Antarctica Activists Cheer Treaty
Antarctic activists are celebrating the passage of H.R. 3060, known as
the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act, which allows the U.S. to
ratify the international Protocol on Environmental Protection and
prohibits mining in Antarctica for at least 50 more years.
"Antarctica is a global resource of unparalleled beauty, pristine
wilderness and scientific importance," said Beth Marks Clark, Antarctic
chair and advisor to the international committee. "You can imagine that
after working on this issue for over five years with the last two
administrations, this is quite a feat."
H.R. 3060 amends the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 to make the
existing law governing U.S. research activities in Antarctica
consistent with the protocol. The bill states that National
Environmental Policy Act procedures must be used to meet the protocol
requirement for comprehensive assessment and monitoring of the effects
of all U.S. activities in Antarctica, before they happen.
In addition, H.R. 3060 requires the National Science Foundation and the
Environmental Protection Agency to work together to enforce regulations
for waste disposal and prohibit open burning. Finally, the bill amends
the Antarctic Protection Act of 1991 to continue indefinitely a ban on
Antarctic mineral extraction.
"We are very hopeful that Finland, Japan and Russia will follow the
lead of the United States and ratify the protocol by the Antarctica
Treaty Consultative Meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, next May,"
said Marks Clark.
Club Keeps Pressure on Shell, Nigeria
November 10, 1996, will mark the one year anniversary of the execution
of Ken Saro-Wiwa by the Nigerian military government. Saro-Wiwa's
campaign against the pollution caused by Shell Oil in his community of
Ogoniland caused a widespread uprising against Shell and its collusive
relationship with the military regime that governs the country.
In the wake of the execution, the Sierra Club Board of Directors voted
last fall to support a boycott of Shell Oil and an embargo of Nigeria.
"It's been a year now and no real sanctions have been imposed against
Nigeria and Shell has not cleaned up its mess," said Stephen Mills,
Human Rights and Environment Campaign director for the Sierra Club. To
mark the anniversary of Saro-Wiwa's death and to keep the pressure on
Shell and Nigeria, Sierra Club members and other environmental and
human rights activists will be holding vigils and protests in cities
across North America, including Washington, D.C., St. Louis, New York
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