News from the international network

With 73 member organisations across the world, Friends of the Earth International is the world’s largest grassroots environmental organisation. Find out what some of our sister groups are up to and send your support.

16 Jan 2020

Australia is burning

Australia is being ravaged by the most devastating bushfire season the country has ever seen, killing at least 24 people and 1 billion animals.The devastating fires which have burned over 12 million acres of land, have been fuelled by a long period of drought, a record-breaking heat wave and strong winds. Climate breakdown is increasing the hotter, drier conditions, making the fire season longer and more dangerous.
 
Global warming has caused Australia’s average temperature to rise by 1 degree since 1910. Experts have warned that the conditions that have fuelled the fires will be up to four times more likely if climate-wrecking emissions aren’t cut.

As well as pushing the Australian government to take action to stop climate breakdown, Friends of the Earth Australia are supporting communities helping wildlife and people, including First Nation Peoples who are particularly vulnerable to the fires, to recover, and handing our air pollution masks to help keep people healthy.

Good news from Friends of the Earth Bangladesh

In January, the Bangladesh High Court has ordered the government to form an action plan within 90 days to phase out pesticides containing glyphosate and to introduce safe alternatives. 

The court has also ordered that the government generate a public awareness campaign about the harmful impacts of pesticides containing glyphosate. 

Friends of the Earth Bangladesh, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, or BELA, have been working, including through this court action, to end the use and export of pesticides containing glyphosate.

Support Friends of the Earth France and Uganda

Two Ugandan witnesses who testified in France on 12 December against French oil company Total continue to receive threats and intimidation in Uganda.

These acts began immediately upon their return to Uganda. One of the witnesses, community leader Jealousy Mugisha, was arrested and questioned for nearly 9 hours at the airport. 

In their home village, located in an area where Total is working to develop a mega oil project, both men are being subject to campaigns of false information and intimidation, alleging that their testimony was false. There is no evidence at present to implicate Total in these acts. 

However, these acts not only present a clear threat to their safety but are also likely to deter others from testifying.

The hearing at a court in Nanterre, France, was the first court hearing under the new duty of vigilance law in France. It was brought by Friends of the Earth France, Survie and four Ugandan organisations against oil giant Total and followed two years of research into human rights violations and environmental damage linked to Total’s operations. The verdict is due on 30 January 2020.

5000 people have already been displaced by the development and related infrastructure and have not received compensation. The legal action aims to prevent thousands of others being forced to leave their homes as well as to prevent further damage to the environment and climate.

You can help by raising awareness of this case on social media and following the trial via Friends of the Earth International.

Questions?

If you have any questions, or if there’s something you want to see featured in these updates, let us know. Email alison.dilworth@foe.co.uk.

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