World Bank’s FCPF fails to consult with Indigenous Peoples in Honduras

World Bank’s FCPF fails to consult with Indigenous Peoples in Honduras

By Chris Lang, 29th February 2012

The Indigenous Peoples Confederation of Honduras (CONPAH) recently wrote a letter to the State Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment, Doctor Rigoberto Cuéllar Cruz, about the lack of consultation relating to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility in Honduras.

The letter proposes that the government should withdraw of the draft Readiness-Preparation Proposal that has been submitted to the FCPF, in order “to begin a good-faith process for the creation and formulation based on the principle of free, previous and informed consent.” The letter also demands that “GIZ, Rainforest Alliance, USAID, UNDP and other Bilateral and Multilateral collaborators suspend all activities and financing related to the REDD processes in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran territories.”

An English translation of CONPAH’s letter is posted below and the original Spanish version can be downloaded here (pdf file 994.5 kB).

On 23 February 2012, Irina Helena Pineda, the Director of External Cooperation at the Honduran Department of Natural Resources and Environment, wrote to Peter Saile, Senior Carbon Finance Specialist at the World Bank. The letter explains that Honduras will postpone the presentation of the R-PP until the Participants Committee meeting in Colombia in June 2012. Although one of the reasons given for the delay was the letter from CONPAH, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s letter does not state that a process of free, prior and informed consent will be carried out before the next draft of the R-PP is produced.

The letter from the Honduran Department of Natural Resources and Environment is available below in Spanish. It is also available on the FCPF website, but the CONPAH letter is not (yet) posted on the FCPF website.

REDD-Monitor has also written to Peter Saile at the World Bank with some further questions about lack of consultation in the FCPF in Honduras. (The email is available below.) REDD-Monitor looks forward to posting his response, along with responses from GIZ, Rainforest Alliance, USAID and UNDP to CONPAH’s demand that they suspend all activities and funding relating to REDD in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran territories.


UPDATE – 2 March 2012: The CONPAH letter has now been posted on the FCPF website. Perhaps FCPF is listening after all. On 29 February 2012, Peter Saile replied as follows: “Please send your request directly to the FCPF Secretariat.” REDD-Monitor therefore sent the same questions to the FCPF secretariat with a copy to Benoît Bosquet, coordinator of the FCPF at the World Bank. REDD-Monitor looks forward to posting the Bank’s response.

UPDATE – 8 March 2012: Benoît Bosquet’s response is posted in full, here.


Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH)Tegucigalpa M.D.C., 8 February 2012

Rigoberto Cuellar, Attorney
Minister of SERNA
Your Office

Ref: R-PP of Honduras: Document not consulted indigenous peoples

We, the Indigenous and Afro-Honduran Peoples, who make up the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH) are surprised to find out that the Government of Honduras, through its Secretary, has submitted to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the Readiness Project Proposal (R-PP) named “PREPARATION FOR REDUCING EMISSIONS BY DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION IN HONDURAS”. We believe that this unilateral decision from the State of Honduras, of submitting this document to the FCPF for approval constitutes a violation of our Rights because we as Peoples do not know its content and scope, even more importantly, our free, prior and informed Consent, as mandated by the FCPF guidelines and international instruments that guarantee our Rights, has not been granted.

Given that this R-PP document was drafted without consulting with us, and without our consent, the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH) proposes the following:

1. That the State of Honduras withdraw the R-PP document submitted to the World Bank’s FCPF to begin a good-faith process for the creation and formulation based on the principle of free, previous and informed consent.

2. Through its Federations and members, the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH) will facilitate a consultative process based on the free, previous and informed consent, and in agreement with our overall World view, understanding that this process will be under the control of the Federations united under the CONPAH.

3. We likewise demand that the GIZ, Rainforest Alliance, USAID, UNDP and other Bilateral and Multilateral collaborators suspend all activities and financing related to the REDD processes in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran territories.

