The series of eight Regional Consultations on the World Bank’s forest policy have been completed. Reports of these meetings and a document summarizing the main issues are now on the web. A brought up in these regional meetings has also been produced by the Bank.
The Operations Evaluations Group has submitted a (disappointing) report on the IFC‘s compliance with the Forest Policy.
The Bank circulated an Issues paper, drawing out some of the lessons from the OED and Regional Consultations. It has also now started discussion of a preliminary draft of a new forest strategy and policy, in bullet point format, based on the findings of all these reviews;
A Technical Advisory Group, including governments, companies and NGOs has met once to discuss this draft strategy and policy. Among the interesting decisions it has taken is that the Bank should conduct an assessment of the internal obstacles and disincentives to applying its policies and with proposed measures or mechanisms to overcome these. The Bank has also agreed that its new forest policy safeguards will also apply to structural adjustment loans. It is currently very unclear what this would mean in practice. NGOs are also considering how to link this with the current Bank review of its 1992 directive on adjustment which will go to the Bank’s Board in November and be followed early next year by a consultation exercise on a new Bank policy on adjustment.