[West-Sahara] antwoord van Fugro

fwillems op antenna.nl fwillems op antenna.nl
Di Dec 31 16:38:00 CET 2019

Fugro is een Nederlands bedrijf dat gegevens over bodemschatten op aarde
verzamelt en heeft onder andere als onderaannemer van Kerr-McGee
onderzoek verricht naar de aanwezigheid van olie in West-Sahara. Na
onderzoek dor het schip Fugro Gauss voor de kust van Dakhla stelden we
vragen. Hieronder het antwoord van Fugro:
* Het werk was niet voor onderzoek naar olie maar vanwege de aanleg van
een internet-kabel.
* Men heeft contact gezocht met RASD.
* Fugro stelt een ultimatum voor het aanpassen van de WSRW website op 31


Dear Ms Eyckmans and Mr Hagen,

With reference to your e-mails dated 24 and 25 December 2019, we inform
you that, unlike you have suggested in your publications, Fugro has not
changed its policy on Western Sahara, nor did Fugro try to “hide” any of
its activities in this region or otherwise. On the contrary, Fugro has
been very open/transparent and respectfully contacted the Saharawi
Authorities twice (via its agent Pelagian) in an early stage about this
proposed project, however, despite these two attempts, no reply was ever

Also, the survey services Fugro is providing do not relate in any way to
seismic services for the oil industry or other natural resources (you
will note that September of 2012, Fugro divested its seismic business).

Western Sahara included on Fugro’s restricted territories list

Please be further informed that Fugro maintains an updated list of
countries/territories where restrictions are in place in relation to (1)
sanctions programmes that have been imposed and/or (2) prevailing
political, commercial or security conditions in that country or
territory. Any work in countries or territories included on this list
must follow a mandatory procedure to obtain Board of Management and/or
General Counsel approval prior to the relevant Fugro subsidiary being
able to confirm an intention to tender, submit proposals, enter into
contracts or deploy resources and before giving any indication of
Fugro's willingness to consider work in these countries/regions to
external parties.

Western Sahara was and is included on Fugro’s restricted territories
list and prior to commencing work on this project a thorough review was
performed as set out below.

Telecommunication Cable project

Fugro was requested to perform survey services for a Telecommunication
Cable project which includes multiple territories and jurisdictions.

After thorough analysis Fugro decided that this survey project can be
performed as:

    This project does not relate in any way to the exploration and
exploitation of natural resources in Western Sahara.
    Nor does this project relate to exploitation activities, which are
socially and environmentally destructive for the environment and people
of Western Sahara.
    The Saharawi people and other people of Africa will benefit from
this Telecommunication Cable project as a vital telecommunications
infrastructure will become available which will result in better welfare
for the African people (including Saharawi).
    Fugro conducts its business to the highest ethical standards (incl.
respecting human rights, respecting the rights of others etc.). As such,
the Fugro Code of Conduct and Supplier Business Code form an integral
part of the Telecommunication Cable contract and any contract with
subcontractors (if any).
    Our project teams have followed thorough Code of Conduct training to
make sure that human rights are protected and respected in their day to
day operations.
    Under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea and in line
with good practice, Fugro notified the Saharawi authorities (twice) in
an early stage about the proposed project. In October and November 2019,
the Saharawi authorities were informed in detail about the proposed
Telecommunication Cable project and the (limited) scope of the survey
services of Fugro in Western Sahara but both times failed to respond.

The above thorough analysis that was performed as well as Fugro’s timely
and conscientious efforts to contact the Saharawi authorities both
clearly represent Fugro’s honest and transparent approach and way of
working. Fugro is very disappointed in the way WSRW prematurely and
slanderously acted in their publications on the 24th and 25th of
December and the false accusations made towards Fugro. As such Fugro
requests WSRW to immediately withdraw the accusations made and rectify
these on their website ultimately by close of business on the 31st of
December 2019. Fugro reserves all in rights in relation to the above.

Best regards,

Mark Heine



> On 26 Dec 2019, at 10:27, Erik Hagen <erik op vest-sahara.no> wrote:
> Dear Mr. Heine
> Thank you for your emails confirming the receipt of our correspondence.
> We take note of the fact that you are taking this seriously. Based on
your clear message, we have temporarily removed the reference to our
letters from our website. We will reconstruct the article once we hear
from you again, within a week from 24 December.
> Looking forward to hearing from you again.
> Erik Hagen
> Board member, WSRW
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Heine, Mark <M.Heine op fugro.com>
> Date: Thu, Dec 26, 2019, 07:04
> Subject: Re: Regarding Fugro NV in occupied Western Sahara, follow-up
letter from WSRW
> To: hagenerik op gmail.com <hagenerik op gmail.com>
> Cc: Sara Eyckmans <coordinator op wsrw.org>, Langerak, Martine
<m.langerak op fugro.com>, nl op wsrw.org <nl op wsrw.org>, Buttingha Wichers,
Catrien van <c.vanbuttingha op fugro.com>, media op fugro.com <media op fugro.com>
> Dear Mr Hagen,
> In addition to my message to confirm the receipt of your email and
questions yesterday, I would like to inform you that I have noticed the
message / article on your website. Please take note that this article
consists of wrong accusations towards Fugro. Once again, I strongly
recommend you to withhold your judgement or publish something before
Fugro had the chance to properly respond to your letters and questions.
I take these matters including any communication around this very seriously.
> Best regards,
> Mark Heine
> CEO Fugro

