Skip to main content

Tropical Rainforests

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What discussions they are having with the World Bank, other international organisations and locally based non-governmental organisations to seek ways of protecting the rights and interests of the people who have been living in rainforests and whose livelihood is adversely affected by logging operations. [HL7106]

We have a range of opportunities to discuss the protection of the rights and interests of people living in rainforests, with the World Bank and others.

DfID supports the global partnership for rights and resources with a grant of £300,000. This is a new informal coalition of organisations dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of rainforest-dependent people. It provides a platform for engagement with Governments, other donors, local and international NGOs and research organisations.

DfID is providing £24 million to support the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme, which will support multi-stakeholder processes that will involve rainforest-dependent people in the development and implementation of trade and governance agreements between the EU and timber-producing countries.

In addition to those global initiatives, DfID supports numerous bilateral initiatives to support the rights and interests of rainforest-dependent people. Examples of DfID-funded bilateral initiatives include:

the multi-stakeholder forestry programme in Indonesia, where DfID is working with civil society groups and the World Bank on the resource rights of forest-dependent communities.

In Cameroon, DfID is working together with the World Bank, providing targeted budget support alongside the World Bank’s International Development Association and the Global Environmental Facility contributions.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), DfID supports the Rainforest Foundation to pilot participatory forest mapping and zoning, aiming to secure the rights and interests of rainforest-dependent people.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What are the most recent decisions taken by the World Bank with regard to logging operations in rainforests; which countries will be affected; what the impact on the forests concerned will be; and what share of the cost in forms of assistance will be borne by the United Kingdom. [HL7110]

Decisions taken by the World Bank which affect logging operations in rainforests have to conform to its policy on forests that was adopted in 2003. This states that the World Bank will only finance commercial harvesting in areas where strict environmental assessments or authoritative scientific surveys have demonstrated that the areas in question do not contain critical forest areas or other critical natural habitats.

HMG co-operates with the World Bank on a number of country programmes aimed at improving forest governance. These include the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon, and Cambodia.

The expected impacts of the above programmes include the empowerment of forest-dependent communities, enhanced economic opportunities for the poor and indigenous groups, increased revenues for the state, and improved conservation of biodiversity.

In Cameroon, HMG/DfID has committed £11 million for the Cameroon Forest Governance Programme. Commitments in support of the forest sector in the DRC and Cambodia are still being finalised.

There is a growing consensus that the traditional concession-based industrial logging model does not generate the desired economic, social and environmental benefits. DfID, together with the World Bank and a number of civil society and research organisations, is planning to support research into improved models for forest sector development.