The Saami Council filed a complaint against Germany-based KfW IPEX-Bank for financing the world’s largest land-based wind power park, Markbygden, where the Saami community of Ostra Kikkejaur herd their reindeer during the winter.
The Swedish government has granted planning permission for Markbygden even though the community has not agreed to the massive project, which is slated to consist of over 1,000 wind turbines, an 800km road, and extensive surrounding infrastructure. According to the complaint, the project could threaten their traditional way of life and also result in forced relocations and a loss of cultural identity.
The complaint alleges that KfW IPEX-Banks investment in the project is not consistent with the banks commitment to human rights, indigenous peoples rights, and environmental sustainability. The Saami Councils requests for a direct meeting with KfW IPEX-Bank have been declined by the bank.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
The complaint was filed with the German NCP in April 2010. The following month, the complainants were informed by the Swedish NCP that it would handle the complaint despite the fact that the Swedish government is partly sponsoring the project and has granted permission for the wind power park, which the complainants see as a conflict of interest.
In June 2010, the Swedish NCP informed the complainants their complaint did not merit further examination as a specific instance. To date, requests by the Saami Council for a meeting with KfW IPEX-Bank have been declined.