11 December 2008

World Bank Botches it Again

When is this apology for an international body going to sort itself out - or be shut down?

The World Bank has been in a hurry to get its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) up and running, meaning that the process to date has been "rushed" and "corners have been cut," according to a new report by scientists from the Forests and the European Union Resource Network (FERN) and the Forest Peoples Programme.


The report points out that while various scientists and research organisations have identified recognition of indigenous peoples' tenure rights as an essential first step for an effective REDD mechanism, the issue has been neglected. None of the country notes explicitly deal with the need to clarify land ownership, nor do they address human rights issues, it laments.

Moreover, the scientists find that the notes do not require 'Free, Prior and Informed Consent', a concept recognised in international law as mandatory for any project affecting indigenous and tribal peoples. They also claim that the REDD process failed to consult local peoples and civil society organisations.

Hence the report argues that the FCPF promotes centralised planning, and is thus in danger of repeating the mistakes of past experiments with centralised forest management strategies. This would lead to increased deforestation and corruption, pushing local communities into poverty and alienating them from their land, it concludes.

Not so much World Bank as Worse Bank.

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