Indian NGO Samata and the UK’s Forest Peoples Programme have found that the resettlement action plan (RAP) of the Bank-funded Andhra Pradesh Community Forest Management Project is in breach of Bank policies on indigenous peoples and involuntary resettlement. Affected Adivasi communities have not been able to participate meaningfully in project design, social assessment has been incomplete and compensation for the displaced has been inadequate and inappropriate. Many indigenous villagers have not been properly informed about their rights and entitlements and have been asked to sign consent agreements that they do not understand. A growing number of villages and local NGOs are refusing to implement the RAP. Village authorities and local NGOs are now taking their grievances to implementing agencies, while a number of landless villagers who were displaced under the previous Bank-assisted Joint Forest Management project have allegedly been excluded from benefits under the RAP, in contravention of the loan agreement.
Indian forestry project violates safeguards
31 January 2007