Signed:

Bayardo Alemán, CONPAH President
CONIMCHH, President
Norvin Goff, MASTA President
Edilia Isidra Montes, Treasurer CONPAH, P. FFTRIXY
Secretary CONPAH
Erenia Sanchez, Member
Edgardo Benitez M., FITH, President

With copy to:

World Bank/ Carbon Partnership Facility Forest (FCPF)
Regional and Honduras GIZ
Rainforest Alliance
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Honduras
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Honduras
Defender of Ethnic Peoples and Cultural Heritage of Honduras
National Congress of the Republic of Honduras
Indigenous Council of Central America – CICA
Indigenous Federations of Honduras
The Civil Society
Presidency of the Republic of Honduras
Secretary of Indigenous and African descent in Honduras/SEDINAFROH
Forest Conservation Institute – ICF
Archive

From: Irina Helena Pineda
To: Peter Saile
Cc: Stephanie Tam, Raju Koirala, Ken Andrasko, Pierre-Yves Guedez, Benoit Bosquet
Date: 02/23/2012 04:38 PM
Subject:Formal announcement of postponement of draft R‐PP presentation at PC 11Estimado Sr. Saile,

Después de saludarle muy cordialmente me dirijo a usted a fin de dar seguimiento a nuestra conversación telefónica y donde expresé el interés de Honduras en postergar la presentación de nuestro RPP.

En ese sentido, me permito informarle que el pasado viernes 17 de febrero, el Dr. Rigoberto Cuéllar, Secretario de Estado en los Despachos de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente de Honduras, convoco a una reunión relacionada con la presentación de este documento; en ese sentido, queremos saber si es posible posponer la presentación del borrador del R‐PP del PC 11, a llevarse a cabo en Paraguay, al PC 12 que se estará celebrando en Colombia. Lo anterior debido a lo siguiente:

1) Como usted sabe, el TAP realizó una serie de comentarios a nuestro documento y consideramos que esos cambios y ampliaciones requieren de un mayor tiempo para su cumplimentación, término superior al pautado para presentar las observaciones (2 de marzo).

2) Por otro lado, y como usted tiene conocimiento la Confederación de Pueblos Autóctonos de Honduras (CONPAH) envió a ésta Secretaría de Estado una Comunicación mediante la cual indican que dicho documento no fue debidamente fue socializado ante las comunidades; por lo que valoraremos lo expresado por ellos y procederemos a continuar con las acciones pertinentes de socialización, tal como lo hemos venido haciendo, y seguir los pasos necesarios relacionados con la resolución de la la situación actual ocasionada por la precitada carta.

Es muy importante remarcar, que el Gobierno de Honduras reitera su compromiso y está en la mayor disposición de continuar con los esfuerzos realizados hasta la fecha hasta lograr presentar el documento borrador para el siguiente PC 12.

Les mantendremos informados sobre las acciones que iremos desarrollando en este proceso.

Abg. Irina Helena Pineda
Directora de Cooperación Externa
Secretaria de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente

From: Chris Lang
Date: 29 February 2012 09:47
Subject: Honduras and FCPF
To:Peter SaileDear Peter,

Greetings from Jakarta! Long time no see. As you may know, I’m running a website called REDD-Monitor these days (www.redd-monitor.org). I note that the Honduran government has written to the World Bank postponing the presentation of the Honduras Readiness-Preparation Proposal until June 2012. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions about the FCPF and Honduras.

1. One of the reasons that the Honduran government gave for postponing the presentation of the R-PP was a letter (http://bit.ly/zbrYeN) from the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH). In the letter CONPAH wrote that the “R-PP was drafted without consulting with us, and without our consent”. How is it possible that the R-PP was produced without consulting the most representative body of indigenous peoples in Honduras? Isn’t this in breach of the World Bank’s policy on indigenous peoples?

2. Why has the World Bank not posted the letter from CONPAH on the FCPF website?

3. The letter from the Honduran government refers to a series of comments by the Technical Advisory Panel on the R-PP. Why is the TAP report on the R-PP not available on FCPF’s website?

4. CONPAH’s letter includes a demand that “GIZ, Rainforest Alliance, USAID, UNDP and other Bilateral and Multilateral collaborators suspend all activities and financing related to the REDD processes in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran territories.” How does the Bank intend to respond to this demand?

5. Germany is the largest funder of the FCPF. As you know, last year the German government issued a new human rights policy. This policy specifically includes the principle of free, prior and informed consent and states that Germany “endorses, promotes and advocates” that the World Bank and other multi-lateral agencies turn their attention to the issue of human rights compliance. Yet the World Bank’s policy on indigenous peoples only requires free, prior and informed consultation. Will the World Bank ensure that the principle of free, prior and informed consent is applied in the production of R-PPs, in Honduras and elsewhere? And if not, why not?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Please consider your response to be on the record.

