The main objectives of this strategy focused on
The World Bank has had little direct involvement in forestry projects in Indonesia until recently. Between 1988-94 there were only 2 forest sector projects (both with limited objectives), 1 GEF forest conservation project and tree-planting components in 6 other projects. There was also policy advice "economic and sector work - ESW" (sic).
The World Bank's indirect involvement with forests in Indonesia has been much greater. The Bank has continued to fund programmes in other sectors intimately related to forests and forest peoples (e.g. agriculture, poverty reduction, roads) without even considering the potential impacts on forest peoples and environments. The Report criticises the Bank's Indonesia office for failing "to pursue key issues in an economically, environmentally and socially important sector" and for not learning from the disastrous effect of the Bank-funded transmigration programme in the 1980s on forests.
The Bank has not funded any forestry projects since 1994. Relations between the Bank and the Indonesian Department of Forestry and Plantations broke down after the Bank called for policy and institutional reform in the forest sector. The last report (1993, unpublished) focused on:
The Report concludes that the Bank's overall strategic direction on forestry issues (see above) was right, but has many stringent criticisms of the Bank's performance. "In terms of the results in the forest sector, the outcome (for Indonesia) is rated as highly unsatisfactory. The rapid pace of deforestation and highly inequitable distribution of the benefits have contributed to significant negative environmental and social impacts." A summary of the OED's evaluation is presented below.
The Bank resumed its funding for the forestry sector as part of adjustment lending after Indonesia's economic crash in 1997. The OED Report considers it is too early to evaluate this aspect of the Bank's operations in Indonesia. There has been no public response from Indonesian civil society groups to the OED Report, partly because it has only just been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. One prominent forest campaigner has criticised the Report for not placing sufficient empasis on the problems of overcapacity of the wood processing industry and land tenure issues.
In mid-March, a number of donor and NGO representatives - including WALHI, WWF, CIFOR, DFID, RMI, ICRAF and ICW held a meeting to organise a workshop where the World Bank is held to account for the OED Report (provisionally 22-24th April). The Report's main author (Uma Lele) should be present so that Bank representatives can hear inputs directly from Indonesian civil society groups and donors before the Singapore meeting (26-8th April) to review World Bank forestry projects in East Asia.
It is obvious from the OED Report that the Bank has failed to learn the lessons of the 19980s. It cannot afford to ignore the key lessons of what it calls 'the lost decade' of the 1990s.
|WB assistance to forestry sector (OED criteria)||Evaluation (Pre-1997)|
|Relevance||Satisfactory (i.e. policy advice & projects in line with Bank and GoI's stated objectives)|
|Efficacy||Negligible (lack of progress on institutional or policy reform; deforestation continues)|
|Overall outcome||highly unsatisfactory|
|Bank performance at sectoral level||satisfactory|
|Bank performance at country level||unsatisfactory - (Bank's country development failed to pursue key issues)|
|Bank's overall performance||marginally unsatisfactory|
|Borrower performance (i.e. GoI, Forestry Dept||highly unsatisfactory|
It presents a useful analysis of the problems driving Indonesia's rapid deforestation rates.
Crucially, the Report finds that poor rural people and forest dwellers are not to blame for large-scale forest destruction. Commercial logging and government programmes (rather than shifting agriculture) are clearly identified as the major causes. Population pressure (formerly one of the Bank's major concerns) is hardly mentioned.
The Report emphasises the inter-sectoral nature of forests. This means that, even if the World Bank decides it will not fund any more 'forestry projects', the Report strengthens the case for a complete revision of Bank policy on forests and forestry since the many other kinds of Bank programmes have such important impacts on forests and forest peoples.
It draws attention to
It also recognises that perpetrators of forest fires are rewarded because damaged forests can then be cleared for more plantations.
It makes 3 major criticisms about the 'economic and sector work' underpinning the Bank's policy advice in Indonesia: