Current Action Alerts: September 25, 2003


Support an effort to get the World Bank out of financing destructive oil, gas and mining projects.

At the behest of non-governmental organizations from around the world, the World Bank agreed to review its investments in oil, gas and mining to determine their development impact. The World Bank's Extractive Industries Review (EIR) is now almost done. By mid-October, the EIR will produce a final version of its report on the poverty, and other social and environmental impacts associated with oil, gas, and mining projects.  While the report will not be presented to World Bank President James Wolfensohn until December, the time to take action on this is now.  So far, the report, despite massive problems, contains some strikingly strong recommendations. Over the next few weeks, the trick will be to keep them in, build further on them, and keep the bad things out.

It is imperative that the EIR Secretariat and Emil Salim hear from NGOs and communities now in order to insure that the report contains the strongest and most objective recommendations possible.

The report currently includes language that calls for:

    -An immediate phaseout of World Bank support for coal projects;
    -Full and generous support for impacted workers and communities through "just transition" funds;
    -A phaseout of Bank support for oil projects (text recommends the Bank should focus on gas, and leave "oil exploration and oil transport    to the private sector")
    -A reversal of "the lending ratio between fossil fuels and renewables, efficiency,  and conservation as soon as practicable"
    -prior informed consent for indigenous peoples
    -an end to World Bank support for mines utilizing submarine tailings disposal and other environmentally destructive technologies.
    -a recognition of and end to the negative social and environmental impacts of  "structural adjustment loans".

All of this language needs to stay in the report. The final report should also include strong language on "no-go zones"  that would prohibit Bank extractive projects in areas of poor governance, high conflict, human rights abuses, and environmental sensitivity.

Write a brief note, in your own words say why you think the World Bank should be out of the business of supporting unsustainable oil, gas and mining projects, - and reference the need for the points above to stay in the report. Please write Emil Salim, head of the EIR,  at   or and tell him you demand that the EIR resist industry, and bank pressure to ensure that these recommendations are made in the final report.   Please blind-copy .

Thanks for your urgent attention to this.