Delegates from Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean were in Geneva this week representing Friends of the Earth International at the UN Forum on Businesses and Human rights. Not our natural habitat, since we do not lobby the UN in Geneva on a daily basis.
After the launch of the public vote on October 9th, Les Amis de la Terre/Friends of the Earth France, in partnership with Peuples Solidaires–ActionAid France and CRID (Research and Information Centre for Development), put an end to the suspense at the Pinocchio Awards prize-giving ceremony this evening in Paris and announced 2014's big winners: Shell, GDF Suez and Samsung.
In the Kalangala islands on Lake Victoria, Uganda, communities are being forced off their lands by a powerful alliance of corporations, international organisations and government power, all set on using the land for destructive oil palm production. Many of the citizens who comprise these communities have lost their livelihoods, and feel powerless to challenge the land-grabs.
Friends of the Earth International and other social movements today celebrated a long awaited victory that has set in motion a mechanism to meet the demands of human rights defenders, and challenge corporate power. The time had finally come to move away from voluntary guidelines for businesses on human rights, and towards a legal framework to bring transnational corporations to justice for human rights violations.
Before the end of this week 193 nations meeting at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will decide the fate of a proposal to develop international rules to stop human rights abuses by multinational companies and bring them to justice.
In the wake of major human rights abuses carried out by European companies and the national government in Guatemala, two human rights defenders from the west of the country visited Brussels to share their struggles and campaign for big businesses to prevent human rights abuses, or be held to account for their crimes.
Human rights abuses and the destruction of the planet dominated discussions at a conference on Europe's role in the extraction of resources in Latin America on Sunday.
The event organised by Friends of the Earth Spain/Amigos de la Tierra España in Madrid brought together European and South American experts and activists.
Today in France, activists brought the polluting reality of French bank Société Générale's investments in coal to their doorstep - by dumping 1.8 tonnes of coal outside their headquarters in Bayonne.
The names of 40,734 people who signed a petition for Shell to clean up its mess in the Niger Delta were today presented to Shell in a virtual online 'handover'.
Using Facebook and Twitter we demanded that Shell finally accept responsibility for the environmental disaster in Nigeria and clean up its mess.
Shell Germany refused to meet Friends of the Earth Germany/BUND – the initiators of the petition – for a handover in person, so they sent the signatures to them online.
Antoine Simon and David Heller from Friends of the Earth Europe, travelled to the village of Pungeşti in Romania this weekend to observe and document the village's resistance to shale gas. The community's stand against Chevron has become one of the front lines of the struggle against dirty energy in Europe.