Regards, Chris Lang

 

A response from the World Bank’s Benoît Bosquet about consultation with Indigenous Peoples in Honduras

By Chris Lang, 8th March 2012

A response from the World Bank's Benoit Bosquet about consultation with Indigenous Peoples in Honduras

Last week, REDD-Monitor wrote a post titled “World Bank fails to consult with Indigenous Peoples in Honduras”. The post included a letter from the Indigenous Peoples Confederation of Honduras (CONPAH) to the State Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment, Doctor Rigoberto Cuéllar Cruz.

The post also included a series of questions for the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility about the consultation process in Honduras. Benoît Bosquet, coordinator of the FCPF at the World Bank has now responded. His response is posted here in full.

REDD-Monitor: One of the reasons that the Honduran government gave for postponing the presentation of the R-PP was a letter from the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH). In the letter CONPAH wrote that the “R-PP was drafted without consulting with us, and without our consent”. How is it possible that the R-PP was produced without consulting the most representative body of indigenous peoples in Honduras? Isn’t this in breach of the World Bank’s policy on indigenous peoples?

Benoît Bosquet: The question does not accurately reflect the nature of the R-PP or the appropriate application of Bank policy and FCPF requirements. It is important to highlight that REDD+ countries that participate in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) Readiness Fund carry out the work in two stages:

  1. The formulation of a Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), which outlines the studies and activities a government proposes to undertake to become “ready” for REDD+ including, among other things, how it plans to conduct a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment and how it intends to consult with key stakeholders while preparing for REDD+. The Government of Honduras is currently at this stage of work.
  2. Readiness preparation, where the government carries out the activities laid out in its R-PP to prepare to engage in REDD+, including carrying out the consultations with key stakeholders. This stage begins after the R-PP has been formally assessed by the FCPF’s Participants Committee and a Readiness Preparation grant agreement has been signed with the country to support its activities.

At this point, the Government of Honduras has submitted a draft R-PP for early feedback and is still in the process of formulating its R-PP, so it is expected to be engaging key stakeholders, but not yet carrying out fuller consultations. This aspect of the R-PP process has been extensively and openly discussed and resolved under the R-PP guidelines.

Accordingly, the Government of Honduras has engaged with stakeholders in the process leading to the formulation of the draft R-PP, while clearly stating that there is a need for further outreach to more stakeholders, including to afro-descendent peoples’ and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, and setting forth plans for this. The latest draft R-PP is available here. Your question refers to a letter written by the Confederation of Autochthonous Peoples of Honduras (CONPAH) regarding the decision of the Government of Honduras to present the draft R-PP for early feedback (not approval – please see below) from the FCPF Participants Committee. We would like to offer the following comments on this letter.

A country may submit an R-PP either as an informal (draft) R-PP for early feedback from the PC, or as a formal R-PP for assessment by the PC at the next PC meeting. Honduras submitted the first draft of its R-PP in December 2011 for informal presentation to and early feedback from the PC at the eleventh PC meeting to be held in March 2012. However, the government then decided to postpone its presentation of the draft R-PP to the PC until a later date.

It is therefore not the case that Honduras submitted the (final) R-PP “to the FCPF for approval”, as the CONPAH letter suggests. In fact, it is important to note that R-PPs are never approved by the PC. The PC assesses R-PPs and approves, as the case may be, grant allocations to support the government in carrying out the activities outlined in the R-PPs. Please also note that the FCPF Facility Management Team (FMT) responded on February 14, 2012 to a query from Mr. Joshua Lichtenstein of the Bank Information Center, that “the R-PP of Honduras is slated for an informal presentation only”. At the time, the FMT was unaware of the intentions of the government of Honduras to withdraw the R-PP.

The CONPAH letter mentions free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as mandatory by FCPF guidelines. This is not accurate. The FCPF applies the World Bank’s Operational Policies and Procedures, including those on safeguards. Operational Policy 4.10 on Indigenous Peoples specifies that the Bank provides project financing only where free, prior, and informed consultation results in broad community support by the affected Indigenous Peoples. Although OP 4.10 does not expressly refer to FPIC, if the country has ratified ILO Convention No.169 or adopted national legislation that sets a higher standard than the Bank, or if the Bank is working on a project with a development partner that has a more stringent standard than its own, the Bank has agreed that will in turn support adherence to ILO Convention 169 and/or that more stringent standard. Indeed, the Common Approach to Environmental and Social Safeguards for Multiple Delivery Partners of the FCPF states that “if the environmental and social safeguard policies and procedures of the Delivery Partner are more stringent and/or protective than those of the World Bank, the Delivery Partner shall apply its policies and procedures to activities undertaken under the FCPF Readiness Fund.” Honduras is one of the nine pilot countries where the Multiple Delivery Partner arrangement will be applied. Honduras has declared its interest in working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Delivery Partner.

