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Bangladesh: Concerns over environmental & social impacts of Asia Energy/GCM Resources' Phulbari coal project

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Article
10 May 2017

Bangladesh: Phulbari protesters give ultimatum to meet 6-point demands

Author: Bipul Sarker Sunny, Tribune [Bangladesh]

Leaders of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports have demanded immediate implementation of their six-point demands regarding the clash between police and people who protested the proposed Phulbari open pit coal mine in Dinajpur in 2006. They also asked the government to withdraw false cases filed against the protesters following the 2006 incident... The committee threatened to take to the streets and stage demonstrations if their demands were not met by August 26...Phulbari locals staged a protest on August 26, 2006 against coal extraction from an open pit in the area proposed by Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pvt Ltd. The protest turned violent when law enforcement agencies intervened, resulting in the death of three protesters and injuries to dozens more....The six-point demands are: cancellation of the agreement between the government and Asia Energy and a government declaration that no coal mining projects will be undertaken in the area, compensation for those injured and killed on August 26, 2006, the bringing of law enforcement members responsible for the deaths and injuries under investigation, return of the bodies of the protesters that could not be found, construction of a monument by the Phulbari bridge in memory of those killed in the protest, and compensation for the shopkeepers and rickshaw pullers who suffered damages by the law enforcement members during the clash.

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Article
21 December 2015

Protesters fight coal mining project in Bangladesh

Author: Dave Carr, Socialist Party

For the last nine years the Committee to Protect Oil, Gas and Natural Resources in Bangladesh has organised protests in central London outside the AGM of coal mining conglomerate Global Coal Management Resources (GCM)...Socialist Party members joined the 2015 protest on 18 December outside plush offices adjacent to Hyde Park Corner...Despite the government repudiation, activists fear that GCM will get a deal with the Bangladesh government to begin coal mining in Phulbari. GCM appears to be continuing its attempts to raise funds for this operation.

 

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Article
29 September 2015

UK Report Urges GCM Resources to Respect Human Rights Standards in Bangladesh

Author: Cultural Survival

The UK government has published a statement in September highlighting continued opposition and turmoil in Bangladesh over British company GCM Resources’ plans to build a massive open pit coal mine in Phulbari, located in the north west of Bangladesh...The investigation acknowledged that “GCM has aroused considerable opposition in Bangladesh, leading to violent protests, and an even more violent response by the authorities there...The new report urges GCM to comply with international standards for managing social and environmental impacts, and to do so before any plans for the project move forward.  “GCM will need to complete its updating of its plans, including making and publishing the [Human Rights Impact Assessment] it has committed to, before it begins work to acquire land for and develop the mine...The UK government states that GCM must take into account the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which stipulates that no developments can take place on Indigenous Peoples’ land without their ‘free, prior and informed consent’.

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Article
9 September 2015

Statement by GCM Resources

Author: GCM Resources

GCM Resources plc ("GCM" or the "Company"), a London based resource exploration and development company, is pleased to announce the UK National Contact Point to the OECD ("NCP") has today published a Follow-up Statement (the "Report") which completes the final stage of the OECD process...In the Report, the NCP advised there was no change in its findings as stated in the Final Statement from November 2014 and there was no basis to find GCM's actions either inadequate or inappropriate to the nature and context of the Company's operations...The NCP also noted that GCM has an obligation to consider and manage the environmental and social aspects throughout the project life cycle. The Company entirely accepts this responsibility and re-confirms its commitment to developing the Project in accordance with the highest international and national social and environmental standards, including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

 

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Article
31 August 2015

National Contact Point's final statement

Author: UK National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Follow up Statement after recommendations in complaint from IAP/WDM against GCM Resources 

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Article
29 August 2015

Homage paid to Brave Protesters in Phulbari

Author: Raaj Manik, Phulbari Solidarity Group

...Phulbari Day...is...the day to commemorate mass protests that prevented a UK-based mining company, Global Coal Management PLC, from building a large-scale open-pit coal mine in Phulbari in north-west Bangladesh. Nine years ago, on 26th August in 2006, three brave protesters were shot dead in the mass protest that took place in opposition to plans by GCM, a London based AIM-listed corporation, who wanted to forcefully displace 130,000 people from their homes by grabbing 14,600 hectares of highly cultivable land in Bangladesh. The powerful demonstration in 2006 ended in tragedy when paramilitary force opened fire on a rally of 80,000, people, leaving three people killed and two hundred injured....On the ninth anniversary on 26 August 2015, the day was remembered with respect, as ever, and people’s resistance was celebrated by diverse groups and rights-activists across Bangladesh and in London...Locals in Phulbari called upon the government to remove fabricated cases against leaders of the Phulbari movement. They demanded for an immediate implementation of the Phulbari deal and called upon a permanent expulsion of Asia Energy, the Bangladesh subsidiary of GCM , from Bangladesh.

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Article
21 November 2014

UK urges GCM Resources to assess human rights impact of Bangladesh coal mine

Author: World Development Movement

The UK government has urged British company GCM Resources to assess how its planned coal mine in Bangladesh would affect the human rights of local people, and has condemned the company for breaching international guidelines on ethical corporate behaviour. Its findings...state that the project “has aroused considerable opposition in Bangladesh, leading to violent protests, and an even more violent response by the authorities there.” The UK government statement follows an investigation into GCM’s activities in the Phulbari region of north-west Bangladesh, where it wants to open a massive open-pit coal mine. The investigation concluded that the company had breached the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises by failing to “foster confidence and mutual trust” with the people who would be affected by the mine.

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Article
19 November 2014

GCM Resources says OECD investigation findings mostly in its favour

Author: Sam Unsted, Alliance News

"GCM Shares Jump As OECD Investigation Findings Mostly In Its Favour",

GCM Resources PLC on Thursday said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's investigation of the company has been finalised and released, with the majority of the rulings in the company's favour....Six alleged breaches of OECD guidelines by the company regarding the Phulbari coal project in Bangladesh were rejected by the organisation's UK National Contact Point, with only one ruled as a partial breach, which related to GCM's reduced communications with local communities between 2006 and 2012. In December 2012, activist groups lodged a complaint against GCM Resources alleging it had breached the OECD guidelines for multinational companies with its plans for the developing the Phulbari coal project in Bangladesh...GCM defended its plans at the time of the complaint, saying they will enhance the human rights for the people of the Dinajpur area as well as the Bangladesh population because the project will support up to 4,000 megawatts of power generation for the country. It said it had extensively studied the potential impact of mining at the site, and prepared plans to mitigate any adverse impact while providing benefits, such as improved water quality and living conditions.

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Article
19 November 2014

UK NCP final statement: complaint from IAP and WDM against GCM Resources Plc in Bangladesh

Author: UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

UK National Contact Point final statement on a complaint against a UK company developing plans for coal mining in Bangladesh.

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Article
13 June 2013

GCM Resources says OECD investigates claims further

Author: StockMarketWire

GCM Resources...said the OECD's National Contact Point unit is investigating claims made against the company further...The Company has consistently maintained that the Phulbari Coal Project is planned to enhance the human rights for the people of the Dinajpur area as well as the Bangladesh population. Upon development, the Project would support up to 4000MW of power generation for the country, significantly increasing the electricity availability for the country. The additional electricity would drive economic and social development and help Bangladesh towards meeting its Millennium Development Goals. GCM maintains its commitment to develop the Project in alignment with the highest international and national social and environmental standards. Extensive studies have been conducted into the potential impacts of mining and associated activities, and plans have been prepared in accordance with the highest international standards to mitigate any adverse impacts and at the same to magnify the potential benefits, such as improved water quality and living conditions.

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