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Campaign groups file legal notice against Total under Duty of Vigilance law, alleging it fails to address human & environmental impact of its Ugandan operations

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Item
30 September 2019

TOTAL RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS FROM NGOS ABOUT ITS PROJECTS IN UGANDA

Author: Total

  • Total’s Vigilance Plan clearly identifies the risks to human rights, fundamental freedoms, human health and safety, and the environment that could result from our activities. Preventive measures specific to these risks are also set out...
  • The French Law on Corporate Duty of Care takes a general approach by type of risk. It does not require disclosure of risks specific to individual projects.
  • The Vigilance Plan does not cover management of the risks related to our operations. That management is provided through action plans and procedures in force within Total and other measures taken for individual projects, notably in response to impact assessments...
  • Total E&P Uganda and its partners have conducted detailed environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) that in particular cover access to land and water and potential environmental impacts. These assessments led to measures to prevent or mitigate such impacts...
  • Owners were offered financial compensation or compensation in kind. Thirty-one opted for compensation in kind... The other 591 people opted for financial compensation... Other measures have been implemented to support local communities, and more are planned. 
  • Total is fully aware of the potential impacts on local communities. Ongoing transparent dialogue ensures that any concerns expressed are handled appropriately. Stakeholders are informed and consulted at every step of project implementation.

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Article
25 June 2019

Campaign groups accuse Total of breaching Duty of Vigilance law for failing to address human & environmental impact of its Ugandan operations

Author: Reuters

"Campaign groups accuse Total of breaching French corporate duty law in Uganda", 25 June 2019

French and Ugandan campaign groups including Friends of the Earth have filed a legal notification with Total, claiming it has failed to address the human and environmental impact of its Ugandan operations as required by French law...

In their June 24 notification, the campaign groups say Total’s 2018 plan makes no specific reference to its Ugandan Tilenga project, and thereby violates the law. 

A spokeswoman said Total was waiting to receive the group’s full notification before commenting, and said Friends of the Earth had not responded to an invitation to discuss the firm’s projects in Uganda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The six groups claim Total has intimidated and failed to properly compensate local land-owners, and has failed develop adequate environmental safeguards to protect the surrounding national park through which the Nile river flows. 

The notification triggers a three-month period for Total to show it meets its obligations, or else victims can bring the issue before a judge. 

“We fought for years to see this law passed. This first case is a real test to see if it does indeed allow us to prevent future human and environmental catastrophes,” Juliette Renaud of Friends of the Earth said in a statement.

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