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Environment activist bags doctoral award


Rev. Nnimmo Bassey

A Nigerian architect, environmental rights activist poet and award winning author, Nnimmo Bassey, has bagged an honorary doctoral degree at the prestigious University of York, United Kingdom.

He was one of 16 global icons so recognised, including some professors like Diana Gibbs (a paediatrician), Catherine Hall (a biologist), Irwin Jacobs (engineer and entrepreneur), Ronald Kaplan (of Stanford university), Dani Rodrik (economist), and Rong Zhang (President of Xiamen University, China).

Others are Game of Thrones star, Mark Addy, survival expert and TV presenter, Ray Mears, Children’s author, Sir Michael Morpurgo, and CEO of Smith and Nephew, Sir Christopher O’Donnell.


Born in 1958, Mr Bassey was chair of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) between 2008 and 2012, and was Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Nigeria, for 20 years.

He had earlier been named among Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2009, and in 2010 was one of the recipients of the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prize, while in 2012 was the recipient of the prestigious Rafto Prize.

He is currently the Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF).

In his remarks, Head, Benin office, ERA, Chima Williams, noted that the award of an honorary doctorate degree on Bassey is a well-deserved one given his effort in intellectual communication of the situation in Nigeria and global environmental issues.

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