Groups Protest World Bank, Say Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Threatens Forests and Indigenous Peoples

11 December, 2007

Groups Protest World Bank: Say Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Threatens Forests and Indigenous Peoples

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia – A very diverse group of non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples organizations and social movements staged a protest today outside of a press conference where World Bank President and former US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick announced the launch of the World Bank‚s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

“This Facility is merely the World Bank up to their old tricks,” stated Anne Petermann, Co-Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.  “They’ve packaged up their carbon trading agenda under the guise of forest protection, when in fact this Facility will result in more forest destruction, more displacement of indigenous peoples and more carbon emissions.  It‚s a lose-lose-lose proposition for everyone but big business,” she added.

Close to 100 people stood outside of the press conference facility chanting slogans and staging a die-in, with different people representing island nations, indigenous and women’s groups, ecosystems and species that are threatened with annihilation from climate change.  They charge that the focus of the World Bank on profit-oriented “false solutions,” like carbon trading and carbon offset projects including industrial tree plantations, is actually contributing to an acceleration of climate change.

“While pretending to be concerned about climate change and poverty, The World Bank has continued to fund fossil fuel exploitation to the tune of $8 billion since 2000,” explained Janet Redman, a researcher with the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. “At the same time, they’ve done virtually nothing to bring clean energy to the 1.6 billion people without electricity,” she added.

“The World Bank is channeling over $2 billion from the most polluting industries in the industrialized north to the most polluting companies in the global south, while profiting handsomely from so-called ‘overhead'”added Anna Pinto of the Center for Organizations, Research & Education. “The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is merely more of the same.  It is also violating the rights of indigenous peoples to prior and informed consent as laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she concluded.

The very vocal and empassioned protest continued for 35 minutes with chants including “World Bank: Hands Off!,” “Robert Zoellick You Can’t Hide: Carbon Trading is a Crime,” “More Forest: Less Bank!,” and “Land Rights Now!”

Titi Soentoro, of the Indonesian Civil Society Forum and the Gender Caucus read a statement endorsed by dozens of groups demanding the rejection of the World Bank‚s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. This statement and all of the endorsing organizations can be found at:

http://www.foei.org/en/campaigns/climate/bali/forests-declaration

Contacts: Janet Redman, SEEN, +62-813-389-84-882; Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition, +62-813-379-84-639

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