Office of the Compliance advisor/Ombudsman
Telephone (202) 458-9452 • Facsimile (202) 522-7400
July 25, 2007
Mr. Sergey Solyanik
on behalf of Green Salvation
The Ecological Society Green Salvation
050000, Kazakhstan, Almaty
Sent by electronic mail (email@example.com) and courier:
Dear Mr. Solyanik,
I am writing to follow up on the complaint you had provided to our office on April 12 2007. We have now had an opportunity to review the issues you have raised and discuss them with the parties concerned.
Our understanding is that your principal concerns relate to specific IFC policy violations which you believe have resulted in harmful environmental conditions and health effects of local residents. You have raised concerns about transparency and public access to information on environmental discharges and public health, the re-zoning of the Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ) and resettlement.
As you are aware, the CAO has been involved on complaints relating to the KPO project since 2004. The issues you have raised have been investigated by our office in its response to concerns raised by the residents of Berezovska in September 2004. We have reported on the status of our work with respect to this complaint on our website (http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/html-english/complaint_karachaganak.htm).
In response to this complaint, we have undertaken two field assessments (in December 2004 and February 2006) during which we engaged directly with project-affected communities, complainants and company representatives. Our last field visit promoted extensive discussion amongst the principal parties about their desire to resolve the complaint through a fact-finding process organized by the Ombudsman. Based on information from that visit, CAO released a progress report which included a recommended process for establishing a multi-party monitoring initiative – an idea first proposed by KPO. The parties were asked to confirm to CAO whether they were willing to pursue the multiparty monitoring program or attempt some other type of solution.
Both parties have responded that they wish to resolve the conflict through Kazakhstan’s legal and regulatory authorities, rather than attempt a mediated or collaborative process through the Ombudsman. Accordingly, the Ombudsman transferred the complaint to CAO’s Compliance Office for a judgment on IFC’s compliance with relevant environmental, social and disclosure policies. An appraisal report was made public on April 17 2007, and Terms of Reference for the Audit released soon after.
Both these documents are available on our website (http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/html enqlish/complaintKazkhstanCompliance.htm) where any updates on the status of the audit will also be published. The final audit report must be cleared by the President before it is released publicly together with IFC’s management response.
It is our understanding that the positions of parties has not changed since the completion of our last assessment visit. In addition, the audit report which we are completing may well provide you with a number of answers to the specific questions and concerns you have raised. On that basis, we are recommending that we close your complaint at this time, on the understanding that you may wish to review your position once the audit report has been released. If at such time in the future, you wish to re-submit a complaint based on new information or evidence that the parties are willing to engage in a dispute resolution process, you are free to do so.
Thank you for raising these concerns with the CAO and we look forwards to providing you with a copy of our audit report in due course.
With kind regard,