Select Committee on Trade and Industry Twelfth Report


(a)We reiterate our conclusion that there should indeed be a debate on the grant of export credit for the Ilisu dam before Ministers decide. Parliament is entitled to nothing less (paragraph 3).
(b)It is not the first time that our detailed consideration of the request for export credit for the Ilisu dam has been bedevilled by excessive secrecy (paragraph 6).
Our task
(c)It is not for a UK parliamentary committee to pronounce whether the dam should be built. We have seen our task as being to discover the truth about the project, so that Parliament and Ministers can come to a satisfactory conclusion on the grant of export credit (paragraph 10).
Resettlement — general
(d)The resettlement of those displaced by the dam, and the replacement of the income for those who will lose their livelihood, remain our principal concerns. If an acceptable and credible plan were presented, which we had grounds for believing would be implemented fully and effectively, we would not recommend refusal of export credit simply because of the scale of population disturbance (paragraph 25).
Resettlement — prospects for those displaced
(e) World Bank standards require that prospects for those displaced be no worse than before. It is not enough to hope that something will turn up. What is required is both detailed and costed planning, and firm evidence from previous experience that implementation will match intention. In advance of a view of the Plan we are sceptical on both counts (paragraph 32).
Resettlement — landless
(f)Our principle concern is over the fate of landless people displaced by the reservoir, because either their housing or the land on which they work as labourers is to be inundated. We are concerned at the way in which the system seems to disregard the need to replace the livelihood of those without land assets whose income source is to be removed or reduced. The Kudat Report notes that the future of the landless, the uneducated and women displaced pose the greatest challenge and "will be the measure against which civil society evaluates the Ilisu RAP". We do not dissent from that (paragraphs 33 to 38).
Resettlement — numbers
(g)What matters is not the exact numbers of households or people, but that the area has or will be sufficiently fully surveyed to ensure that enough funds are laid aside for compensation and resettlement, and that the people involved are all consulted about their future (paragraph 41).
(h)That the consultation process on the dam has been flawed in the past is not seriously contested. It is not our judgement that this need of itself mean that the project should not be given export credit. It does however place a strong onus on the Turkish authorities to be able to demonstrate that they are now proceeding strictly by the book, and in accordance with highest standards expected of a country seeking to be accepted in due course into membership of the European Union. The RAP will have to demonstrate to its readers that they have done that (paragraph 47).
Upstream — water quality
(i)We are disappointed to have learned that the necessary wastewater and sewage treatment projects seem to be low in the pecking order of priorities for public financing. If export credit is required, we would be happy to see UK funds and companies committed to construction and maintenance of water and sewage systems of general benefit to the populace. We also look to the revised EIAR to clarify the extent of water and sewage treatment proposed, since the nature and intensity of the treatment naturally is crucial for the impact on water quality (paragraph 55).
Upstream — returned waters from irrigation
(j)We expect the revised EIAR to address the issues of the quality of returned waters from irrigation schemes and the effects of upstream irrigation schemes on water flow; if it does not, Ministers should insist that they be addressed (paragraph 57).
Downstream — irrigation
(k)It is nonetheless important that there should be an assurance that the take-off of these waters does not diminish the minimum assured water flow, which can presumably be measured at the point of the Tigris leaving Turkish territory, and that the EIAR addresses any question of water quality arising from the volumes of returned water from irrigation projects downstream of Ilisu (paragraph 63).
Downstream — flows
(l)What we recommended a year ago, and repeat now with greater urgency, is that the ECAs should satisfy themselves through independent technical analysis that the proposed formula for downstream flows is equitable in all the circumstances (paragraph 64).
Consultation with neighbouring states
(m)Published confirmation that Turkey has consulted neighbouring states is, to the best of our knowledge, still awaited (paragraph 65).
(n)The fact has to be faced that the Ilisu dam would mean the end of Hasankeyf and the loss of that part of the Turkish national heritage, and that future funding will at best be directed to rescue. We sense that if classical remains were thus threatened there would be more concern. We reiterate our view that ECAs should commission some independent assessment of the adequacy of the Turkish administration's funding of plans for Hasankeyf (paragraph 72).
Plan for archaeology
(o)We are entitled to see a realistic archaeological plan as required in the Secretary of State's announcement of December 1999. We still await the Government's proposals for a review of that plan. We consider that the condition should be extended to cover the whole of the reservoir area and land affected by it, and that a "detailed" plan must by definition include costing (paragraph 78).
Conclusions — sustainable development
(p)We have a strong feeling that if Turkey were in the EU, the requirement for sustainable development would lead the authorities and the population to question the rationale for the expenditure on the Ilisu project. It may be thought that the future of the region would be better served by expenditure on infrastructure designed to sustain the income of the rural poor by retaining them on the land engaged in productive activity and indeed attracting back some of those displaced to the cities for security or other reasons. That must be for the Turkish people to decide, particularly in the light of the financial difficulties the country has been facing in recent months (paragraph 79).
Conclusions — resettlement
(q)When we reported last on the Ilisu dam and the application for export credit, over a year ago, we had not expected to have a second opportunity. The time for a decision is now presumably nearer. In the absence of the EIAR and the RAP we cannot give our firm view. It may be that the contents of these documents will allay our concerns. These concerns have grown rather than diminished over the past year, primarily on the resettlement prospects of those without land and without much prospect of replacing their income whether resettled in the towns or the countryside (paragraph 80).
Conclusions — criteria and EU standards
(r)The criteria have not yet been met. Based on past experience, we are not confident of the capacity of the Turkish authorities to meet conditions that would satisfy European Union standards (paragraph 81).

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