Nnimmo Bassey is a Nigerian environmental justice activist, architect, essayist and poet. He is the director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and coordinator of Oilwatch International. He was the chair of Friends of the Earth International (the largest grassroots environmental organisation in the world) from 2008-2012 as well as the co-founder and executive director of Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013) which is based in Nigeria (in Benin city, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa).
He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize.’ In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. In 2014 he was awarded Nigeria’s national honour as a Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism.
Nnimmo Bassey is the author of the highly acclaimed book, To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and Climate Crisis in Africa (Pambazuka Press) and, in Portuguese, Cozinhar Um Continente: A Extração Destrutiva e a Crise Climática na África (Daraja Press) which detail the destructive impacts of the extractive industries and the climate crises in Africa. He is also co-author, with the No REDD in Africa Network, of Stop the Continent Grab and the REDD-ification of Africa (Daraja Press). He has also authored books on architecture.
His poetry focuses on environmental justice. We thought it was oil but it was blood and I will not dance to your beat are two of his most widely known books of poems.