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Climate Change and the Environment


Talking Points

  • The effects of global warming and environmental damage from the fossil-fuel industry already affect all of us, although responsibility lies primarily with the rich industrialized countries and the newly industrializing powers. Africa is the most vulnerable continent, but extreme weather and sea-level rise have hit New Orleans and New Jersey as well as Lagos.

  • Decisions made on the basis of short-term profits, and benefitting from goverment subsidies to established industries, systematically discount damages from "externalities." These include directly visible results such as the devastation of oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta, and of coal producing areas whether in South Africa or West Virginia. The longer-term consequences in rising temperatures and more extreme weather will be even more devastating.

  • Action depends in part on decisions made in international conferences, in which the primary obstacles to action are the rich countries and the newly industrializing powers. But actions at many other levels are also of decisive importance. Fossil-fuel divestment campaigns can add up and reinforce technological innovation in affecting investment choices. Notably, clean energy can already be more cost-effective than large-scale fossil fuel plants in supplying distributed energy access to Africa.

Bulletins

September 22, 2014  Africa: Climate Action & Economic Growth http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/clim1409.php
    It is still conventional wisdom to pit action to curb climate change against economic growth. But the evidence is rapidly accumulating that this is a false dilemma, buttressed by vested interests in the fossil fuel industry and a simplistic concept of economic growth. According to a report just released by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, falling prices for renewable energy and careful analysis of both costs and benefits of low-carbon vs. high-carbon investment strategies point to a clear conclusion: saving the planet and saving the economy go hand in hand.

August 18, 2014  Africa: From Kerosene to Solar http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/sol1408.php
    The largest marketer of solar lamps in Africa, which recently passed the one million mark in lamps sold, has set an ambitious target for the industry. ""Our mission is to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by the end of this decade," proclaims Solar Aid. Although achieving this goal would require the pico-solar market to emulate mobile phone industry's exponential growth path, it may not be as utopian as it sounds. According to market research company Navigant Research, "Off-grid solar lighting for base of the pyramid (BOP) markets, the leading solar PV consumer product segment, is transitioning from a humanitarian aspiration to big business."

July 31, 2014  Africa/Global: Talking Points on Common Issues http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/tp1407.php
    As African leaders and corporate CEOs gather to meet with President Obama and U.S. government officials, a wide variety of civil society activists will also be meeting in Washington, some in officially recognized side events, others in alternative venues. Many more will be issuing statements and communicating their views, some appropriating the twitter hashtag #AfricaSummit used by U.S. government officials, thus inserting their views as well into that hashtag stream.

June 30, 2014  Africa: Clean Energy Most Cost-Effective http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/ces1406.php
    "From off-grid LED lighting to 'Skinny Grids,' we can now provide energy access with a fraction of the amount of power we used to need. More importantly, we can unlock affordable initial interventions -- like lighting, mobile phone charging, fans, and TVs plus a small amount of agro processing -- to help people get onto the energy ladder today rather than forcing them to wait decades for a grid extension that may never come. ... It's important to understand that we aren't just imagining this clean energy market growth -- it's already happening." -- Justin Guay, Sierra Club

February 26, 2014  Africa: Tracking Toxic Pollution http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/env1402.php
    The damages produced by modern economies, termed "externalities" by economists, most often do not figure in the market signals shaping corporate profits and therefore corporate decision-making. The result, both in advanced economies or around the world, includes not only the massive threat to our common future through global warming, but also extraordinary levels of toxic pollution disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. Of the top ten toxic threats around the world identified in a new report, three are in Africa: the Agbogbloshie Dumpsite for e-waste in Ghana, the entire Niger Delta region in Nigeria, and the now-closed but still deadly lead mining site in Kabwe, Zambia.

