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Fivas vs. Norconsult

Case overview

Date filed 22 August 2014
Current status Agreement
Issue Norconsult’s lack of due diligence in Malaysia
Summary of the case The Murum and Baram hydropower projects are part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE)-programme initiated by the Malaysian Government. Sarawak is one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo and the largest of Malaysias 14 states. The population of Sarawak consists of several indigenous groups, many of the groups in the interior of Sarawak are affected by logging and large infrastrucutre projects. The indigenous peoples most affected by the Murum and Baram dams are the Penan, Kenyah and Kayan communities, many of which have either already been forced to relocate due to the construction of the Murum Dam or will be displaced if construction of the Baram Dam is approved. The company Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is the primary developer of both hydropower projects.

Norconsult, through its subsidiary company NorPower, has provided technical advice and assistance to both the Murum and Baram projects and is thus considered linked to the adverse human rights and environmental impacts of the dams through its business relationship with SEB. FIVASs complaint contends that Norconsult failed to conduct appropriate due diligence to identify, prevent and mitigate the impacts caused by the dams.

Developments/Outcome The Norwegian NCP conducted an initial assessment and accepted the case in January, 2015. After agreeing on the terms for mediation, both parties accepted the NCPs offer of good offices and engaged in mediation in April, 2015.

The mediation was successful and resulted in a joint agreement and commitment by Norconsult to respect the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous communities affected by projects to which it is linked (in accordance with ILO Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)). Norconsult also committed to implementing a full human rights due diligence procedures in order to avoid and minimise the adverse impacts of major hydropower projects on human rights and the environment.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Norway
NCP address P.O. Box 8114 DEP N-0032 Oslo, Norway
NCP website http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/ud/tema/norgesfremme-og-kultursamarbeid.html?id=434499
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible Norconsult
Company address
Company website
Company in violation Norconsult
Country of operations Malaysia
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
23 June 2015 National Contact Point Norway statement NCP issues final statement download pdf (532Kb)  
2 June 2015 National Contact Point Norway joint statement Joint Statement by Norconsult AS and FIVAS download pdf (505Kb)  
1 January 2015 National Contact Point Norway accept NCP issues initial assessment download pdf (871Kb)  
10 October 2014 Norconsult letter Response by Norconsult to NCP download pdf (275Kb)  
22 August 2014 Association for International Water Studies file FIVAS's complaint to the Norwegian NCP. download pdf (679Kb)  

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