The Connected Advocacy, a Benin-based NGO, on Monday trained the residents of Owa/Alidinma community in Agbor, Delta, on strengthening local movement and demand spaces for environmental justice.
The training featured sessions on environmental monitoring, smart advocacy tools for environmental justice and how to build a non-violent environmental justice movement.
The Director of the NGO, Mr Israel Orekha, said the capacity building was aimed to enable local communities to advocate for and demand freedom from pollution, environmental degradation and exploitation.
Orekha said the training was due to the impact of oil exploration in the community, which include crises, environmental degradation, diversion of monetary benefits, intimidation from the traditional rulers and non-compliance with environmental multilateral agreements, among others.
“The imperative of smart advocacy tools for environmental justice are evidence-based collective efforts or strategies targeting decision-makers and polluters.
“The training focuses on influencing the actions, programmes and policies of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and governments toward environmentally friendly interventions, fulfilling the agreement for the protection of the earth, people and planets.”
Taking the participants on environmental monitoring tools, Cadmus Atake-Enade, said the devices were effective for mitigating the danger of fossil-fuel extraction in the local communities.
He encouraged participants to monitor their environment through air, water and soil pollution, and biodiversity issues.
Atake-Enade listed tools for monitoring the physical environment like pens, pencils, cameras and whistles, saying the need to document the findings or monitor the evidence cannot be over-emphasised.
The training concluded with the reconciliation of the Traditional Community Council and Host Community Network operating in the community.