January 21, 2014  South Africa: Renewables Rising, Coal Still King http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/coal1401.php
    "South Africa [is] the world's sixth-largest coal exporter, seventh-largest coal producer, and thirteenth-largest CO2 emitter, with per-capita emissions twice the global average. Ninety-four percent of the country's electricity comes from coal ... The country's abundant solar and wind resources offer a promising renewable energy alternative. But entrenched political interests connected to the ruling party are fighting to expand coal's role in the national economy." - Adam Welz, "The Future of Coal"

November 18, 2013  Africa: Time to Pay for Climate "Loss and Damage" http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/clim1311.php
    "The U.S. delegation negotiating at the U.N. international climate change conference in Poland is pushing an agenda of minimising the role of "Loss and Damage" in the UNFCCC framework, prioritising private finance in the Green Climate Fund, and delaying the deadline for post-2020 emission reduction commitments, according to a State Department negotiating strategy which IPS has seen." Inter Press Service

Mar 10, 2013  Africa/Global: Fossil-Fuel Divestment http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/div1303.php
    The fossil-fuel divestment movement now gaining momentum on college campuses to fight climate change frequently evokes the precedent of the anti-apartheid divestment campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s. But there are other Africa connections that are also beginning to be made. Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. American and other multinational companies have a long history of environmental destruction in areas such as the Niger Delta. And while many African countries look to fossilfuel exploitation to fund their development, the experience of the "resource curse" shows that the profits may fuel gross inequality and capital flight rather than development.

Dec 13, 2012  Africa: Time for Climate Justice http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/cl1212.php
    The latest international conference on climate change has concluded in Doha, with the predictable "low-ambition" results. Meanwhile, reports proliferate on the disastrous consequences for Africa and the entire planet if governments do not begin to overcome their lethargy in slowing carbon emissions and preparing for adaptation to the changes from global warming already built into the global system.

Oct 12, 2012  West Africa: Toxic Waste, Failed Accountability http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/tox1210.php
    "This is a story of corporate crime, human rights abuse and governments' failure to protect people and the environment. It is a story that exposes how systems for enforcing international law have failed to keep up with companies that operate trans-nationally, and how one company has been able to take full advantage of legal uncertainties and jurisdictional loopholes, with devastating consequences." - Greenpeace Netherlands and Amnesty International, in a comprehensive report on the 2006 dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan

Oct 3, 2012  Southern Africa: Climate Threat to Zambezi Basin http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/zam1210.php
    According to a new study released in September, "There will be a significant reduction in the amount of water flowing through the [Zambezi] river system, affecting all eight countries it passes through. The water that feeds the river is expected to decrease by between 26 percent and 40 percent in another four decades. But when the rains do fall, they will be more intense, triggering more extreme floods." Nevertheless, says the author of the study, planning for existing and new dams does not yet take account of the impact of climate change in reducing power generation and capacity for flood control.

Jun 15, 2012  Africa: Key Issues at Rio+20 http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/rio1206.php
    The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, more commonly known as Rio+20, is in full talking mode this week, although the official summit takes place next week, on June 20-22. But while many ideas and new terminology will be aired, and the volume of official and parallel documents are more than even the most dedicated international conference junkie can read, the script seems familiar. Rich countries are for the most part determined to block firm commitments to strong action.

Dec 7, 2011  Africa: Carbon Trading Deceptions http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/clim1112b.php
    "Africa's share has remained at about two per cent of CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects officially registered with the UN's climate change secretariat. If South Africa and countries in North Africa are taken out of the aggregate, all the other African countries currently account for just 0.6 per cent of registered CDM projects." But even in carbon markets in Africa were expanded, argues this new comprehensive study from the Institute for Strategic Studies, carbon offsets at best bring only deceptive benefits to developing countries, while allowing rich countries to evade their responsibilities for reducing carbon emissions.

Dec 7, 2011  Africa: Climate Change Updates http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/clim1112a.php
    "Rich countries must hear loud and clear that Africa won't pay for their crisis. Developed countries are trying to kill the Kyoto Protocol. They want to turn back the clock to 1997 and shift responsibility for the climate crisis they created onto the developing countries already bearing the brunt of climate change." - Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International.

