Case story

  • Norway

OECD NCP Norway - Framtiden i våre hender vs Intex Resources

2009

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Case Status

Relevant OECD Guidelines:

  • Part 1 Chapter II

  • Part 1 Chapter V

  • Part 1 Chapter VI

Story

In 1997, the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a prospecting permit to Norwegian mining and exploration company Intex Resources for building a nickel mine and factory in the province of Mindoro. The prospecting agreement overlaps with the land of the Mangyan indigenous people and affects in particular the Alangan and Tadyawan tribes, who have property rights in the area but were not consulted for the project.

The complaint alleges that Intex Resources will violate the OECD Guidelines if it carries out its plans to establish the factory. The factory would be a threat to the local water environment because of its proximity to rivers that provide water to neighbouring villages and agricultural fields.

Outcome

The Norwegian NCP forwarded the complaint to Intex Resources, who quickly responded to the Complainants’ concerns by means of a public letter in which they defended their operations. In March 2009, the NCP asked the Complainants to comment on the company’s response. The NCP subsequently invited the Complainants to a meeting with the company in the summer of 2009.

A visit from the Norwegian ambassador in the Philippines to the Mindoro province in December 2009 was expected to further advance the handling of the case. In the meantime, hunger strikes and protests by activists led to the withdrawal of the Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Philippine government in October 2009.

During their visit, the Norwegian Ambassador in the Philippines and the embassy Secretary held a meetings with opposition groups and those groups that support the project. A report of the vists was sent to both parties for comments.

In March 2010 the NCP decided to process the complaint. It was further decided that the contact point would hire an independent expert to further investigate the issue. According to the NCP, the expert is to go to Mindoro and is to establish a factual basis for the case.The NCP is still in the process of finding an expert for the case.

Additional Information: http://oecdwatch.org/cases/Case_164

Contributor(s): This article was modified by Kyle (3), Ejfturnbull (1).