Woensdag 18 november 2020
Although few people are aware of this, Basilicata is a European hub for oil extraction. The waste by products from crude oil is disposed of in the region, while the 'good' oil goes to the refinery in Taranto. Complex interests and an incessant need to produce and make profits over time have stimulated poor extraction practices, generating adverse impacts on the environment. For years, the inhabitants of the region have been complaining about suspicious oil eruptions on agricultural land, waste abandoned in private properties, stinging smells and irritating fumes. They started carrying out citizen sensing activities in order to collect evidence supporting these claims.
Within the framework of the Sensing for Justice project, we followed the footprints of the civic sentinels through a field visit and explored how the affected local dwellers are using these data to push for law enforcement by the competent authorities and to ground claims in two criminal proceedings, the so-called “Petrolgate”, against Eni, and “Totalgate”, against Total. In her talk Anna Bertim Suman told the story of the civic sentries in Basilicata and zoomed in on the potential of the collected data for litigation and mediation.
Anna Berti Suman is a Dutch Research Council Rubicon postdoctoral researcher at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society, seconded at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, performing research on the potential of Citizen Sensing for environmental litigation and mediation. Anna obtained her PhD on a project aimed at investigating how Citizen Sensing influences the governance of environmental risk and how the practice can be integrated with institutional models of risk governance. Anna has a background in Law from the University of Bologna and Transnational Law from the University of Geneva. Her specializations are International and European Environmental Law, Health Law and Technology, and Participation Studies. Anna has work and research experience in the health sector, environmental litigation and water conflicts.
The moderator of the webinar was Jonathan Verschuuren, professor of international and European environmental law at Tilburg University.
This webinar was hosted by Tilburg University with the technical support of Camille Colard.