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Vi jobber for en rettferdig verden i økologisk balanse

One of these days NorWatch publishes a comprehensive report on Statoil's international activity. The report shows that Statoil is involved in a large number of projects which are in conflict with the environment, human rights or international law. NorWatch's investigations also show that Statoil, which is fully owned by the Norwegian State, on many occasions makes its own foreign policy in conflict with official Norwegian policy - without intervention from the Norwegian government.
The Norwegian mining company Ecuanor is now facing vigorous protests against the company's prospecting for gold in the Azuay province in Ecuador. On Monday 19th October around 40 peasants, environmentalists and representatives of indigenous people's organisations occupied the Norwegian Consulate in the capital Quito. The action was directed against the Norwegian consul Odd E. Hansen, who is head of Ecuanor in Ecuador. After hours of occupation, the riot squads cracked brutally down on the activists. One Indian chief was injured and two were arrested. The opponents against mining activity demand that Ecuanor should withdraw from the area, while Ecuanor claims that the protests are completely premature, considering the fact that the company has not yet decided whether there will be any mining activity in the disputed area.
Kvaerner Pulp & Paper is competing for a contract in connection with the planned and controversial cellulose project Borneo Pulp & Paper in the Malaysian part of Borneo. If the Norwegian industrial giant wins the bid, Kvaerner will once more participate in a project which, according to the opponents, deprives indigenous people of their source of life and turns rainforest into fast-growing tree plantations. The indigenous people try to stop the project by judicial means, while Kvaerner's information manager, Marit Ytreeide, after countless inquiries over a long period of time, is unwilling to give NorWatch comments on the issue.
Scancem's subsidiary in Liberia faced severe criticism for low salary and working conditions after NorWatch visited the cement factory last autumn. Scancem now informs that they have made a new and better agreement with the workers in the factory on wages and working conditions. This makes the subsidiary wage-leading in the war-torn country. The trade union at Norcem in Brevik, Norway, welcomes the new agreement, but criticizes the Scancem management for not doing anything for workers who complain of health problems after having worked for Scancem's subsidiary in Ghana.
In June, representatives of the Stromme Foundation, the Norwegian Church Aid and The Futurein Our Hands had a meeting with the executive board of Utkal Alumina in Oslo (NorWatch 14/98). They criticized the company's behaviour towards the local population in Orissa. The board was told that the planned erection of a boundary wall has severely provoked the local people, and they decided to put it off for the time being.
Once again there are reports of police actions to clear the way for Norsk Hydro's mining project in India, Utkal Alumina. The project affected people in the village Kucheipadar blocked the road leading into the construction area and was met by an extensive action from armed policemen. The offices of the NGO Agragamee were raided, and several staff members were arrested. Numerous police forces are now stationed in the area. And Utkal is assembling for a board meeting in Oslo to discuss the situation.
In the summer of 1997, Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) was asked by Norsk Hydro to examine the possibilities to evaluate the rehabilitation process in the Utkal case. Since then, CMI has been in the project area, writing their own report on the case and giving talks to the board of the company. Below we bring some main points from the report, and comments from CMI.
The Norwegian Arve Varleite's furniture factory in Malaysia is accused by the local population of operating illegally, of exposing the local people to health hazards by burning toxic waste, and of making use of child labour in the production. The local population has criticized the company in the environment- and consumer periodical Utusan Konsumer. Varleite repudiates all the accusations to NorWatch.
When the Nigeria Campaign and the demand that Statoil must withdraw from Nigeria were launched, the conspicuous opposition politicians Marit Arnstad, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and Hilde Frafjord Johnson were important supporters.

Asia has become the world's waste dump for discarded ships. 70-90% of all demolition of ships takes place in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The reason is cheap labour and lack of enforcement of environmental regulations, if they exist at all.

NW has come across a list which proves that 11 ships from acknowledged Norwegian shipping companies have been sold to Asian ship-breakers. According to the shipping companies, none of the ships were cleaned up before they were sent away.

Norwegian authorities think that the ships cannot be considered as waste as long as the ships are still running and have the necessary certificates, even though they are about to be sent to Asia to be demolished. Denmark has a different view, and has put a state-owned ferry company under investigation for having sold two boats to Indian ship-breakers.

Norsk Hydro has pulled out of the heavy oil project Sincor in Venezuela. Norsk Hydro owned a 15% share of the land based project which is estimated to cost around 28 million kroner. The other partners are Statoil (15%), PdVSA (38%), and Total, which owns 47% after taking over Hydro's shares.
Recently, NorWatch presented its 1998 annual report, in which a statistical analysis of all issues the project has made public since its beginning in 1995 was made.