NGOs in the Democratic Republic of Congo have allied to challenge industrial logging in their country's rainforests. In February they appealed to the World Bank and other agencies to halt a plan which would make up to 60 million hectares of rainforest available to logging companies in the coming years.
Despite its failure to improve forest management, the World Bank has released further funding to the Cambodian government. NGOs argue that this shows that the Bank is not serious about social and environmental issues. The Bank's anti-corruption credentials are also in doubt as it has awarded a contract for forest monitoring to a company with convictions for bribery.
One of the first pilot projects using the World Bank's climate change carbon trading programmes has come under fire from local groups for endorsing destructive tree plantations.
Civil society groups in Cambodia and Papua New Guinea call on the Bank to exert its influence to curb violations of forestry codes.
The World Bank is considering withholding funds from Cambodia in response to government moves against Global Witness, an independent monitor of the forestry sector.
In December the CEE Bankwatch Network asked the Bank’s Board to delay approval of the Romania Forest Development Program.
Indigenous peoples and NGOs supporting them have released angry statements about the World Bank’s indigenous peoples and forests policies.
The World Bank is in the process of “reformatting” a wide range of its key safeguard policies.
A Papuan NGO, the Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights, attempted to halt the release of a $17 million World Bank loan, claiming that the PNG government had failed to stop illegal logging and road construction, and that the Bank had failed to supervise compliance with the conditionalities.
NGOs working on forest issues have charged that the Bank's revised draft Forest Strategy ignores advice given by both civil society and the Bank’s own Technical Advisory Group.