strategies adopted in addressing them; as currently they are working on five cases to be forwarded to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Right and the ECOWAS Court.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com