Fresh controversy engulfs scandal-hit ENRC over Brazil port plans

By Rob Davies – Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-2363475/Fresh-controversy-engulfs-scandal-hit-ENRC-Brazil-port-plans.html#ixzz2Z5zxkRdK

14 July 2013

ENRC is risking fresh controversy over plans to build a huge port in one of Brazil’s ecological reserves.

The miner – whose founder-shareholders are trying to take it private after a corruption probe – was initially refused permission for the iron ore export port.

Brazil’s environmental authorities did not grant ENRC a licence, instead recommending that the location in the Atlantic Forest area be given special protected status.

But a new application to build the port a few miles further south has been granted, despite the Atlantic Forest area being deemed a priority region for conservation by UNESCO.

The plan risks killing off flora and fauna – including the golden-bellied capuchin monkey and the cougar – as well as obstructing migratory routes for humpback whales, according to campaign group the London Mining Network. They also warned of the ‘severe’ impact on artisanal fishing activity, adding that increased urbanisation would cause development of slums and an increase in child prostitution.

The plan will have a ‘devastating impact on the precious ecosystem,’ said London Mining Network’s Richard Solly.

‘ENRC is yet another example of why the British government should ditch its damaging “light touch” approach to multinationals and start regulating them properly,’ he added.

Ismail Abede from local pressure group Action Ilheus, said: ‘The world must be aware of the completely absurd plans of ENRC and the Brazilian government to destroy the Atlantic Forest.’

ENRC declined to comment.


Protected Brazilian rainforest threatened by London-listed mining company

Civil society groups in Brazil and London have reacted with dismay to news that London-listed mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Company (ENRC) has been given permission to go ahead with a massive infrastructure project in one of the most biologically sensitive regions of Brazil.

The “Porto Sul” project in the state of Bahia will take place inside the Atlantic Forest, which was designated by UNESCO as one of the Earth’s five most important biodiversity hotspots and the largest biosphere reserve. The development involves the construction of export port on the coast, and the construction of a new railway line to connect it to an inland iron ore mine.

The project will consume a total area of 1.860 hectares of the Atlantic Forest for storage area and an offshore port that will be built over a 2 km extension breakwater that threatens to cause erosion over more than 10 km of  Brazilian coastline, with adverse consequences for local communities.  A 500 km extension railroad is being built to bring iron ore from the mine in Caetité – Bahia to the future port in Ilhéus, passing through important environmental areas and expropriating hundreds of land owners.

Local NGO AçãoIlhéus (Action Ilhéus) have raised numerous concerns about the project, including the erosion of the coast line, impacts of rapid industrialization on nearby rural communities, and the threat to the flora and fauna of the protected rainforest, including golden bellied capuchin monkeys and pumas.

ENRC is currently the subject of a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in the UK following allegations made by a whistleblower of fraud, corruption and bribery in its Kazakhstan and African businesses. Local Brazilian NGO AçãoIlhéus (Action Ilhéus) have raised concerns as to the due process in getting permission for such a huge industrial project in the middle of such an important conservation area.

Richard Solly, the coordinator of London Mining Network said:
“ENRC’s proposed export port would be built in what UNESCO has designated as one of the world’s highest priority regions for conservation and will have devastating impacts on the precious ecosystem. Its major shareholders are now scrambling to go private in order to avoid the inevitable scrutiny of such a controversial project. ENRC is yet another example of why the British Government should ditch its damaging ‘light touch’ approach to London-listed multinationals and start regulating them properly.”

Ismail Abéde from Local NGO AçãoIlhéus (Action Ilhéus) said:

“The Atlantic Forest has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet, and should be protected as an international treasure. There are other ways in which iron ore could be exported from this region without harming the Atlantic Forest. ENRC and the Brazilian government need to explain how they have made a decision that would have such a horrific impact on such precious ecosystems. Brazil is currently experiencing an unprecedented wave of protests and mobilizations against corruption, the government’s misuse of public resources and unsustainable development. The decision to allow ENRC to trash the Atlantic Forest seems to be emblematic of all that people are currently rising up against.”

