Sakhalin II oil and gas development project - Social disturbance

Protests over construction on burial ground. rel=
Protests over construction on burial ground.
© Dmitry Lisitsyn / Sakhalin Environment Watch

Disrespect for local communities

Sakhalin's activities on the island have resulted in a number of negative impacts on the residents of Sakhalin. Despite their global experience in operating amongst communities, Shell have failed to respect the rights and livelihoods of local people.

The residents of Korsakhov have been enduring increased heavy goods traffic which has no regard for the noise and dirt it creates. The influx of the workforce from the mainland has led to increased cases of tuberculosis, HIV and violence on the island.

Fishing is the main activity on the island, and local fishermen are also concerned about the impacts of the project on their industry. The damage to the salmon spawning grounds could limit future catches. The dumping of dredging spoil offshore is also an issue for key fishing areas. There have already been reports of illegal dumping of significant quantities of material.

January 2006

Beach picture / ©: WWF / James Leaton
Costa del Shel
© WWF / James Leaton

January 2006 saw renewed protests at the LNG plant Shell is constructing at the south of Sakhalin Island. EBRD announced their consultation dates this week but local protesters are not waiting - "EBRD can go through their official process, but the message from Sakhalin is clear - Say no to Sakhalin II" See pictures attached.

The protest was directed against significant damage to Sakhalin environment, social infrastructure and fishing economy. Sakhalin Regional Governor Ivan Malakhov joined the picket and has promised to local people that he shares their concerns and support their demands to Sakhalin II project.

Local Fishing company Calypso has already filed a complaint with EBRD regarding reduced fish catches and lost contracts with Japan. The company’s most productive net saw a 70% reduction in catch (over 1000 tonnes).

Aniva Bay used to be a beach for recreation and a valuable fishing resource. Now the ‘Costa del Shell’ is scarred by a huge LNG plant, preparing for frequent tanker traffic to collect oil and liquefied gas. Local people used to collect scallops here, since Shell started dredging they have disappeared.

 Protests over dumping in Aniva Bay. / ©: Dmitry Lisitsyn / Sakhalin Environment Watch
Protests over dumping in Aniva Bay.
© Dmitry Lisitsyn / Sakhalin Environment Watch

Shell finally agreed it needed an Indigenous Peoples Plan to meet International Standards, but it is too late to have a meaningful consultation when the project is half built. The EBRD recognised this in their December statement “the preparation of a plan for indigenous people was not prepared according to timing prescribed by the Policy”.

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