Oct 27, 2011  Africa: Real Climate Finance Options http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/clim1110.php
    Expectations are low for the international summit on climate change scheduled for next month in Durban, South Africa. A face-saving agreement to keep talking is perhaps the most "optimistic" view. The prospects for serious new international commitments to counter climate change are very low. But there is no shortage of proposals for actions that can be taken by national governments. "A starting point," concludes a new report, "should be the removal of subsidies on fossil fuel use" by developed countries, with part of the proceeds going to climate change financing for developing countries.

Oct 27, 2011  Africa: Climate Talks Background, 2 http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/dur1110b.php
    "Running from 28 November to 9 December, [the Durban conference] will be at least a theoretical chance to restore faith in the glacial progress towards agreement on an effective way to slow the human contribution to climate change," notes a commentator in the Guardian for October 24. But rich countries and developing countries are deeply divided. And media attention and public pressure are flagging, particularly in the United States which remains the principal obstacle to progress.

Oct 27, 2011  Africa: Climate Talks Background, 1 http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/dur1110a.php
    "For Durban, many countries - particularly developing countries - seek an outcome that is based on science, on the multilateral system reflected in the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and on the deal agreed by all countries in the Bali Roadmap. A handful of wealthy countries - including notably the United States - are now seeking to move the goalposts. They want to end the Kyoto Protocol and replace it with a "pledge based" approach ... Durban, then, is shaping up as a clash of paradigms." - Third World Network

Aug 12, 2011  Nigeria: Past Time for Oil Cleanup, 1 http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/nig1108a.php
    The fact that the environment of the Niger Delta, and that portion of it known as Ogoniland, has been devastated by oil pollution for decades should not be news. It has been repeatedly exposed by Nigerian and international activists in print, court testimony, photographs, and films, and punctuated by the 1995 martyrdom of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his fellow Ogoni activists. But this month, for the first time, a comprehensive scientific survey of oil pollution in Ogoniland has concluded that the pollution is even more pervasive than many previously assumed. Simultaneously, in response to a class-action suit in London, Shell Oil has accepted responsibility for two massive oil spills in Ogoniland in 1998.

Aug 12, 2011  Nigeria: Past Time for Oil Cleanup, 2 http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/nig1108b.php
    "Shell faces a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars after accepting full liability for two massive oil spills that devastated a Nigerian community of 69,000 people and may take at least 20 years to clean up. Experts who studied video footage of the spills at Bodo in Ogoniland say they could together be as large as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, when 10m gallons of oil destroyed the remote coastline." - Guardian

Jul 24, 2011  Somalia: Local Crisis, Global Crisis http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/som1107a.php
    The early warning systems worked. But the response to the famine in the Horn of Africa, which is particularly severe in Somalia, has still been too little and too late, as is the common pattern for such crises. Now the media, as well as the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and diaspora Africans from the affected countries, are mobilizing to respond more massively. That response is both necessary and urgent. But it is also essential to reflect on the system-wide causes and the inadequacy of global institutions to respond.

Jul 14, 2011  Africa: Little Momentum in Climate Talks http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/clim1107.php
    "We agreed in Bali in December 2007 to build a much stronger international climate regime to better cope with recent alarming analysis of the disastrous effects of climate change. But instead of achieving this new regime, we now see quite unbelievably an attempt to dismantle even the weaker regime that we now have. Instead of a legally binding system to lock in adequate emissions cuts to 2020 for developed countries ...there is now the most likely prospect of a 'voluntary pledge' system in which developed countries merely state what they can do" -- Martin Khor, South Centre

Jul 14, 2011  Africa: Renewable Energy Rising Rapidly http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/ren1107.php
    "Global investment in renewable energy jumped 32% in 2010, to a record $211 billion. It was boosted in particular by wind farm development in China and small-scale solar PV installation on rooftops in Europe. ... Significant investment is also starting to be seen in Africa, which posted the highest percentage increase of all developing regions, if the emerging economies of Brazil, China and India are excluded. ... Total investment on the continent rose from $750 million [in 2009] to $3.6 billion [in 2010]." -- Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011

