In October 2008, groups in Paraguay learned that the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility had approved the Government of Paraguay’s Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN). This is the document that government must submit to the Bank in order to receive funds from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The Bank approved the Paraguayan R-PIN despite the fact that there had been no consultation with Indigenous Organisations in Paraguay about the plan.
As REDD-Monitor noted in a previous post, governments are scrambling to get at the FCPF’s cash, but there are serious concerns about the way FCPF is developing – in particular the lack of transparency and lack of meaningful consultation with civil society and Indigenous groups. The situation in Paraguay is not an isolated case.
On 29 October 2008, Coordinadora por la Autodeteminacion de los Pueblos Indegenas (CAPI) wrote to the World Bank’s representative in Paraguay, Pedro Rodríguez, to complain about this situation. Click on the image below to download the file (.pdf – 861 kB). An English translation of the letter is below.
The undersigned members of the executive commission of the Coordination for the Self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, a body which links 15 associations of Indigenous Peoples of both regions of the country, would like to direct itself to the World Bank to point out the following.
We have been notified that the World Bank has approved the R-PIN proposal prepared by the Paraguayan State to initiate the process of “capturing carbon”. The Indigenous organisations in Paraguay were never consulted about this proposal, which was accepted by you.
According to the norms of the World Bank itself (Operational Policy 4.10), consultations should take place regarding all projects that involve Indigenous Peoples and/or their interests. We would like to remind you that the World Bank is supposed to demand “prior, free and informed consultations” for each project that is presented. We would like to point out that the Paraguayan State has not performed such a consultation, as established in your document.
Several of the most important forests in our country are found in our territories, and the approval of a proposal we have not been consulted about seriously impacts on our fundamental rights and specifically violates various articles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007).
Therefore, we would like the World Bank to inform us for what reason it has failed to apply its own operational policy, as this leaves the undersigned with the impression that the directives of the World Bank are nothing but empty words.
We look forward to your response at your earliest convenience.
Carlos Picanerai, Secretary
Hipólito Acevei, President