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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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