Amnesty volunteers on Sting's 2012 'Back to Bass' tour will raise awareness of campaign
Sting’s “Back To Bass” tour in early 2012 will provide a platform for Amnesty International to raise awareness on the organisation’s campaign against oil pollution and human rights abuse in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
For more than two decades, Sting has been a proud supporter of Amnesty International and their work to promote human rights worldwide. This longstanding relationship continues today, as Amnesty volunteers will organise information booths, highlighting their Niger Delta campaign, at each venue along his 2012 “Back to Bass” tour.
The tour, which received very positive reviews across North America last year, extends throughout Europe, the UK and South Africa beginning February 5, 2012 with a sold-out concert at The Sage Gateshead in Newcastle, then Manchester, Glasgow and finally London. Please visit www.sting.com/tour for a complete itinerary and ticketing information.
Sting’s support for Amnesty International began in 1981, when he performed at “The Secret Policemen’s Other Ball” benefit concert in London. Over the years, he has participated in several concert events, tours, and album recordings for the organisation. Most recently, he recorded a version of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” for the compilation Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International , released in support of Amnesty’s human rights work.
This year, Amnesty volunteers along the “Back to Bass” tour will offer literature to concertgoers about the organisation’s “Shell: Own Up, Pay Up, Clean Up” petition calling on Shell to pay an initial amount of £645m ($1billion) to establish a clean-up fund for the Niger Delta and to begin a process of compensation for the affected communities. The campaign is also calling for Shell and other multinational oil companies operating in the Delta to pay for a comprehensive assessment of the oil pollution in the whole of the area.
A recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme exposed severe oil contamination in the Niger Delta – one of Africa’s most bio-diverse regions.
Jo Metcalf, Head of Art For Amnesty said: “'We are really happy to be a part of Sting’s tour and hope to help bring attention to this important campaign.”
The oil industry in the Niger Delta started commercial production in 1958 following the discovery of crude oil by Shell British Petroleum (now Royal Dutch Shell). Today, the industry has control over a large territory in the Delta, with Shell alone operating over 12,000 square miles.
The oil and gas sector represents 97% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenues and contributes 79.5% of government revenues. Oil has generated an estimated £350 billion since the 1960s. The Niger Delta oil industry comprises both the government of Nigeria and subsidiaries of multinational companies such as Shell, Eni, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil, as well as some Nigerian companies.
According to the UN Development Program, more than 60% of the people in the region depend on the natural environment for their livelihood. UNDP says that more than 6,800 spills were recorded between 1976 and 2001, with a loss of approximately three million barrels of oil. Many experts believe that due to under-reporting the true figures may be far higher.
Under Nigerian regulations oil companies must clean up all oil spills. However these regulations are not enforced.
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