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What's New! Vol. II, No. 9


November 5, 2003

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"What's New!" is a periodic email update to keep you informed of the latest uploads onto the website which features a wide range of materials submitted by over 50 NGOs actively participating in the coalition. If you would like to be added onto the recipients list for "What's New!", join ECA-Action, the mailing list that disseminates latest articles, commentaries and announcements around policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-supported projects around the world. To join, simply sign up from the website, www.eca-watch.org today!
Questions? Email info@eca-watch.org

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Items in this issue:

 

1) Cartagena Declaration

2) Motupore Declaration

3) Chatham House ECA Seminar

4) Hollywood and Ecologists Unite Against Camisea

5) Sakhalin II “may spell ecological disaster”

6) GAO on ECAs

7) Export Credit Agencies to Fund Pipelines in Russia

8) U.S. Export-Import Bank Rejects Funding Peru's Controversial Camisea Pipeline

9) Andean Economic Development Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank Approve Loans for Peru's Camisea Pipeline Project

 

 

1) Cartagena Declaration : On September 16-18, 2003, the International Conference of Environmental Rights and Human Rights was held in Cartagena, Colombia. Two hundred and fifty delegates from environmental organisations, NGOs and social movements consider the way in which many governments promote the virtues of 'free' trade predominantly benefits transnational corporations and the global economic elite, whilst wars proliferate and the people and nations of the south become ever poorer. The resulting Cartagena Declaration finds, inter alia , that Export Credit Agencies and similar institutions do not take responsibility for the social, political and ecological consequences of their financial operations. For more information: Janneke Bruil, Friends of the Earth International, janneke@foei.org

 

2) Motupore Declaration: On July 18, 2003, landowners and mine affected communities from Papua New Guinea gathered to organize against ongoing violations of human rights and environmental destruction of mining in the region, in particular cases of the Bougainville, Ok Tedi, Porgera, Misima, Lihir and Tolukuma mines. The resulting Cartagena Declaration calls for, inter alia, International Finance Institutions and Export Credit Agencies such as the Australian Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) to provide no more public funding for any new mining in PNG, and for existing projects to report on their social and environmental impacts as they do in their financial reporting. For more information: Damien Ase, Celcor-FOE Papua New Guinea, dase@celcor.org.pg

 

3) Chatham House ECA Seminar: On September 3-4 2003, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, U.K. and FERN hosted an expert-level multi-stakeholder forum on environmental and social reforms for Export Credit Agencies. While acknowledging the role that ECAs play in the potential for sustainable development, participants found reforms of these institutions are needed including those related to policy coherence, transparency, bribery and corruption, debt, environmental due diligence, accountability, and national and international legal frameworks. For a copy of the Chair's Summary, contact: conferences@riia.org , or Saskia Ozinga at FERN, saskia@nciucn.nl .

 

4) Hollywood and Ecologists Unite Against Camisea: Bianca Jagger, Sting, Ruben Blades, Kevin Bacon, Susan Sarandon, Chevy Chase and other entertainers joined Friends of the Earth, Amazon Watch, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense, Rainforest Action Network, Bank Information Center, Reform the World Bank Campaign, Amazon Alliance and others to halt public financing for the calamitous Camisea gas pipeline in Peru. On August 28, 2003, the U.S. Export-Import Bank rejected a request for US$200 million in financing of the project, however on September 10, 2003, the Inter-American Development Bank approved US$135 million for the project.

http://www.foe.org/camps/intl/institutions/camisea.htm

http://www.amazonwatch.org

http://www.worldwildlife.org/news/headline.cfm?newsid=558

http://www.bicusa.org/lac/camisea_project_page.htm

http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pressrelease.cfm?ContentID=2842

http://www.mail-archive.com/ecologia@peacelink.it/msg00420.html

http://www.ran.org/news/newsitem.php?id=812&area=home

http://www.amazonalliance.org/

 

5) Sakhalin II “may spell ecological disaster”: The Guardian reports that the huge Sakhalin II oil and gas project on and off-shore Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East will be one of the largest energy projects of its kind in the world, but ecologists fear that, with the island's rich fisheries resource and high earthquake risk, the project “may spell environmental disaster.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4740072-103681,00.html

 

6) GAO on ECAs: In September, 2003, The U.S. Government's General Accounting Office released a detailed report entitled, Export Credit Agencies: Movement Toward

Common Environmental Guidelines, but National Differences Remain . The report finds, inter alia , that ECAs have made some progress in developing environmental guidelines and are moving toward common environmental review practices, but that important differences in their practices remain. The report notes that some U.S. businesses are concerned about the lack of commonality among ECA environmental policies and many are not on a par with those of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank). However, it finds that their specific concerns are largely anecdotal, difficult to confirm, and that there is only limited evidence Exim Bank's guidelines have negatively affected U.S. Exports. The report notes that energy projects are a significant part of the portfolio of Exim Bank and other ECAs, and it touches on Exim Banks decision to decline financing for the controversial Camisea project in Peru. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d031093.pdf

 

 

ECAs in the News:

 

7) Export Credit Agencies to Fund Pipelines in Russia

French Societe Generale, Vneshtorgbank, Belgian OND, French COFACE and Cat Financial financed a deal for Caterpillar Co. to supply Stroitransgaz construction machinery worth $9.18 million to construct pipelines in various regions of Russia.

http://www.akm.ru/eng/news/2003/september/05/ns1084894.htm

 

8) U.S. Export-Import Bank Rejects Funding Peru's Controversial Camisea Pipeline

In a 2-1 vote the Bank's board of directors voted against helping to fund the pipeline project in an area of the Amazon jungle about 700 miles east of Lima, believed to hold 13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, along with oil, because two guidelines for protecting ecological resources and avoiding harm to indigenous peoples were not met. Two companies with close ties to the Bush administration, who will not get financing are Hunt Oil Co. and Halliburton Co. While Peruvian officials claim the project, already about 70 percent complete, is crucial to gaining energy independence and paying down the country's debt, environmentalists and human rights groups lobbied banking officials in Washington, warning that the project could destroy one of the world's most biologically diverse and wild rain forests and negatively impact indigenous people living in the Nahua-Kugapakori Reserve, and the Paracus National Marine Reserve, the only marine sanctuary in Peru for endangered species.

http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/958969.asp?cp1=1

 

9) Andean Economic Development Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank Approve Loans for Peru's Camisea Pipeline Project

The Peruvian Government was heartened the second week of September when the Andean Economic Development Corporation agreed to a $75 million loan and the IDC approved a $135 million loan for a pipeline project in Peru that critics argue put economic benefits before the environment and the livelihood of indigenous people living in the project area. “We never thought the parties would go ahead and actually build a plant in the reserve's buffer zone,” said Francis Grant-Suttie, director of Private Sector Initiatives for the World Wildlife Fund.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/6765877.htm?template=contentModules/pri

 

View 'back issues':

September 15, 2003

May 18, 2003

April 11, 2003

March 17, 2003

February 20, 2003

February 7, 2003

January 24, 2003

December 17, 2002

November 22, 2002

October 29, 2002

October 23, 2002

September 30, 2002

September 12, 2002

August 26, 2002

August 02, 2002 - ECA Watch web team was on vacation.

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June 14, 2002

 
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