The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has agreed to consider complaints regarding severe human rights violations associated with the proposal by GCM Resources, a British-based company, to establish an open-pit coal mine in the Phulbari region of north-west Bangladesh. The proposed mine threatens to displace in the region of 220,000 people whilst also posing a significant threat to the natural environment of the region, which incorporates the Sundarbans, one of the world’s largest remaining mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The complaint by the International Accountability Project and the World Development Movement claims that the mine planned by the AIM-listed company would breach OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It would violate the human rights of indigenous people from 23 different tribal groups, and destroy nearly 12,000 acres of Bangladesh’s most fertile and productive farmland.
Full details of the OECD’s UK National Contact Point response can be found in the following official policy paper which is accompanied by an initial assessment of the original complaint as submitted by the International Accountability Project and World Development Movement.
The official Policy Paper published on the UK Goverment website – UK NCP initial assessment: complaint from the International Accountability Project and the World Development Movement against GCM Resources Plc in Bangladesh.
The full Document highlighted in this press release can be detailed as follows:
Initial assessment by the UK national contact point for the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises: complaint from the International Accountability Project and the World Development Movement against GCM Resources Plc in Bangladesh
UK National Contact Point accepts for further consideration a complaint against a UK company developing plans for coal mining in Bangladesh.
Ref: BIS/13/929 PDF, 163KB, 12 pages
World Development Movement Statement – UK government accepts complaint over GCM Resources’ Bangladesh coal mine
‘The acceptance of the complaints by OECD for investigation into the alleged human rights violation at Phulbari coalmine site dealt a serious blow to GCM, which has been struggling since late 1990s to get government approval for exploration of the coalmine with an estimated reserve of 572 million tonnes of high-quality bituminous coal’, reports the pro-GCM newspaper the Financial Express. The London-based Global Coal Management (GCM) Resources Plc (formerly Asia Energy) has announced formation of a new board of directors headed by Polo Resources Limited Managing Director Michael Tang, according to Financial Express. Read more here.