Op 25-12-2019 om 12:42 schreef fwillems op antenna.nl:
> Fugro is een Nederlands bedrijf dat gegevens over bodemschatten op aarde
> verzamelt en interpreteert.
> Fugro heeft in het recente verleden als onderaannemer van Kerr-McGee
> onderzoek verricht naar de aanwezigheid van olie in West-Sahara. In 2004
> heeft het bedrijf aangekondigd in de toekomst geen activiteiten in
> West-Sahara meer te zullen ondernemen zonder eerst het internationale
> netwerk Western Sahara Resource Watch te raadplegen over de heersende
> situatie.
> Maar nu is gebleken dat op dit moment het onderzoeksschip Fugro Gauss
> (IMO: 7824883)
> voor de kust van Dakhla actief is.
> Dat is voor WSRW reden voor het sturen van een brief aan het bedrijf.
> To: Fugro NV  Veurse Achterweg 10 Leidschendam, 2264 SG Netherlands
> To the attention of Mr Mark Heine
> Chief Executive Officer of Fugro NV
> M.Heine op fugro.com . CC: m.langerak op fugro.com
> Brussels/Amsterdam   24 December 2019
> Regarding call of Fugro Supporter in occupied Western Sahara
> Dear Mr Heine,
> Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) is privileged to write to you.
> Our organization has observed that the vessel Fugro Supporter docked at
> the port of Dakhla,
> occupied Western Sahara, on 9 November in the morning. On 11 November,
> it left the port, and seemingly turned off its AIS transponder. On 13
> November, the vessel reappeared northwest of Dakhla. Later it went in to
> Mauritanian waters.
> We would like to point out the chronology of our correspondence:
> On 30 July 2004, during a meeting at your headquarters with then CEO and
> President, Gert-Jan Kramer, and CFO André Jonkman, we were told that
> none of your subsidiaries would engage in any work in Western Sahara in
> the future without first hearing with the mother firm. In addition, we
> were told that no further contracts would be considered in Western
> Sahara without first carrying out a thorough ethical and legal analysis.
> Your company’s statement clearly indicated that Fugro NV was not going
> to carry out operations again in Western Sahara.
> On 6 June 2006, in a letter to our Dutch sister organisation, your
> company stated that Fugro NV “does not intend to do [activities in
> Western Sahara] for the moment”.
> In a letter on 23 April 2010 to the National Contact Point of the OECD
> Guidelines, situated under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
> your subsidiary Fugro-Geoteam, stated that it “has decided to abstain
> from any further involvement in Western Sahara until the political
> situation has been resolved".
> https://www.wsrw.org/files/dated/2010-05-06/letter_fugro-nscws_23.04.2010.pdf
> The response led the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara to
> withdraw an already
> submitted complaint to the OECD National Contact Point in Norway.
> On 4 May 2010, Fugro’s Company Secretary Mr. W.G.M.Mulders declared that
> the firm will not
> engage in further operations in Western Sahara. “Please be informed that
> Fugro N.V. is aware of, and endorses, the letter sent by Fugro-Geoteam
> AS dated 23 April 2010 to the Norwegian contact point for OECD”. It
> declares that the Western Sahara policy applies to all companies in the
> group. By www.wsrw.orgdeclaring that, the Norwegian organization did not
> proceed with a similar OECD complaint against Fugro NV.
> In a meeting with your company’s own shareholders in 2012, Fugro NV’s
> then CEO Arnold
> Steenbakker elaborated on this decision in the following way: "The
> company is often involved in oil and gas exploitation in areas where the
> local population has not been consulted. For that reason, the company
> has for instance stopped its involvement in Western Sahara”.
> This taken into account, WSRW would appreciate answers to the following
> four questions:
> 1. Does Fugro remain committed to its promise of 4 May 2010 that it will
> not undertake any
> further activities onshore of offshore Western Sahara?
> 2. Can Fugro confirm that no seismic studies acquisition was made during
> the time the vessel transited through Western Sahara’s waters?
> 3. What was the purpose of Fugro Supporter's call into the port of Dakhla?
> 4. Was any money paid, including harbour fees, to the Moroccan
> government or institutions
> relating to the stay in the port of Dakhla?
> The grave incident of Fugro’s large seismic exploration study offshore
> Western Sahara 2009 took place despite promises in 2004. That 2009 study
> was necessary for Morocco’s first and only oil drilling operation
> offshore Western Sahara. We found Fugro’s involvement deeply
> regrettable. We thought Fugro had learned from that episode,
> particularly in view of your clear letter in 2010 to “has decided to
> abstain from any further involvement in Western Sahara“ and of
> Steenbakker’s statement to your owners in 2012.
> If Fugro has changed position on Western Sahara, WSRW will proceed with
> a complaint vis-ŕ-vis the National Contact Point in the Netherlands for
> violation of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies, as we already
> informed about in our letter to you on 29 April 2010.
> https://www.wsrw.org/files/dated/2019-11-12/nscws-fugro_29.04.2010.jpg
> Notice also the substantive development that has taken place in Western
> Sahara since the OECD complaint against your Norwegian subsidiary
> Fugro-Geoteam was made in 2010. Three decisions in the EU Court of
> Justice of the EU have since then confirmed the Saharawi people’s right
> to self-determination. This human right extends to the Saharawi people’s
> right to their natural resources.
> Looking forward to hearing from you.
> Sincerely,
> Sara Eyckmans
> Coordinator, Western Sahara Resource Watch
> coordinator op wsrw.org
> Frank Willems
> Stichting Zelfbeschikking West-Sahara
> nl op wsrw.org
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