The Sengwer are indigenous people who live in the Embobut forest in the Cherangani Hills in Kenya. They have lived there for time immemorial. But since British colonial rule, the Sengwer have been evicted from their homes. From 2007 to 2013, the World Bank funded the Kenya Forest Service but did nothing to support the rights of the Sengwer, in breach of World Bank safeguards.
WWF’s largest REDD project in Africa is in Mai Ndombe province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to WWF, the results so far are “very encouraging”. On its website, WWF states that, “The participatory approach through local development committees has proven to be a success with effective achievements.”
Last week, Rainforest Foundation UK and US wrote to staff at the World Bank, asking the World Bank not to approve the Mai Ndombe integrated REDD programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, because of the risks involved for local communities. Yesterday Laurent Valiergue, Senior Forestry Sepcialist at the World Bank, replied. His response is available in full below.
Tomorrow (28 August 2017), a meeting is planned at the World Bank. On the agenda is whether to give internal approval for the Mai Ndombe integrated REDD programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahead of the meeting, Rainforest Foundation UK and US have written to the Bank asking that the programme not be approved.
In August 2012, the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank published a review of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). The review revealed some serious problems with the FCPF and the Independent Evaluation Group recommended that the World Bank should re-think its approach to REDD.
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.
The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is supposed to help countries in the Global South reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It was launched at COP 13 in Bali in 2007. The Fund capital stands at US$850 million, of which US$1.12 billion is for the Readiness Fund, and US$750 million is for the Carbon Fund. But after nine years, the FCPF cannot point to a single country in which it has actually reduced deforestation.
Yesterday, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Financial Corporation launched a US$152 million bond aimed at supporting REDD and carbon trading. The deal demonstrates just about everything that’s wrong with REDD.
Last week saw the 14th meeting of the Carbon Fund, part of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. At the meeting Costa Rica and the Democratic Republic of Congo presented their REDD programme plans. The Carbon Fund approved both country’s REDD plans (called Emmissions Reduction Program Documents in the World Bank’s jargon).
The Ngoyla-Mintom REDD project covers an area of more than 700,000 hectares in the south of Cameroon. The project takes a “landscape” approach, aiming to create a new protected area linking the Nki National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve.
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.