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Yesterday (28 August 2017), a meeting was 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.

The letter (available in full below) is addressed to staff at the World Bank, including Ellysar Baroudy, the coordinator for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the FCPF Secretariat, senior forestry and environment staff, and Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye, the Bank’s Country Director for DRC. Copies went to staffat: Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Department for International Development and Department of Energy and Climate Change; Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; the UNDP; and Environmental Defence Fund’s Chris Meyer, the Northern civil society observer at the FCPF and Carbon Fund.

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In a recent country profile, Transparency International notes that the Democratic Republic of Congo “continues to struggle with repeated political crises, weak governance, mismanagement of natural resources and entrenched corruption”.

What this might mean for REDD is the topic of a recent report published by the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, U4.

 

The report is written by Samuel Assembe-Mvondo, a climate policy scientist with CIFOR, the Centre for International Forestry Research. It can be downloaded here.

 

Assembe-Mvondo notes that, “A large amount of work has been done to try to mitigate corruption in REDD+, but risks remain.” His study found four types of corruption related to REDD implementation in DRC (outlined in detail below).

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by http://wrm.org.uy

In late 2013, a group of representatives of African, Indonesian and international NGOs met with members of La Via Campesina and the African Biodiversity Network in Calabar, Nigeria, to address the massive expansion of industrial oil palm plantations on the African continent and discuss, in particular, the situation in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.

The oil palm is native to west and central Africa, but it is not common for local communities to establish large-scale monoculture plantations of these trees. Normally, oil palms are planted alongside other crops, guaranteeing diversity that contributes to the food sovereignty of the community and the protection of the environment. Cultivated in this way, and under community control, oil palm has provided a range of benefits for African people in more than 20 countries. It is particularly noteworthy that in almost all of these countries, it is women who control the entire oil palm production chain, from cultivation to the sale of the various products derived from the tree.

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Global Witness recently produced a short film on industrial logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film raises an interesting conundrum. “The World Bank and other international donor agencies claim to support the protection of forests and the people that live in them. Yet many donors continue to support industrial logging.”

Global Witness asks how in touch the global donor community is with the reality on the ground, and answers its own question with a quotation from an anonymous World Bank official: “DRC is a vast country. We don’t have many opportunities to go out into the field.” The film was launched at the World Bank’s meetings in Washington DC last week.

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A new report from the Bretton Woods Project monitors the latest news about the Climate Investment Funds. The report notes several on-going concerns with the Forest Investment Program: about a proposed independent review of investment plans and the investment plans produced for Burkino Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo (both of which have been approved).

The next meeting of the Forest Investment Program will take place on 31 October 2011 – details of the meeting are available on the Climate Investment Funds website. At this meeting, the investment plans for Laos and Mexico will be considered. The investment plans are available via the CIF website (the Lao request for US$30 million is 147 pages long and Mexico’s request for US$60 million – almost half of which would be in the form of a loan – is 107 pages long).

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In a press release last month, Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) announced that, “Through the development and monetization of high quality carbon offsets, the Mai Ndombe project will deliver ecosystem, social, economic, biodiversity and climatic benefits for communities within and beyond the project area.”

Unfortunately, ERA hasn’t bothered to tell the communities what those benefits might be. In March 2012, staff from Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Cercle pour la defense de l’environnement (CEDEN) travelled to Mai Ndombe in Bandundu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were there to find out more about ERA carbon trading project. What they found was shocking, but perhaps not particularly surprising.

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A new report by Rainforest Foundation Norway “shows how a rights-based approach is both the most effective way to protect the rainforest, as well as the best way to avoid that forest protection leads to human rights violations.”

The report, titled, “Rights-based rainforest protection: Why securing the rights of forest peoples is the right way to save the forest”, is available below. The report starts with an overview of the state of the world’s rainforests, the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in them and the international legal framework for forest peoples’ rights. The report gives concrete examples of Indigenous Peoples in the Xingu Indigenous Park, Brazil, the Bukit Duabelas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. Other examples in the report are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and Peru.

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In November 2011, PricewaterhouseCoopers warned that “The implementation of REDD+ in DRC will face numerous challenges because of the widespread nature of corruption in the country”. As in all other sectors, PwC added, corruption is “likely to be ever present”.

PwC’s report, “Implementing REDD+ in the Democratic Republic of Congo: How to manage the risk of corruption” (pdf file 3.7 MB), was commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

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The Accra Caucus recently release a report that looks at the development of safeguards in Guyana, Indonesia, Nepal, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The report finds that “there are continuing concerns about the current direction of REDD+, especially in some countries”.

The Accra Caucus is a network of NGOs representing about one hundred civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisation from 38 countries. Since it was formed in Accra in 2008, it has followed closely the REDD negotiations at the UNFCCC.

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