Myanmar: Shwe pipeline begins piping gas to China despite allegations of adverse human rights & environmental impacts

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Article
14 May 2017

Commentary: Responsible investment requires more than a few CSR programs: Lessons for Chinese Outbound Investors

Author: Jinmei Liu, EarthRights International

"Responsible Investment Requires More than a Few Corporate Social Responsibility Programs: Lessons for Chinese Outbound Investors", 4 May 2017

…Chinese investors…must understand that the meaning of responsible investment is much more than a few corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.For the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines project, CNPC…has spent lavishly on CSR programs, which includes building schools and clinics in communities and bringing electricity to the community…but due to a lack of doctors, nurses, and medicine, the benefits to local communities are very limited…[T]he project [itself] has had tremendous negative environmental and social costs on the local communities along the pipeline route… More than 100 villages have been affected. [T]he most significant issue generally, concerns land…Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee and other local civil society organizations (CSOs) along the pipeline have tried to meet with the representatives of CNPC based in Mandalay many times, but had been rejected for different reasons. Recently, there have been regular meetings due to the election of NLD. Difficulties in engagement and communication are common problems with Chinese investors.

 ...Andes Petroleum Ecuador Ltd. [joint-venture of CNPC & SINOPEC]…operates in [Ecuador] Andes Petroleum signed an exploration and development contract for two more oil blocks…[which] overlap with the territory of the Sápara indigenous people...The indigenous people in this region are strongly opposed to any plans for oil development and vow to resist and stop these projects…According to the CNPC, it commits to “obeying the laws and regulations of the countries where we operate and fully respecting local customs…”…[but the company’s] site lacks information about each project the company operates, the corporate structure and board members, or even general updates.

…As these two projects in Myanmar and Ecuador demonstrate, for Chinese investors, CSR translates to building schools and clinics and giving donations. But this is insufficient. Both projects discussed in this post have conducted CSR programs but have largely ignored more pressing issues, such as land compensation, safety concerns, environmental issues, indigenous rights, transparency, and climate change. 

…We strongly suggest that CNPC…adopt and operationalize policies and grievance mechanisms that meet the UN Guiding Principles. This would be a powerful indicator that CNPC takes seriously its role as a responsible international investor, and would go much further than its limited CSR programs have.

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Author: 國際地球權利(EarthRights International)

[企業責任資源中心提供的中文翻譯] "Responsible Investment Requires More than a Few Corporate Social Responsibility Programs: Lessons for Chinese Outbound Investors", 2017年5月4日

…中國投資者…必須明白,盡責投資的含義遠不是一些企業社會責任(CSR)項目就可以涵蓋……就中國-緬甸油氣管道項目而言,中石油……在企業社會責任項目上已經花費了大量的資金,這些項目包括在社區修建學校和診所,以及為社區供電…但由於缺乏醫護人員和藥品,當地社區的獲益十分有限…項目[本身]給管道沿線的社區帶來了巨大的負面環境和社會成本……100多個村莊受到影響。最突出的問題通常…涉及到土地…緬甸中國管道觀察委員會(Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee)和其他管道沿線的地方民間社會組織(CSOs)已多次嘗試與中石油駐緬甸的代表會面,但均被公司方以不同理由加以回絕。近來,由於緬甸全國民主聯盟(NLD)的當選,雙方舉行了定期的會談。難與中國投資者接洽和溝通是普遍存在的問題。

厄瓜多爾安第斯石油有限公司 (Andes Petroleum Ecuador Ltd.)[中石油和中石化的合資子公司]……在(厄瓜多爾)運營的安第斯石油公司簽署了有關兩個新增石油區塊的勘探開發合同 …(石油區塊)與Sápara土著人的領地重疊…該地區的土著人民強烈反對任何石油開發計劃,並誓言抵制和阻止這些項目…根據中石油所述,該公司承諾 “…遵守運營所在地國的法律和法規,充分尊重當地習俗…”…[但公司的]運營地並沒有關於公司開展的每個項目、公司結構以及董事會成員的相關介紹,或是連信息的一般更新也沒有。

…在緬甸和厄瓜多爾的兩個項目表明:對中國投資者而言,企業社會責任被解讀為修建學校、診所和捐款。但這還不夠。本文談到的兩個項目都實施了企業社會責任項目,但在很大程度上忽略了更為緊迫的問題,如土地補償、安全關注、環境議題、土著人權利、運營透明度和氣候變化等。