Dec 3, 2010  Africa: Key Issues at Cancun http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/can1012a.php
    "The possible bright spot in Cancun could be a decision to create a new climate fund in the UNFCCC and under the authority of the Conference of Parties. The discussion on this is quite advanced. Agreement to establish the new fund would be a limited gain, as the details of the fund [would remain to be determined]... Nevertheless, it would be an advance ... But Cancun may be deprived of even such a simple outcome." - Martin Khor, South Centre

Dec 3, 2010  Africa: Real Climate Action Options http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/can1012b.php
    "The current obsession with carbon trading as a primary tool for tackling climate change is high risk, irresponsible and dangerous. It is a distraction from more viable, more equitable, more effective solutions for tackling greenhouse gas emissions and providing adequate finance to developing countries for tackling climate change and adapting to its impacts." - Clearing the Air, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Nov 9, 2010  Africa: Climate Debt Deferred, 2 http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/clf1011b.php
    "The UN Climate Convention requires [industrialized countries] to take a lead in cutting pollution, and to provide the finance and technology needed by less industrialized countries to overcome the adverse impacts of climate change ... [yet] The current financing model being advanced by developed countries, which centers on carbon markets and financial institutions outside the authority of the Convention, runs counter to their commitments under the Convention." - Civil Society Statement on Fair and Effective Climate Finance, September 2010

Nov 9, 2010  Africa: Climate Debt Deferred, 1 http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/clf1011a.php
    "Responsibility for these [greenhouse gas] emissions lies principally with the developed countries. With less than one fifth of the world's population they have grown wealthy while emitting almost three quarters of all historic GHG emissions into an atmosphere they share with all life on Earth." - Climate Debt Primer, Third World Network

Sep 6, 2010  Africa: Global Solidarity Levy http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/ctl1009.php
    The turnover in foreign exchange markets has reached four trillion dollars a day, more than the total output of the U.S. economy in three months and more than a threefold increase from 2001. More than 80% of these transactions are speculative, as financial institutions trade currencies to profit from changes in rates. Yet, unlike almost all retail transactions, currency transactions deliver no revenues to public coffers. Now a group of 60 countries is proposing a new fee on currency transactions, which they call a "Global Solidarity Levy." At the proposed rate of only 5/1000 of one percent, such a "currency transaction levy" could bring in more than $30 billion a year, and perhaps much more.

Jun 5, 2010  USA/Nigeria: By Way of Comparison http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/oil1006.php
    The estimates are at best approximate on both sides on the equation, but six weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, the cumulative oil spill has now reached a bit more than 3 times that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez. It is still dwarfed, however, by the estimated equivalent of 30 Exxon Valdez spills discharged into Ecuador's Amazon by Chevron/Texaco over 3 decades, or more than 50 Exxon Valdez spills into the Niger Delta by Shell, Chevron, and other companies over 5 decades.

Mar 23, 2010  South Africa: Coal-Fired Denialism http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/coal1003.php
    With a request for a $3.75 billion World Bank loan for a new coalfired power plant, South African political leaders seem determined to entrench a policy on climate change that disregards clear evidence of catastrophic consequences, echoing the earlier disastrous policies of former President Thabo Mbeki on AIDS. But opposition is mounting to the current plan, which would consolidate South Africa's Eskom as the continent's leading producer of greenhouse gases.

Oct 29, 2009  Africa: Climate Change and Natural Resources http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/clim0910.php
    On the eve of the climate change summit in Copenhagen this December, momentum for action still falls far short of that needed to avert catastrophe. Africa will suffer consequences out of all proportion to its contribution to global warming, which is primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions from wealthy countries. But Africa can also make significant contributions to mitigating (i.e. limiting) climate change, by stopping tropical deforestation and ending gas flaring from oil production.

