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CEDHA vs Botnia S.A.

Case overview

Date filed 18 April 2006
Current status Concluded
Issue Botnia's Orion pulp mill project in Uruguay
Summary of the case CEDHA’s complaint alleges that Botnia’s Orion pulp mill project will impact local communities’ economic livelihoods and human rights. The complainants maintain that the project is plagued with environmental problems, including the company’s failure to collect and provide reliable information about the project’s real and foreseeable impacts. The complaint also states that the project is straining regional diplomatic relations between Argentina and Uruguay. Two related complaints have been filed. A case against the Export Credit Agency Finnvera which is supporting the project was filed with the Finnish NCP. A case against Nordea, a financer of the project was submitted to the Swedish and Norwegian NCPs.


Developments/Outcome The Finnish NCP invited CEDHA to a meeting on 30 August 2006 in Helsinki to discuss all three complaints. In a December 2006 statement, the Finnish NCP concluded that the evidence presented did not prove that Botnia had failed to comply with the Guidelines. B

otnia S.A/Metsä-Botnia Oy was thought to be committed to enhancing sustainable development in all of its business operations, improving its operations on a continuous basis, and doing business in a responsible manner. The Finnish NCP Reasoned that because Botnia S.A has stated it adheres to the principles of the UN Global Compact it is ensured that the company will use acceptable methods and adhere to internationally acceptable practices also in the future work on the project.

Also, the NCP found it important that the Uruguayan Government has not questioned the investment and instead has supported it because of economic and other benefits. In response, CEDHA lodged two complaints with the OECD’s Investment Committee and Finland’s Parliamentary Ombudsman concerning the Finnish NCP’s decision to reject the complaint in January 2007. In February 2007, the Finnish NCP refused to review its decision.

Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Rechercher / accepter des exemptions, Les droits de l'homme, Environnement, Procédures judiciaires parallèles, Divulgation de renseignements, Collaboration des PCN

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Finland
NCP address Helsinki, Finland
NCP website www.tem.fi
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

ONG

Company Information

Company responsible Oy Metsä-Botnia
Company address P.O.Box 30
FI-02020 Metsä
Finland
Company website
Company in violation Oy Metsä-Botnia
Country of operations Uruguay
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Some developments are only visible to logged in users.
Date Actor Action Description Document
31 January 2007 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release CEDHA release a press statement regarding their complaint to the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman regarding the Finnish NCP's rejection of the Specific Instance against Botnia. download pdf (39Kb)  
30 January 2007 Center for Human Rights and Environment legal complaint CEDHA files a complaint agains the Finnish NCP to Finland's Parliamentary Ombudsman stating that its rejection of the Specific Instance against Botnia is illegal. download pdf (38Kb)  
23 January 2007 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release CEDHA announces in the press that it has written to the OECD Investment Committee regarding its concerns with the Finnish NCP's handling and dismissing of the Specific Instance against Botnia. download pdf (48Kb)  
21 December 2006 National Contact Point Finland statement The Finnish NCP released a statement rejecting CEDHAs specific instance against Botnia. Finland’s National Contact Point considers that the evidence presented does not prove that Botnia S.A has failed to comply with the OECD Guidelines. download pdf (231Kb)  
31 August 2006 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release CEDHA (Argentina) met with the Finish Nordic Investment Bank to persuade them not to invest in the Botnia paper mills located in Argentina and Uruguay, due to their poor environmental record. download pdf (25Kb)  
31 August 2006 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release CEDHA called on Botnia to sack Carlos Faropa, currently in charge of the Finish company’s projects in Uruguay, for his ineptitude and critical errors in Botnia’s Environmental Impact Studies. download pdf (22Kb)  
9 June 2006 press release Argentina and Uruguay made oral presentations at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the two controversial papermills currently under construction on the Argentine-Uruguayan border. download pdf (39Kb)  
18 April 2006 Center for Human Rights and Environment file CEDHA's complaint alledges that Botnia Orion pulp mill projects will impact local comunities'economic livehoods and human rights. download pdf (184Kb)  
18 April 2006 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release Press release (Spanish) download pdf (33Kb)  
8 April 2006 Center for Human Rights and Environment press release Press Release (English) download pdf (28Kb)  

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