World Bank

World Bank ditches shares in Congo-trashing company

Posted by jamie — 10 December 2007 at 6:20pm - Comments

Forest canopy in the Congo rainforest

There have been some great developments around our Congo rainforest campaign, as the FT reported on its website this morning that one of the arms of the World Bank will offload the shares it owns in a company known to be destroying the forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it will divest its holdings in Olam International, a Singapore-based company which has operations in the DRC. The Congo report we released earlier this year showed how Olam was holding forest land granted in breach of the current moratorium which the World Bank itself helped establish and that it was also trading in dodgy timber. As a result, Olam has since given back its forest holdings to the DRC government, but it still buys illegal timber cut by local companies.

How the World Bank and HSBC are investing in deforestation

Posted by jamie — 29 August 2007 at 2:53pm - Comments

Timber being sawn up in Bandundu province, DRC

Back in April, at the World Bank's spring meeting, there was much talk about the plight of the Congo rainforest. We'd just published a big report detailing how in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) logging titles were being granted in breach of a moratorium that the bank had been instrumental in establishing. The report launch was so high profile, we were able to force DRC's rainforest high onto the agenda of the World Bank meeting and have also managed to secure another session at the upcoming autumn meeting.

Congo timber ship blocked

Posted by jamie — 6 July 2007 at 3:16pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers climb a crane at La Rochelle port in France

Right now, a group of Greenpeace climbers are perched on top of a set of cranes in the port of La Rochelle on the French Atlantic coast. They've been there since Wednesday night and as well as admiring a no-doubt magnificent view, they're also preventing a ship unloading its cargo of timber which has come from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Documentary evidence from the Congo

Posted by jamie — 30 May 2007 at 12:26pm - Comments

If the testimonies of our two Congolese visitors weren't enough to convince you that there's trouble of the arboreal variety brewing in the Democratic Republic of Congo, try this film for size.

Caterpillars and contracts: first-hand reports from the Congo rainforest

Posted by jamie — 21 May 2007 at 5:12pm - Comments
Adrien Sinafasi Makelo (left) and René Ngongo (right) address the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Adrien Sinafasi Makelo (left) and René Ngongo (right) address MPs, civil servants and campaigners

On Thursday, I found myself at Portcullis House, an imposing edifice that sits across the road from the main Houses of Parliament building. The occasion was a panel discussion hosted by Greenpeace and (deep breath) the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Great Lakes Region of Africa, to discuss the crisis in the Congo rainforest. As the name suggests, it's a collective of MPs from all parties with a special interest in that part of the world who try to make sure issues affecting the region remain on the political agenda.

When is a moratorium not a moratorium?

Posted by jamie — 4 May 2007 at 2:00pm - Comments

Forest officials in the DRC are woefully under-resourced

Forest officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo are woefully under-resourced

It's not a trick question, and the answer is simple: when a moratorium is failing to stop the problem it was originally designed to address, then it's not much of a moratorium at all. There's one in place right now in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is supposed to help prevent the destruction of the country's rainforest, and yet it has been repeatedly breached until the moratorium itself is practically worthless.

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