Civil Society Demands Participation in Inga Planning

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Declaration of Gaborone

We, delegates of civil society of the five partner countries of WESTCOR (DRC, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) and participating in the International Forum of the Grand Inga Project, held on the initiative of the World Council of Energy in Gaborone, the 16 at March 17, 2007, joined together this day at the Hotel METCOURT;

We support the terms of our Declarations of October 6, 2006 in Johannesburg, at the time of the International Round Table on the hydroelectric development of the site of Inga;

Keeping in mind that the promises made following this declaration by the officials of the DRC government and the SNEL (Electricity Utility), of the AfDB (African Development Bank) and of WESTCOR to ensure that Civil Society has easy access to information on the process of development of the site of Inga and its participation in all the phases of this process which has not been happening as agreed;

Considering that the studies of pre-feasibility have already begun by a Canadian firm on the site of Inga and continue today without implication and contribution of Civil Society or information of the local communities which have been and continue to be affected regardless of their rights of this site; and that, in addition, this Forum of Gaborone, did not invite or cover the costs of the participation of the environmental Civil Society of the countries concerned;

We are concerned that there appears to be a divide that Civil Society observes between the official statements in the international conferences and the reality that different governments, the international financial institutions and others stakeholders involved in the process of the implementation of the Inga projects and the expansion of the site of Inga;

Questioning the sincerity of the institutions above mentioned to seek and put forward ecological, social and economic profitability for the communities and local populations and the municipalities, taking into consideration technical and financial aspect of these projects;

Given the continuation of work of expansion of the site of Inga, with the contempt of the principles of the transparency, participation of Civil Society and of precaution;

Reminding the pressing needs for carrying out rigorously the environmental and social evaluation of all the INGA projects and for associating the environmental Civil Society, which intends to ensure the follow-up of the commitments made for this reason;

Conscious of the mission which is ours in front of God and the history and of the role which is awaited us:

State that:

We stick to the terms of our Declaration of Johannesburg of October 6, 2006 and invite all beneficiaries to get involved in the development of the site of Inga to consider it rightly;

We would joint this project and lead the local communities as well as the populations who will be affected in one way or the other by this project only if our concerns as clearly expressed in the Declaration of Johannesburg are taken into consideration;

We demand that:

Any further planning of the meetings, conferences and workshops relative with the projects Inga, their calendars and agendas are beforehand made available to Civil Society concerned and the local communities of the site of Inga. We also request that the budgets of these events include the costs of the participation of Civil Society;

The civil society organizations require supports, in terms of the formation and study trips, in order to reinforce their role in the environmental and social monitoring of the implementation of the Inga projects.

Gaborone, on March 17, 2007

For the DRC

Green lawyers: Emmanuel PULUPULU

CEPECO: Pasteur Jacques BAKULU


Local Communities of the Inga Site: François VANGU MPILA

Baruti AMISI

For Angola

Joao Baptista LUKOMBO

For Namibia


For South Africa

Bryan ASHE