Press Release - Monday, May 14, 2001

NGO Report Demonstrates
the Export Development Corporation
Risks the Environment

For immediate release May 14, 2001
Ottawa – Canada’s Export Development Corporation is an accessory to some projects with severe negative environmental and social consequences, says a new report, "Reckless Lending – How Canada’s Export Development Corporation Puts People and the Environment at Risk", volume 2. This report builds on evidence of poor social, environmental and human rights assessment procedures used by the EDC found in volume 1, released in 2000.
"This document shows that the EDC’s environmental framework is not effective. Some of the projects profiled in the report Reckless Lending were approved by this framework but despite this, they have caused serious environmental and social impacts", says Asad Ismi, researcher for the NGO Working Group.
A few of the case studies in the report include:

  • The Ralco dam which will flood 3,400 hectares of land, displace 600 people, 400 of them Pehuenche Indians. Many illegalities have occurred during the approval process of this project in Chile, including the dismissal of the heads of the environment and indigenous departments. As a result, there are three court cases pending in Chile related to the construction of Ralco. This project was approved by the EDC’s environmental framework.
  • The Manantali hydropower project has already brought economic ruin, malnutrition, and disease to hundreds of thousands of West African farmers, and is expected to spread more misery when it starts generating power production in 2002. This project has also been subject to an environmental review by the EDC.
  • The Antamina mine, located in Peru, is reportedly the third largest undeveloped copper-zinc deposit in the world. Serious problems include resettlement, pollution risks, and inadequate compensation."This report once again highlights that the EDC must be required by law to uphold public policies and international standards protecting human rights, the environment and the social needs of local populations", says Émilie Revil of the NGO Working Group on the Export Development Corporation.

The report calls for the EDC to be regulated under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Export Development Act, which governs the EDC, is currently under legislative review. The Office of
the Auditor General is releasing a study of the design and implementation of the EDC’s environmental framework tomorrow.
For more information, please contact:
Émilie Revil, NGO Working Group on the Export Development Corporation
tel. (613) 789-4447 cell. (613) 266-8100 email: