On 1 November 2016, I wrote about the International Finance Corporation’s launch of a US$152 million bond. According to the IFC’s press release, the bond will “protect forests and deepen carbon-credit markets”. The reality is that the IFC is bailing out Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD project in Kenya, a project that had failed to raise enough money from sales of carbon credits. The carbon credits provide some green REDD froth on IFC’s business as usual.
Since the 1960s, the Sengwer indigenous people living in the Embobut forest have been evicted many times. In recent years, the evictions have intensified.
In July 2009, Navin Rai travelled to the Cherangani Hills in Kenya as part of a delegation of World Bank and Kenyan officials who travelled to the Cherangani Hills in Kenya. At the time Rai was the World Bank’s top adviser on Indigenous Peoples.
On 13 June 2013, the European Investment Bank agreed to give up to €25 million to Athelia Climate Fund. This is the first time that the European Investment Bank has funded a European carbon fund. It is also the first time that the EIB has supported REDD, and it is doing so through a financial intermediary.
“Efficient reduction in carbon emission has … been the raison d’être of REDD+. A hotly debated issue surrounding REDD+ is how much such measures should adhere to social safeguards, address equity concerns and provide other co-benefits beyond carbon storage, such as bio-diversity conservation and poverty alleviation.”
“Carbon forestry is privatizing, commodifying and financializing the world’s forests, recasting relations between state and market forest landscapes,” says Jesse Ribot, University of Illinois in a review of a new book.
Since December 2013, REDD-Monitor has been following the evictions of the Sengwer indigenous people who live in the Cherangany Hills. The evictions have been going on for many years, at the hands of armed Kenya Forest Service guards, who have evicted the Sengwer and burned down their homes.
From 4-6 March 2015, a meeting took place in Eldoret, Kenya, organised by the World Bank and Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. The meeting aimed to find a positive way forward following years of evictions from Kenya’s forested areas.
Last week, the World Bank and the Kenyan Government held a meeting aimed at finding a positive way forward following years of evictions of indigenous people living in the Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills. Days before the meeting started, 30 Sengwer houses were burned.
Over the past decade, Kenya Forest Service guards have repeatedly evicted people living in the Embobut Forest in the Cherangany Hills. On 25 February 2015, guards torched more than 30 houses belonging to the Sengwer indigenous people and destroyed school books, clothes and cooking utensils.
Last week, the World Bank’s board met to make a decision on an Inspection Panel report about a Bank project in Kenya. The Inspection Panel’s report accused the Bank of failing to protect the rights of the Sengwer forest indigenous community.
The World Bank’s inspection panel has found that the Bank violated its safeguards in a conservation project in the Cherangany Hills in Kenya. Thousands of Sengwer indigenous people have been evicted and their homes burned down.