Norwatch: Norwegian investor blacklists fertilizer company
Article image
The Norwegian investor KLP has today announced that they have kicked out the Australian firm Incitec Pivot from its funds. The company imports phosphate rock from Western Sahara, which is occupied by Morocco. Norwatch, 2 June 2009.
Published 02 June 2009

From the phosphate harbour in occupied Western Sahara, the minerals are shipped to fertilizer firms in Australia. Photo:

By Erik Hagen
2 June 2009

For the second time, KLP has thrown an Australian fertilizer firm out of its portfolios due to Western Sahara trade. The Western Sahara liberation movement Front Polisario congratulates KLP with its decision.

“KLP has made a right decision. It shows that their ethical and legal analysis of the phosphate industry in Western Sahara is done very thoroughly. We hope other investors will follow KLP’s example", Brahim Mokhtar, Polisario’s representative to the Nordic countries, told Norwatch.

Such trade is in violation of international law, since Morocco has no legal claims to Western Sahara, and henceforth, not to Western Sahara’s natural resources.

“Extraction of natural resources from occupied territories, particularly from Western Sahara, has been considered illegal by the UN’s under-secretary general for legal affairs in 2002”, Jeanett Bergan, head of Responsible Investments in KLP Kapitalforvaltning, wrote in a press release today.
Norwatch has previously written about Incitec Pivot’s phosphate imports from Western Sahara, which were carried out by the Oslo Stock Exchange registered shipping company Jinhui. When the Chinese-Norwegian shipping company was made aware of its transports, Jinhui decided to terminate further transports from Western Sahara. But Incitec maintained its imports through other shipping companies.

Also Incitec’s competitor Wesfarmers is from earlier blacklisted by KLP due to similar imports. Both Wesfarmers and Incitec Pivot have imported from Western Sahara during a number of years.

Even the Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara ended up being investigated by KLP in 2008, after Norwatch revealed that they too had imported from the same territory. KLP chose, however, not to exclude Yara from its funds, but placed the firm under a critical observation list. To the contrary of the Australian firms, which have long term delivery contracts for Western Sahara phosphates, Yara has assured that the imports in 2008 was a one time incident.

KLP manages over 200 billion kroners (approx. 23 billion euros) on behalf of more than 500.000 Norwegians.

Burma company out
In addition to Incitect Pivot, also the Chinese firm DongFeng has been excluded from KLP today. DongFeng was excluded by the Norwegian Government’s pension fund in March, after military deliveries to the regime in Burma.

Seven companies have now also been re-included in the KLP investment universe, after ethical improvement: Exxon Mobil, Grupo Ferrovial, Marathon Oil, Monsanto, Richemont, Thales og PetroChina.

UN human rights expert decries “clampdown” on human rights defenders

Morocco must stop targeting human rights defenders and journalists standing up for human rights in Western Sahara, and allow them to work without reprisals, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said today.

01 July 2021

Sultana's home raided by police, activists arrested

In an early morning raid today, masked agents terrorized and assaulted the home of the Saharawi human rights defender Sultana Khaya, stole belongings and took three activists to an undisclosed location.

10 May 2021

UN experts urge Morocco to release imprisoned Sahrawi journalist

On 7 June 2019, videos began to circulate showing Moroccan police brutally beating up a Saharawi journalist in occupied Western Sahara. Today, a UN opinion calling for his release from prison was made public. 

07 February 2021

Sultana has spent two months in house arrest

The Saharawi activist Sultana Khaya and her family has for almost 10 weeks been harrassed by Moroccan police when leaving or entering their home in occupied Western Sahara. Help us to denounce. 

26 January 2021