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Friends of the Earth (London): Africa: Shell’s Neighbors Expose Hypocrisy of Wildlife Prize

PRESS RELEASE
October 17, 2006
Posted to the web October 17, 2006

Communities living next door to the oil giant Shell are in London this week to expose the oil giant’s hypocrisy in sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition – to be announced on Wednesday 18 October.

Shell is the new sponsor of this year’s prestigious wildlife prize, which is jointly organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, contributing 750,000 GBP or 1,117,000 Euros.

But Shell’s neighbours have branded the oil giant a “wildlife destroyer” and say that Shell is trying to hide the damage it does to wildlife and the environment behind the prestigious wildlife prize.

They are calling on the Natural History Museum to end the relationship with Shell, which they believe jeopardises the museum’s reputation and credibility. The museum is entering into the sponsorship despite carrying out an ethical review of Shell which identified problems with the company.

Paul De Clerck, Friends of the Earth International Corporates Campaigner said: “Shell’s sponsorship of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award completely undermines its value. Shell’s is causing massive damage to wildlife and the environment, and no amount of sponsoring of green prizes will change that.”

Friends of the Earth’s Corporates Campaigner Hannah Griffiths added:   “The Natural History Museum should not accept sponsorship from such a destructive company.”

The visitors, who will be speaking at public meetings in London, Birmingham and Manchester as well as visiting the Houses of Parliament, are in the UK to draw attention to the real impacts Shell has on wildlife, the environment and people around the world.

One of the speakers will be Terry Clancy from the Shell to Sea campaign in County Mayo, Ireland, where Shell plans to build an on-shore pipeline and gas terminal. The development threatens the unique habitat offered by Broadhaven Bay – an internationally important nature reserve – and will destroy peatlands and damage coastal grasslands.
 
The speakers will also highlight the damaging impacts on wildlife on the Russian island of Sakhalin, where Shell’s new platform and pipeline threaten the survival of the already critically endangered Western Pacific Grey Whale.

Friends of the Earth has also seen details of a report which states that Shell has destroyed several hundred Sakhalin or Glehn spruce – listed on the IUCN threatened species list.  Part of a protected area over a kilometre long has been clear cut by Shell to make way for the pipeline.

Friends of the Earth, which is hosting the tour, has launched an online image gallery showing the damage caused by Shell.

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