Since October 2008, Global Witness has been working on a project called “Making the Forest Sector Transparent“. The project has recently released its 2011 Annual Transparency Report, looking at the transparency record in seven countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In each of the countries, Global Witness has formed a partnership with a local NGO and each of these partners in turn supports smaller civil society organisations working at grassroots community level. Each year, the project produces a Report Card for each country. In 2011, the Report Card looks at “20 key indicators on important provisions of the legal and regulatory framework that applies to the forest sector governance”.

The report cards for each country are available by clicking on the countries from the map on the website home page. There are some improvements on paper, such as freedom of information laws enacted by Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Liberia. But a press release about the launch of the report notes that none of the forest authorities are meeting their obligations. “These additional commitments currently amount to no more than statements of intent,” says David Young, forest campaigner at Global Witness.

 

Corruption is one of the biggest risks that REDD faces and increasing transparency is one of the best ways of addressing corruption. So why are these governments moving so slowly towards transparency in the forest sector?

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