The Bank has failed to comply with its own operational policy on forests. An inspectional panel request was authorised by the Bank regarding a forest project in Cambodia. NGOs are disappointed at the Bank's draft principles for a code of conduct for mangrove management
Highlights of the IFC consultation with civil society on its revision of the WBG environmental and social safeguards
Summary of concerns on process and substance of the IFC's on-going review of its safeguard policies
Brazilian and international NGOs charge that IFC-funded soy and cattle projects in the Amazon further deforestation, ignore social and environmental risks and contradict World Bank policy.
World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies have long been a subject of contention. The Bank has now begun to shift from "explicit, mandatory policies, to which it can be held accountable, to flexible principles or national standards, permitting the investor and/or the borrowing government to determine the project's social and environmental requirements". This is illustrated most clearly by the on-going reviews of the IFC's Safeguard Policies and World Bank's Country Systems.
Bank watchers fear that a new plan to harmonise Bank environmental and social safeguard policies with national rules will sacrifice years of hard-won policy provisions "in one big sweep".
A group of NGOs has called for a halt to Bank support for a highway modernisation project which threatens serious environmental impacts.
A videoconference was held in July to bring together Congolese organisations, international forest activists and Bank President James Wolfensohn to discuss a Bank-supported forest zoning plan for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Brazilian NGOs challenge proposed World Bank Group support for soya farming in the Amazon region.
The gap between the World Bank's pronouncements on the dangers of climate change and the reality of its lending practices presents an ever increasing danger for the global commons.