World Rainforest Movement

Dialogue with the World Bank?

The World Bank is currently undertaking its Forest Policy Implementation Review and Strategy Development (FPIRS) and will carry out a number of consultation meetings throughout the world to feed this process. Within this framework, it seems important that the Bank takes seriously on board recent events in India, when more than 300 Adivasis (indigenous people) from the Indian state of Madya Pradesh, representing all mass-based Adivasi movements, jumped over the fence of the World Bank building on the 24th of November. They blocked the building, covering it with posters, grafitti, cow shit and mud, sang slogans and traditional songs at the gate, and went back only after Mr. Lim, country director of the World Bank in India, went out to receive an open letter signed by all their movements.

The letter (available in WRM’s web site at denounces the destructive impact of World Bank investments in forestry and of the liberalisation in timber products enshrined in the WTO system, which range from the commodification and destruction of the forests to increasing violence, rape and assassinations.

But what we believe the Bank should begin to reflect upon before the upcoming FPIRS consultation meetings is that during the protest in Delhi, the attempts of the country director of the World Bank to deliver a speech were refused by the Adivasis, who said that after talking with World Bank officials for the last 5 years they had concluded that such ‘dialogues’ had the only objective of betraying, misleading and deceiving the Adivasis while pushing through commercial and industrial interests. Food for thought.