The Requesters alleged that violations had taken the form of insufficient information during the preparatory phase of the Project and since implementation began; an inadequate consultation process; insufficient, nonexistent, or inadequate compensation; no respect for workers’ rights; a renewed outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) all along the pipeline and around the Project’s main bases; and an increase in the prostitution of minors along the length of the oil pipeline.
Policies and Procedures raised in Request:
- Environmental assessment (OD 4.01)
- Natural habitats (OP 4.04)
- Natural habitats (BP 4.04)
- Poverty reduction (OD 4.15)
- Indigenous peoples (OD 4.20)
- Involuntary resettlement (OD 4.30)
- Disclosure of operational information (BP 17.50)
- Project supervision (OD 13.05)
Investigation and Management Report:
Management stated that the Bank had made every effort to apply the Bank’s Policies and Procedures. The Panel found both the Request and the Requesters eligible and recommended an investigation to the Board.
In its Investigation Report to the Board, the Panel found Management to be generally in compliance with Bank policy but noted six areas of concern: (1) the hiring of an Independent Panel of Experts; (2) the adequacy of the collection of baseline data; (3) the inclusion of future regional oil developments and infrastructure projects in the cumulative impacts assessment; (4) the weaknesses of the requisite capacity in Cameroon; (5) the lack of regional monitoring and assessment of the risk and spread of HIV/AIDS; and (6) the absence of a local team in place to supervise the Project.
In its Report and Recommendations Management concluded that individual independent experts would provide a review of the National Oil Spill Response Plan. Management also informed the Board that greater access to baseline data would be provided. Management stated that the monitoring of the Indigenous People’s Plan would address issues associated with the geographic scope of baseline data for indigenous peoples. Furthermore, Management stated that cumulative impacts were expected to be low. Management emphasized the need to accelerate health activities. Management said that the agreement between the National Committee on HIV/AIDS and COTCO was being implemented and would provide training and health education to communities in the Project area. Finally, Management asserted that the pace of capacity-building could not be accelerated, given the country’s institutional and human resource constraints.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank discussed and approved Management’s Report and Recommendations in response to the Panel’s findings as stated in its Investigation Report.