For more information/comment, contact:

contact@londonminingnetwork.org

Ação Ilhéus Spokesperson Ismail Abéde crusul@ig.com.br

*** ENDS ***

Notes

ENRC to devastate the largest Brazilian biosphere reserve February 14 2013: http://londonminingnetwork.org/2013/02/enrc-to-devastate-the-largest-brazilian-biosphere-reserve/

ENRC and the Serious Fraud Office: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/25/serious-fraud-office-enrc-documents

Link for youtube video about Atlantic Forest in Brazil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-LoP1eNUN8

Link for Atlantic Forest photos: http://acaoilheus.org/galeria/category/8


How ENRC , Brazilian Government and Corruption will destroy the most important brazilian biosphere

Ismail Abéde, AÇÃO ILHÉUS

July 2013

If you think that ENRC´s corruption acts came to an end in Democratic Republic of Congo, you may be completely wrong. Now ENRC found a powerful ally to continue its suspicious acts. It is the Brazilian government, that this month made a donation of 494 hectares of atlantic forest to BAMIN, a subsidiary of ENRC in Brazil, in order to build the Porto Sul Project. The project will consume a total area of 1.860 hectares of atlantic forest for storage area and an offshore port that will be built over a 2 km extension breakwater that will cause erosion over more than 10 km on the Brazilian coastline, bringing destruction and despair to the habitants. And a 500 km extension railroad is being built to bring iron ore from the mine in Caetité – Bahia to the future port in Ilhéus, passing through very important environmental areas and expropriating hundreds of land owners.

At the meanwhile, the responsible for the donation, Jaques Wagner, the governor of Bahia State, denied the donation of another area to UFESBA – FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH OF BAHIA, that would be built for the graduation of 11.110 students in 36 different options of courses per year. It is very suspicious to see Brazilian government making the donation of a so important biosphere reserve to be destroyed by an international company with irreversible effects over the environment and habitants and at the same time denying a smaller area to be used positively by its population.

Another point that is very cloudy is the behavior of IBAMA – A Brazilian institute created to defend the environment , that without any shame, granted environmental licenses to ENRC and gave its approval to the biosphere destruction. IBAMA linked about 40 conditions to sign the licenses , but there aren´t any supervisions over them. People coming from other regions are arriving at the future port area and invading private properties to build their homes and wait for jobs. ENRC , IBAMA and Brazilian Government never did anything to prevent or to revert this problem. Only to illustrate how the chaos is installed over the region, if you are the legal owner of a land, you are not allowed to remove a tree or kill animals. But if you invade a private property, threaten its legal owners , remove as many trees as you want and kill all the animals you want to, them the police says that can do nothing about it because that land is private. It sounds like the government is supporting people to invade instead of stopping it.

At the same period that ENRC is being charged of corruption in Europe, Brazilian people are on the streets against government corruption. The public protests began 2 weeks ago because of the expensive public transport fares, the police action was very violent against manifestants and after that more and more people came to streets to protest not only because of the public transport fares, but against the corruption that made the entire Brazilian government get rotten. The Brazilian president , Mrs Dilma Roussef , was cursed by most people in a crowded stadium 2 weeks ago at the FIFA confederations cup oppening in Brazil. In 2 weeks, her popularity dropped from 57 % to 30 %. President of FIFA, Joseph Blatter, asked for respect and fair play.

Here is the link for the episode

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht_z_MvVFYw

And here are links for the people protesting against government corruption on the streets. Legends in english:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=615239935153396&set=vb.100000021859643&type=2&theater

And in front of Brazilian national congress, in Brasilia , our capital. Legends in Portuguese :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZL5Yak1dhQ

Here you can see pictures of the Brazilian atlantic forest , exactly in the place that will be devastated by ENRC´s Porto Sul Project , in Ilhéus – Bahia – Brazil :

http://acaoilheus.org/galeria/category/8

Images of the reunion that happened on October 27,28 and 29 th 2011 by part of people that will be severely affected by ENRC´s project :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5JpeCTdMao

If you want to leave a comment or want to help our NGO – AÇÃO ILHÉUS to fight against this powerful enemy, please contact us :

Email – crusul@ig.com.br

Skype – crusul@hotmail.com

Spokesman Facebook – Ismail Abéde

This is a cry for help coming from one of the richest places in the world in terms of nature !

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