The Bank’s own Inspection Panel has backed many of the complaints by non-governmental organizations about a major oil pipeline in West Africa.
Despite threats to the environment and fears of over-dependence on oil market vagaries, BP may receive as much as $500 million from the World Bank to build an 1,100 mile trans-Caucasus pipeline.
Serious environmental and social concerns have been raised about a Rio Tinto gold mine in Lao PDR which is to receive $30 million from the International Financial Corporation.
Citizens groups are asking whether participating in Bank-backed review processes are yielding sufficient results, or whether they are distracting NGOs from campaigning against Bank policies and projects which harm poor people and the environment.
NGOs have achieved some changes to the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review but feel that problems remain. Their determination to change the Bank’s approach to oil, gas and mining is shown by a new campaign launched in France.
The World Bank has recently announced that it will not be taking action following allegations of corruption levelled at corporate clients in Peru and Lesotho. The Peru goldmine and Lesotho dam cases lead some Bank-watchers to question the Bank’s high-profile commitment to rooting out corruption.
NGOs’ concerns have been taken into consideration by the Eminent Person, Dr.
NGOs say the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review (EIR), launched at a workshop in Brussels at the end of October, has severe shortcomings.
In late November the Tanzanian authorities took action against an organisation which has been investigating the death and dispersal of artisanal miners at a project backed by the World Bank Group.
Tanzanian authorities have arrested Rugemeleza Nshala, President of the Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), and raided the house of another LEAT lawyer, Tundu Lissu in connection with their investigations into abuses and irregularities at the World Bank-backed Bulyanhulu gold mine.