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Smoke and Mirrors: a critical assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility

This report analyses eight Readiness Preparedness Plans (RPPs) submitted to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and reviews FCPF documents and policy debates. It finds that rather than strengthening and implementing the Bank’s safeguards, the FCPF has created a dense set of guidelines that water down existing policies and obfuscate minimum standards.

Key findings include that the R-PPs:

  • lack recognition of the rights of forest peoples and don’t include concrete proposals to address land conflicts and outstanding land claims
  • have been written with either non-existent or inadequate national consultations
  • all reaffirm  state  ownership  over  forest  lands  and  focus  on  valuation and monitoring of forest carbon to the exclusion of livelihood, biodiversity and cultural values.

This  review  concludes  that  with  key  causes  of  forest  loss  not  being  sufficiently  addressed, failing consultation processes, a focus on measuring carbon at the cost of improving governance and a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of safeguards, it is difficult to see how the national plans emerging  from  the  FCPF  funded  R-PPs  will  contribute  to  reducing  forest  loss  and  ensuring respect for human rights. The current FCPF approach carries a real risk of fuelling and exacerbating conflicts.

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