World Rainforest Movement

Forests, plantations and the multilateral banks

A workshop on Forests, Plantations and the Multilateral Development Banks was held from 2-4 December in Montevideo, Uruguay, organized by the Latin American and Caribbean NGO Network on the Multilateral Development Banks. Representatives from 18 NGOs -most of them from Latin America- participated in the event. Presentations on the Forest Policy of the World Bank, the situation of forests and tree plantations in the region and case studies on several Latin American countries were made (see article in this issue).

Participants addressed a letter to Mr. Ian Johnson,Vice-President of the Department for Social and Environmental Sustainable Development of the World Bank, expressing their concerns about the review of the Forest Policy that the Bank is undertaking. They demanded that instead of reconsidering such policy as a whole, the WB should take into account the most innovative and representative aspects of the Forest Policy agreed in 1991, to evaluate its implementation on the ground. “Since the approval of the Forest Policy the situation in Latin America has changed, due to the devastating environmental impacts of structural adjustment, trade liberalization and other globalizing measures. We are especially concerned about the negative effects of commercial tree plantations on forests, which are promoted by the WB by means of subsidies, to the detriment of the protection of forests” states the letter.

For more information on this workshop, please contact Vivianne Garcia