Oct 27, 2009  Africa: Green Power for Mobile http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/gpm0910.php
    "The GSMA's Green Power for Mobile (GPM) programme estimates there are 485 million mobile users without access to the electricity grid, a factor which severely limits usage opportunities. The report identifies a range of charging choices available that, if implemented effectively, will extend service availability and could boost average revenues per user by 10-14%." - Balancing Act Africa News Update

Oct 4, 2009  Africa: Home-Grown Wind Power http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/wind0909.php
    Malawian William Kamkwamba, who was forced to drop out of school in 2002 at the age of 14 because his parents couldn't pay the school fees, is now the author of an inspiring book on how he built a homemade windmill out of bicycle parts and other scraps to power his parent's home in the small village of Masitala. His invention attracted international attention, and he is now on a U.S. book tour after completing his secondary education at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.

Oct 4 2009  Africa: Wind Power in Global Context http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/pb0909.php
    "Wind is .. abundant, low cost, and widely distributed; it scales up easily and can be developed quickly. Oil wells go dry and coal seams run out, but the earth's wind resources cannot be depleted. ... harnessing one fifth of the earth's available wind energy would provide seven times as much electricity as the world currently uses. ... At the heart of Plan B is a crash program to develop 3,000 gigawatts (3 million megawatts) of wind generating capacity by 2020, enough to satisfy 40 percent of world electricity needs. ... Indeed, the idled capacity in the U.S. automobile industry is sufficient to produce all the wind turbines the world needs to reach the Plan B global goal. " - Lester Brown, Plan B 4.0, October 2009

Jun 18, 2009  Africa: Climate Change Action, Who Will Pay? http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/cc0906.php
    "The global climate is changing rapidly. The science is clear: the process of industrialisation has caused the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to rise steadily. ... Environmental impacts have begun and will continue to be felt first and hardest by some of the poorest people in the world. By 2020, parts of Africa will see crop yields from rain-fed agriculture fall by up to 50%. The costs of mitigation - that is, changing our activities to decrease our use of greenhouse gases - and adaptation, adjusting to and paying for the additional developmental consequences of increased temperatures - will run into tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars each year. But where will the money come from?" - Stamp Out Poverty report, May 2009

Jan 22, 2009  Africa: Agricultural Knowledge http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/ag0901.php
    "The key message of the report [by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)] is that small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current food crisis and meet the needs of local communities. More equitable trade arrangements and increased investments in science and technologies and in sharing knowledge that support agroecologically based approaches in both small farm and larger scale sectors are urgently required." - Civil Society Statement, April 2008

Jun 17, 2008  Africa: Environmental Atlas http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/env0806.php
    The new Atlas of Africa from the UN Environment Programme features more than 300 satellite images, 300 ground photographs and 150 maps, along with informative graphs and charts that give a vivid visual portrayal of Africa and its changing environment. It also contains brief profiles of every African country, their important environmental issues, and a description of how each is faring in terms of environmental sustainability. "Before and after" satellite images from every country highlight specific places where change is particularly evident.

Dec 20, 2007  Africa: Seed Sharing or Biopiracy http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/bio0712.php
    "Sharing of seed is the essence of our planet's agricultural biodiversity. Without the open palm offering seeds, we all lose. Current policies, however, are closing the fist around seed, evident in the strong drive for individual access and monopoly ownership of genetic resources, as opposed to open access and collective principles of communities." - Andrew Mushita and Carol B. Thompson

Dec 2, 2007  Africa: Climate Change Impact Report http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/cc0712b.php
    "Climate disasters are heavily concentrated in poor countries. Some 262 million people were affected by climate disasters annually from 2000 to 2004, over 98 percent of them in the developing world. ... In [rich] countries one in 1,500 people was affected by climate disaster. The comparable figure for developing countries was one in 19." - UNDP Human Development Report

Dec 2, 2007  Africa: Climate Change Threatens Continent http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/cc0712a.php
    Climate change is not just in the future. It is already having serious effects, says the latest UNDP Human Development Report. Africa "has the lightest carbon footprint but is likely to pay the heaviest price in the coming century for human-induced climate change." Meanwhile, Texas, with a population of 23 million, produces more carbon emissions than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, with 720 million people.