…我們強烈建議中石油…採用和實施符合聯合國指導原則的政策和申訴機制。這將成為一個強有力的指標,證明中石油認真看待其國際盡責投資者的角色;這也會比該公司作用有限的企業社會責任項目產生更大的影響。

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Author: 国际地球权利 (EarthRights International)

[企业责任资源中心提供的中文翻译] "Responsible Investment Requires More than a Few Corporate Social Responsibility Programs: Lessons for Chinese Outbound Investors", 2017年5月4日

…中国投资者…必须明白,尽责投资的含义远不是一些企业社会责任(CSR)项目就可以涵盖……就中国-缅甸油气管道项目而言,中石油……在企业社会责任项目上已经花费了大量的资金,这些项目包括在社区修建学校和诊所,以及为社区供电…但由于缺乏医护人员和药品,当地社区的获益十分有限…项目[本身]给管道沿线的社区带来了巨大的负面环境和社会成本……100多个村庄受到影响。最突出的问题通常…涉及到土地…缅甸中国管道观察委员会(Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee)和其他管道沿线的地方民间社会组织(CSOs)已多次尝试与中石油驻缅甸的代表会面,但均被公司方以不同理由加以回绝。近来,由于缅甸全国民主联盟(NLD)的当选,双方举行了定期的会谈。难与中国投资者接洽和沟通是普遍存在的问题。

厄瓜多尔安第斯石油有限公司(Andes Petroleum Ecuador Ltd.)[中石油和中石化的合资子公司]……在(厄瓜多尔)运营的安第斯石油公司签署了有关两个新增石油区块的勘探开发合同…(石油区块)与Sápara土著人的领地重叠…该地区的土著人民强烈反对任何石油开发计划,并誓言抵制和阻止这些项目…根据中石油所述,该公司承诺“…遵守运营所在地国的法律和法规,充分尊重当地习俗…”…[但公司的]运营地并没有关于公司开展的每个项目、公司结构以及董事会成员的相关介绍,或是连信息的一般更新也没有。

…在缅甸和厄瓜多尔的两个项目表明:对中国投资者而言,企业社会责任被解读为修建学校、诊所和捐款。但这还不够。本文谈到的两个项目都实施了企业社会责任项目,但在很大程度上忽略了更为紧迫的问题,如土地补偿、安全关注、环境议题、土著人权利、运营透明度和气候变化等。

…我们强烈建议中石油…采用和实施符合联合国指导原则的政策和申诉机制。这将成为一个强有力的指标,证明中石油认真看待其国际尽责投资者的角色;这也会比该公司作用有限的企业社会责任项目产生更大的影响。

 

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Company response
3 August 2013

Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) response to reports on alleged human rights impacts of Shwe gas & Myanmar-China oil transport projects

Author: Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

[Unofficial translation of title and text from original Chinese provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre] …[T]he land acquisition and compensation work shall at all times be in accordance with the laws and regulations of Myanmar; land acquisition along the pipeline shall not take villagers' arable land, or take as little arable land as possible...in case certain villagers do not agree with the land acquisition, the pipeline shall bypass their land by changing its route; the principle of "compensate villagers first, and then use the land" is followed…Standard procedures are in place for calculation of compensation…The …pipeline project is a non-polluting ecological project, with no emissions, no discharge of polluted water or any other discharge of pollutants…EIA…was carried out by the Thailand-based company IEM…[T]he design and construction of the Myanmar-China pipeline and crude oil terminal project have adopted high international engineering standards, with a strict monitoring and prevention solution in place in their operations management…

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Article
29 July 2013

China Begins Receiving Natural Gas from Shwe Pipeline [Myanmar]

Author: Zarni Mann, Irrawaddy (Thailand)

Despite long-held objections to the project by activists and locals, the Shwe pipeline connecting Burma’s Arakan State to Kunming in southern China began piping natural gas across the Sino-Burmese border...At a commissioning ceremony...Mandalay, Vice President Nyan Tun praised the completion of the controversial pipeline while assuring a “good, collaborative” relationship with the Burmese government and affected communities in future"…The pipeline has been widely criticized by opponents who claim widespread human rights abuses were perpetrated in the course of its construction. Critics also say the project has lacked transparency and is detrimental to the environment…[Refers to China National Petroleum Corporation, Daewoo International, GAIL, KOGAS, Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise, ONGC Videsh, South East Asia Crude Oil Pipeline]

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