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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Amnesty International Targets Shell – on Google Maps

Amnesty International has started a campaign to target Shell on Google Maps*. Amnesty asks people to join them as they turn “Shell stations into ’hell stations’ to publicly highlight the damage Shell is doing in the Niger Delta”. The campaign is focused on the UK, and Amnesty asks people to take “photos that obscure the S of the Shell sign from view” and send those to them. Furthermore, they’re asking to give Shell stations a bad review on Google Maps. “Find any Shell station on Google Maps, and give it a one star review, ensuring that your main message is in the first line of the review”, Amnesty says.

Here’s some of the background Amnesty provided earlier this year on the issue (emphasis by Amnesty):

Fifty years of oil extraction from Niger Delta, Nigeria, has destroyed the environment and the health of the local community.

Oil spills, waste dumping and gas flaring (burning) has poured toxins into the water, soil and air. 2,000 sites have been registered as contaminated and measures to clean up the environment are slow, inadequate or non-existent.

The local community relies on the land and natural waterways for their livelihood and sustenance. Now, they have to drink, cook with and wash in polluted water and eat fish contaminated with toxins. They have lost farming land, and their incomes, from oil spills, and breath air that reeks of oil, gas and other pollutants.

The health consequences of the pollution have been severe.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is the main operator in Niger Delta, covering 31,000 square kilometres.

Both the government of Nigeria and Shell have a responsibility to clean up oil operations and come clean about the human impact of the oil industry in the Niger Delta.

[Image by Amnesty International.]

*Worth noting that when I try to access or here from China, I get the local “connection reset” or “timed out" type of messages (the specific Google Maps map doesn’t fully load either, something seems to hang in-between).


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