Sep 3, 2007  Sahel: Beyond Any Drought http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/sah0709.php
    "People blame locusts, drought and high food prices for the crisis that affected more than 3 million people in Niger in 2005, But these were just triggers. The real cause of the problem was that people there are chronically vulnerable. Two years later, they still are." - Vanessa Rubin, CARE International UK

Nov 24, 2006  Africa: Water, Health, and Development http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/hdr0611b.php
    "We estimate that the African region loses five per cent of GDP annually as a result of both women having to walk huge distances to collect water - which diverts labor, apart from the huge personal cost that it puts someone in - and the impact of disease on productivity." - Kevin Watkins, lead author, UN Human Development Report 2006

Nov 24, 2006  Africa: Global Apartheid Update http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/hdr0611a.php
    Speaking at the global launch of the 2006 Human Development Report in Cape Town, South African President Thabo Mbeki called for the world to fight "domestic and global apartheid in terms of access to water." The report documented high levels of inequality both within and between nations, with sub-Saharan African countries losing some five percent of GDP annually as a result of the water and sanitation crisis, far more than the region receives in international aid.

Nov 5, 2006  Africa: Up in Smoke? http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/clim0611.php
    "The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is historically a result of rich world activity. Therefore to be fair, the rich world should bear the full costs of adapting to climate change, at least in the early years." - Working Group on Climate Change and Development

Nov 5, 2006  Africa: Economics of Climate Change http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/ster0611.php
    "All countries will be affected. The most vulnerable - the poorest countries and populations - will suffer earliest and most, even though they have contributed least to the causes of climate change." - Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change

Sep 10, 2006  Africa: Africa's Lakes http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/lake0609.php
    "For now, the future of Lake Chad does indeed look bleak. With a high population growth rate, pressures on water resources in the lake basin will invariably continue. While in the past Lake Chad has been able to rebound from low to high water levels, climate change and people's water use may now act in concert to block the natural forces of recovery." - atlas of Africa's Lakes

Sep 10, 2006  Africa: Environmental Threats/Opportunities http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/unep0609.php
    Many of Africa's ecosystems are not just serving the region, but the whole world, for example, through the carbon soaking value of tropical forests. This alone probably equals or exceeds the current or exceeds the current level of international aid being provided to developing countries.

Oct 3, 2005  Africa: Whose Energy Future? http://www.africafocus.org/docs05/gw0510.php
    With oil prices rising worldwide, African oil-producing countries are expecting windfall earnings. Global oil companies and consuming countries are giving even greater attention to Africa's oil. The World Petroleum Congress, held last month in Africa for the first time, in Sandton, South Africa, celebrated the potential. But a new report from South Africa's groundWork questions the fundamental structure of the oil industry on the continent.

Apr 13, 2004  Africa: World Bank Industry Review http://www.africafocus.org/docs04/wb0404b.php
    In 1996, in a report on Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, World Bank researchers wrote that poverty assessments "have done a reasonably good job of identifying ... options that will assist the poor ... " They added, however, that "these options, typically, are not being reflected in the Bank's assistance strategies or operations." This spring, as the World Bank delays consideration of the report of its own Extractive Industies Review, there is a similar disconnect between Bank-fostered proposals for internal change and ongoing operations.

Mar 16, 2004  Congo (Kinshasa): Forests under Threat http://www.africafocus.org/docs04/rf0403.php
    Central Africa is the region having the richest rainforest resources on the continent, and its Congo basin is second only to the Amazon among the world's rainforest regions. How these resources are used and who controls their "development" are issues that deserve wide debate. Yet new legislation to permit rapid expansion in logging is being introduced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on the advice of the World Bank, without significant consultation with civil society or people living in forest areas.