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Vi jobber for en rettferdig verden i økologisk balanse

We have had a change of government. We now have a prime minister who repeatedly has criticized Norwegian industrial involvement in dictatorship states and a minister of development cooperation who wants the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to emphasize poverty rather than industry. We have a minister of petroleum and energy who wants to slow down the recovery of oil in the North Sea, who is against the building of gas-fired power stations, critical to INTSOK (program for cooperation between the Norwegian government and the oil industry regarding foreign investments), and who, while in opposition, criticized Statoil's operations in Nigeria.
The workers at Scancem International's subsidiary Cemenco in the war-torn country Liberia are protesting against the salary and working conditions at the Norwegian-Swedish cement factory. - It's very hard for us to survive on the slave wages we're getting. The shooting has stopped in this country, but not the fight to survive, workers tell NorWatch, who recently visited the Aker RGI company.
Scancem's management in Norway promises to look into the conditions brought to their attention by NorWatch after the visit to the company's cement factory in Liberia. But Scancem says it is a wage leader in the war-torn country and deserves praise for having kept the wheels turning during the civil war. The Future in Our Hands challenges the Norwegian labor movement to take up the case.
"American Monarch", the flagship of the Aker RGI-controlled company Norway Seafoods, has become a major failure. This should have taught the company the lesson that crime against nature does not pay.

Kværner is, along with two other companies, responsible for planning and construction work of the new gold mine on the island Lihir in Papua New Guinea. The mining activity started in May this year, but environmentalists warned about the consequences even before the activity started. Tonnes of toxic waste will be dumped straight into the ocean every day. Experts consider the sea areas around Lihir as one of the areas with the richest bio diversity world wide, and it is estimated that at least seven kilometres of coral reef will be lost.

After they recently received a letter from the Brazilian federation of trade unions (CUT), LO (the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions) has become involved in the struggle for workers' rights in the Lorentzen company Aracruz Celulose. In a letter to the Aracruz management, LO has also given their full support to the Indians' demands to have their traditional areas of land returned from the company. The Brazilian Minister of Justice, on the other hand, has sent the land claim of the Indians back to the "Ministry of Indians" (FUNAI) for a second consideration. The Indians are upset about the development of the case.
Statkraft threatens their subcontractors in Nepal with breach of contract in order to bring an end to the use of child workers at the state-owned company's hydroelectric power project Khimti Khola in Nepal. For the first time in Statkraft's history, the company may resort to economic sanctions to implement its ethical principles.
In the previous issue of NorWatch newsletter, we reported on Statoil's activities in the Timor Strait. This is the story of the two faces of the Norwegian State in the East Timor conflict, about Norway recognizing the struggle for independence of East Timor, and at the same time recognizing Indonesia's annexation of the country.
With reference to the report "Towards a Sustainable Paper Cycle", Minister of Environment Torbjørn Berntsen and Erling Lorentzen reject the criticism which was raised against the cellulose giant Aracruz in an interview in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. However, the report does not mention Aracruz at all, and the authors of the report feel that they have been abused. Lorentzen and the Minister of Environment's use of the report, which was financed by among others Erling Lorentzen with more than 800,000 kroner, was a cunning bluff towards the Norwegian public opinion.
In 1993, the Stromme Foundation was asked by Norwegian authorities to carry out organisational development and education in Orissa, India. Secretary General Øistein Garcia de Presno has visited the area, and is shocked to experience that Hydro's bauxite project in the area represents the precise contrary interests of those the Stromme Foundation was asked to encourage. The tribals whom the Stromme Foundation was supposed to help, are threatened by devastation of their entire livelihood and culture. Below, NorWatch makes a mention of the report.
The shocking information in this issue that Borregaard's carbofuran factory in China involves use of the very toxic gas methyl isocyanate (MIC) must have immediate consequences.
Borregaard's pesticide factory in China has since its establishment in 1995 kept secret that the company uses the highly toxic MIC gas in its production process. The same gas killed over 10,000 people in the Indian town of Bhopal after a leak from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in 1984. Borregaard is now applying for support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to install a safety system for monitoring the gas, but NorWatch has obtained a memorandum from NORAD showing that Borregaard's planned safety system might not be so safe.
With support from the government's INTSOK plan (program for cooperation between the Norwegian government and the oil industry regarding foreign investments), Statoil and Hydro obtained licenses in the controversial priority area of Venezuela in June. In the middle of the Orionoco belt in Venezuela, Hydro and Statoil plan to recover heavy oil. Statoil will also drill in freshwater. The local population and fishermen are getting ready for massive demonstrations.
The leaders of the Himba-people in Namibia were recently in Oslo in order to have talks with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and Norconsult, both involved in a dam construction project at the Epupa falls. It became clear that this dam will threaten the existence of this self-sufficient people, and that the only way for them to react to this project is to risk their own lives. Norconsult has hoped all along for the development to take place, at the same time as the company is assessing the impact with support from NORAD.
In the autumn of 1996 Oceanor's Seawatch project in India received a financial grant of 27 million kroner from the government's environmental fund. Sources in NORAD say to NorWatch that NORAD was ordered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the application was given a positive consideration, in spite of objections within NORAD.