The $4.1 billion in funding invested by the World Bank into forestry projects has largely failed to fulfil its goals, according to the Bank’s own investigation
Bainbridge Island, WA, February 01, 2013 – The $4.1 billion in funding invested by the World Bank into forestry projects has largely failed to fulfil its goals, according to the Bank’s own investigations. Forestry Research Associates (FRA) claims that encouraging more private investment into sustainable plantations could help to improve the lives of those living in vulnerable forested regions.
The World Banks has given cash to 345 forestry projects spread over 75 nations in the ten years to July 2011. However, the report said that many of these projects were not being run sustainably or in an environmentally friendly way. The World Bank came under criticism for continuing to support industrial logging and failing to ensure the benefits of their cash were going to the rural poor rather than the local wealthy people, who were, in fact, benefiting more in some cases. The World Bank also failed to involve local communities in decision making.
Many countries in Europe and elsewhere have invested millions of dollars into the fund to support the forestry projects being backed by the World Bank. It is thought that this latest report could lead to a major review of these contributions. The UK, for example, has contributed $600 million to the Bank’s forestry schemes in the last five years.
FRA’s analysis partner, Peter Collins, said, “The news that the World Bank’s cash could have been doing the opposite of helping poorer communities and preventing climate change is a shock and we believe it’s now time to look at other ways to help these regions.”
FRA supports a range of sustainable forestry investment schemes, such as the sustainable plantations run by Greenwood Management in Brazil. Through these projects, local communities learn that keeping natural forests alive and standing can generate rewards through carbon trading deals, for example. At the same time, managing plantations responsibly means the forestry industry is safeguarded for generations to come.
Forestry Research Associates
620 Vineyard Lane
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 316 8394