Kontakt oss

Telefon: 22 03 31 50
E-post: post@framtiden.no
Mariboes gate 8

Støtt arbeidet vårt

Liker du arbeidet Framtiden i våre hender gjør? Med din støtte kan vi gjøre enda mer.
Bli medlem nå!

Ja til miljørabatt!

Kutt moms på reparasjon og utleie av klær, utstyr og elektronikk!
Les mer

Vi jobber for en rettferdig verden i økologisk balanse

NorWatch can reveal that UNI Storebrand's «environmental fund» (Storebrand Scudder Environmental Value Fund), in stark contrast with its green image, is investing in activities hostile to the environment. On the list of the ten companies where the green fund has made the largest investments, we find several of the most infamous multinational companies in the world, among others the mining giant Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ). The green fund has invested in the nuclear industry, car industry, armament, large greenhouse gas producers and activities which destroy tropical forest and expel natives. Where is the green profile? When confronted with NorWatch's criticism, UNI is of the opinion that the investment the Green Fund has been doing is a step in the right direction for the environmental cause. Concerning the mining giant RTZ, UNI has been giving contradictory signals. First they considered selling the shares in the company, the next moment they supported the company's environmental profile.
This newsletter is among other things concerned with Norwegian investments in Indonesia, a country that the past few months has received worldwide attention due to repeated and increased abuses of the population by the authorities. Norwegian companies follow in the footsteps of the government, which last year sent Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland off on a charm offensive to the regime’s dictator, Suharto.
In 1991, 26 workers at Scancem’s cement factory in Ghana, GHACEM, were dismissed allegedly because the enterprise was overstaffed. Today seven of them are dead and three have lost their eyesight due to dust pollution from the factories. NorWatch has obtained a fresh report claiming that the local population is suffering from grave health and environmental problems in connection with Scancem’s activities. The report criticizes GHACEM for refusing to provide information as to what types of releases the cement factory generates. Scancem finds the criticism puzzling, and says that its company in Ghana is a model enterprise as concerns the environment.
State secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, A. Mathiesen, has said that the large amount paid last year to Norwegian companies setting up businesses in Indonesia was a coincidence. NorWatch has found out that the amount may increase by 30% for 1996 if the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) approves the applications they have received.
On August 15, the gold and silver mine Porgera Joint Venture in Papua New Guinea was closed by indigenous people of the area. Two people were killed and several hurt during the riots. Members of the Porgera River Alluvial Miners Association (PRAMA) rioted when the compensation for damage caused by the mine was withheld in the last minute. Other enterprises and offices in the mining town were also forced to close. Dyno’s subsidiary Dyno Wesfarmers Ltd. (DWL) has a factory manufacturing explosives at the mining-site.

For three years, well out of the eyes of the Norwegian public, the Norwegian furniture company Scansia has run a furniture factory in Rangoon, the capitol of Burma. The factory produces garden furniture using teak, which they buy from the military regime. The Burmese rainforest contain 80% of the remaining teak trees, but the military regime is strongly criticised for the removal of this valuable type of tree. Should today's speed of removal continue, Burma's resource of teak trees will disappear within 25 years, according to environmentalists and the international boycott campaign against the military regime.

As late as 1993, Dyno Industries US subsidiary, Dyno Nobel Inc., supplied detonators to US anti-personnel mines. Now the company has been registered on Human Rights Watch' blacklist over companies which do not want to waive the opportunity for such production in the future. In spite of this, Dyno Industrier informed the Foreign Ministry in the spring of 1995 that the company did not produce or had not produced equipment for such mines. Norwegian authorities support an international ban against anti-personnel mines, which is a large problem for the people of the third world.
When the Apartheid regime was at the verge of falling in South Africa, the most important argument the Norwegian authorities used for the lifting of sanctions as soon as possible, was the fear for the Norwegian industry loosing the fight for contracts. Looking back, it does not seem like the lifted sanctions created any big interest among companies, for the Democractic South Africa.
The 27th of May 1996, marked the start of an international campaign that supports the indian demand for the return of land occupied since the 1960’s by the worlds largest producer of bleached cellulose, Aracruz Celulose S.A. A little less than a third of the company is owned by the Lorentzen family and Den norske Bank, both Norwegian. Aracruz owns enormous areas of land where forest and indian land have been converted to eucalyptus plantations. Recently, the Ministry of Justice in Norway received a letter from the Brazilian indians, asking the Norwegian authorities to support the Indian demand. Den norske Bank, on its part, tells NorWatch that they are not aware of the conflict.
In Papua New Guinea’s rainforest, Dyno Wesfarmers Ltd (DWL) produces explosives and detonators for Porgera Joint Venture’s (PJV) gold and silver mine. A new and comprehensive report which NorWatch has access to, shows that the Porgera mine is perhaps the most polluting mine in the world. The death rate among indigenous people in the area has increased. Fishing, hunting and farming are heavily reduced because of the discharge from the mine. The mine gets its main supply of explosives from Dyno Wesfarmer’s factory at the minsesite. Yet, Dyno denies responsibility for the conditions at Porgera.
The work at the Bakun dam project in Sarawak, Malaysia (see NorWatch 4/96), was stopped by Malaysian High Court on the 19th of June. Three from a total of over 9 000 indigenous people who has to resettle as a result of the project, took the developers to court. The High Court agreed with them, in that the feasibility study did not considerate their situation. The developer, Ekran Bhd appealed, and on the 13th of July got permission to continue work on the project until the case is settled.
In the last edition of NorWatch we highlighted Norwegian companies' secrecy with regard to their Chinese subcontractors within the shoes and sports-clothing industry. Well recognised manufacturers such as Helly Hansen and Gresvig refused to give out information for «reasons of competition». This is the policy in spite of the existence of extensive documentation that working conditions in this industry are far from satisfactory.
Norconsult has finished the negotiations, and is about to sign a contract for the construction of a highly controversial waste disposal site in Barbados. The dump will be situated within the Scotland District National Park, which is claimed by environmentalists and opponents to the construction to be the last green lung on the densely populated Caribbean island. Norconsult has told NorWatch that the existence of a national park in the area is unknown to them, but that it does not make a difference in terms of signing the contract.
The Norwegian consultant and planning company Norplan AS is responsible for the communication between the developers and the people living in the area that are affected by the Hidrovia development in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia. The massive project affects the natives and threatens fauna and flora in the area. Changes made to the course of the river, in order to give ships access to the inner regions, may cause dry-out of the world's largest wetland, as well as floods. There is a strong resistance among the natives in the area, which Norplan, with NORAD (Nowegian Agency for Development Co-operation) financing, has the responsibility to inform. Thus, Norplan and NORAD are contributing to the opening up of untouched areas for commercial exploitation.
Foreign investments explode in China - including Norwegian. However, not all companies see it as beneficial to move to China. Instead, they make use of subcontractors.