The latest issue of News and Notices for World Bank Watchers discusses World Bank social and environmental assessments and calls for a new “dynamic assessment” procedure.
A workshop on Indigenous peoples, forests and the World Bank: policies and practice was held in Washington on 9-10 May to discuss nine case studies, presented by indigenous peoples, of their communities’ experiences with World Bank projects.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article on 4 May stating that “the World Bank badly mishandled an anti-poverty project that would resettle 58,000 Chinese farmers onto hotly disputed farmlands traditionally inhabited by ethnic Tibetans, according to a report by an internal bank watchdog panel”.
In January, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), and other social movements led an uprising in protest at the worsening economic situation which resulted in the resignation of the president, Jamil Mahuad.
On 15 August the Chinese Government arrested three people for trying to investigate the World Bank Western Poverty Project.
Indonesian NGOs, concerned about the spread of oil palm plantations since the onslaught of the crisis, have formed “Sawat (Oil Palm) Watch”.
In early June the World Bank rushed to defend the proposed China Western Poverty Project from charges that it would disrupt the lives of ethnic Tibetans and had undergone too limited environmental scrutiny.
A World Bank conference this July in Padang, Papua New Guinea, discussed “mining and the community in South-East Asia” but many NGOs known to represent mine-affected people were not invited.
In April Jane Hill, President of the American Anthropological Association, wrote a strong letter to Bank Group President James Wolfensohn and Carol Lee, IFC Vice President and General Counsel.