┆Oronto Douglas was born in Okoroba, Nigeria. He attended the University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria where he studied law. A speaker of Ijaw, Igbo and Yoruba, Douglas began to work as an environmental rights activist and was instrumental in the creation of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. In 1994 he was introduced to environmental scientist Nick Ashton-Jones and assisted him on a baseline ecological survey of the Niger Delta. The trip resulted in the publication _The __Environmental Rights Action Handbook to the Niger Delta_ (published 1998, available [here](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Niger_Delta_Ecosystems:_the_ERA_Handbook)) but also led to Douglas meeting activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and becoming involved with the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), which aimed to protect the Ogoni people from environmental destruction caused by oil companies, in particular Shell. Douglas was a member of the legal team that represented Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists at their trial under General Sani Abacha’s government in 1994-95. Saro-Wiwa was executed in November 1995 in what was described as “judicial murder” and caused international outcry.
In 1995 to 1997 Douglas attended De Montfort University, graduating with a Masters in Environmental Law. During his time in Leicester he remained an active campaigner against the oil industry, organising protests at Shell petrol stations.
Douglas later became a special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on research, documentation and strategy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and died in April 2015. He was married with two sons.