A German church-backed human rights organisation is pleading for action to save the Sudd, one of the world's largest swamplands, located in southern Sudan, which the group says is threatened by oil extraction activities.
Klaus Stieglitz, the vice chairperson of Sign of Hope, which is backed by Roman Catholic Church organisations, said his group had seen evidence of remarkable pollution by companies drilling for and extracting oil.
Stieglitz asserts this has put the lives of thousands of people at risk.
"The oil companies responsible are about to destroy the Sudd, the world's largest swampland, by discharging their waste practically untreated," Stieglitz told a press conference in Nairobi on 16 November 2010.
The statement came after a six-day visit by a Sign of Hope team to the Unity, Al Nar and Toma South oilfields in southern Sudan.
"We strongly condemn these practices … and urge the companies to change their environmental behaviour," Stieglitz declared.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International  is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]