Communique

of the participants in the conference Oil and Indigenous Peoples

Helsinki, 5.-7.02.1999

Bearing in mind that:

We, the undersigned condemn in the strongest terms possible the activities of the oil companies, such as Shell, Lukoil and Texaco, that violate the Human Rights of the indigenous peoples' and endanger the environment;

We, the undersigned call upon:

  1. The governments of the world and the oil companies
    1. To give up bringing into use any new oil and gas deposits so that the humankind would be given a chance to rethink the perspectives of the production and consumption of energy
  2. The Finnish government and other governments to
    1. work actively towards reducing the consumption of non-renewable fuels,
    2. take the detrimental consequences of oil and gas exploration and production on the local population and the local environment into account in its policies, especially when developing the Northern Dimension of the European Union,
    3. increase their support for endangered peoples such as the U'wa (Colombia), indigenous peoples of Ecuador (Amazonian area) and Nicaragua, the Ogoni and Ijaw (Nigeria), Khanty, Mansi and Nenets (Russia),
    4. exert pressure on oil and gas companies, such as the partially Finnish state-owned energy consortium Fortum, to actively reduce the negative effects of their actions,
    5. use their political influence in international organisations such as the European Union, EBRD, World Bank and the United Nations to further the goal of protecting the environment and endangered cultures;
  3. The Finnish and other oil and gas companies to
    1. refrain from exploring for oil and gas from ecologically sensitive regions and/or areas where culture and life of indigenous peoples would be threatened by such activities,
    2. refrain from supporting financially oil and gas projects which threaten the local cultures and environment,
    3. strive seriously to reduce the use of non-renewable fuels,
    4. critically evaluate their current projects with regard to their impact on the environment and local population,
    5. make all information on their projects readily available in the local languages of the people affected,
    6. press for an industry-wide Code of Conduct which would take the needs of the environment and of the local peoples into account;
  4. The Finnish public and public of other countries to
    1. reduce the consumption of non-renewable fuels,
    2. use their power as active citizens and consumers to reduce the exploitation for oil and gas production of areas that are environmentally sensitive areas and/or inhabited by endangered cultures;
    3. distance themselves from patronising the products of oil and gas companies known to have violated human and environmental rights.
Lidia Okotètto, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area in Western Siberia, Russia

Grigorii Anagurichi, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Areat in Western Siberia, Russia

Yuri Aivaseda (Vella), Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area in Western Siberia, Russia

Yelena Aivaseda, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area in Western Siberia, Russia

Agrafena Sopochina, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area in Western Siberia, Russia

Yeremei Aipin, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area in Western Siberia, Russia

Roberto Afanador Cobario, Colombia

Arturo Yumbay Iligama, Ecuador

Charity Nenebari Ebeh, Nigeria
 

Furthermore many signatures by Finns, including:

Ville-Veikko Hirvelä, Emmaus worker

Risto Isomäki, secretary of the Coalition for Environment and Development, writer kirjailija

Malla Kantola, general secretary of Sadankomitea

Jan Kunnas, chairman of the Friends of the Earth, Finland

Hanna Matinpuro, international coordinator of the Finnish Association for Protection of Nature

Teemu Matinpuro, executive director of Finnish Peace Committee

Simo Rajala, Uusi Tuuli ry

Tove Selin, vice-chairperson of Finnish Asiatic Society

Olli Tammilehto, an organizer of the seminar, free lance researcher and writer

Monica Ylikoski, chairperson of the Fourth World - First Peoples, Finland