REDD-Monitor: Why has the World Bank not posted the letter from CONPAH on the FCPF website?

Benoît Bosquet: Following agreement by the Government of Honduras, we have now posted the letter.

REDD-Monitor: The letter from the Honduran government refers to a series of comments by the Technical Advisory Panel on the R-PP. Why is the TAP report on the R-PP not available on FCPF’s website?

Benoît Bosquet: Honduras submitted the first draft of its R-PP in December 2011 for a review process according to established procedures. Generally, a country’s first draft R-PP undergoes two rounds of comments from an independent Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) and an additional review by members of the FCPF Participants Committee (PC). The TAP includes specialists on a wide range of topics relevant to the cross-sectoral character of an R-PP, including in-country experts, sector experts, and an expert on issues relating to Indigenous Peoples and other forest dwellers.

The preparation of a draft R-PP entails a lot of early thinking. As each draft undergoes two rounds of review, the country has the opportunity to improve it. The TAP’s first round of comments allows the Government to further improve and enhance the draft document, after which the TAP conducts its second round of review and revises and finalizes its comments as needed, before the R-PP is presented as an informal (draft) R-PP for early feedback from the PC or a formal R-PP for assessment by the PC at the next PC meeting. Once the TAP conducts this second round of review, the revised, finalized comments are made publicly available on the FCPF website.

In this specific case, Honduras originally planned to present its draft R-PP to the PC for early feedback at the eleventh PC meeting to be held in March 2012. The R-PP underwent the standard review process, and an indigenous expert from one of the major Indigenous Peoples groups participated in the review. However, only a draft TAP review took place before the process was interrupted due to the government’s decision to postpone its presentation of the draft R-PP to the PC to a later date. Therefore the TAP comments have not been finalized, and will not be finalized, until after the government decides to resume its R-PP submission, at which point the TAP comments will be made publicly available on the FCPF website.

REDD-Monitor: CONPAH’s letter includes a demand that “GIZ, Rainforest Alliance, USAID, UNDP and other Bilateral and Multilateral collaborators suspend all activities and financing related to the REDD processes in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran territories.” How does the Bank intend to respond to this demand?

Benoît Bosquet: The FCPF has not yet provided support to Honduras. The FCPF and the designated Delivery Partner will work with the government on how best to proceed with REDD+ readiness preparation in Honduras taking into account the importance of stakeholder engagement and consultation in the process.

REDD-Monitor: Germany is the largest funder of the FCPF. As you know, last year the German government issued a new human rights policy. This policy specifically includes the principle of free, prior and informed consent and states that Germany “endorses, promotes and advocates” that the World Bank and other multi-lateral agencies turn their attention to the issue of human rights compliance. Yet the World Bank’s policy on indigenous peoples only requires free, prior and informed consultation. Will the World Bank ensure that the principle of free, prior and informed consent is applied in the production of R-PPs, in Honduras and elsewhere? And if not, why not?

Benoît Bosquet: The formulation of an R-PP is not yet the formulation of a country’s REDD+ strategy, but rather the description of steps that the country will take to prepare itself to be “ready” for REDD+ over time. These steps will entail preparing a clear strategy, institutional framework, benefit sharing mechanism, registry, reference level, and system for measurement, reporting and verification. The participation of key stakeholders, including forest dwelling Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendents, throughout the process is key for the future success of REDD+. It is important that governments engage with key stakeholders in the formulation of an R-PP, which includes the plan of how they intend to consult with others when preparing for REDD+. It is in the process of readiness preparation that they will then carry out those consultations.

The FCPF’s Common Approach to Environmental and Social Safeguards for Multiple Delivery Partners is designed to provide the World Bank and other FCPF Delivery Partners with a common platform for risk management and quality assurance in the REDD+ Readiness Preparation process, using the safeguard policies of the World Bank as a minimum acceptable standard. World Bank projects that affect Indigenous Peoples will not be approved unless it is found that there has been free, prior and informed consultation of the Indigenous Peoples leading to their broad community support. World Bank safeguard policies especially the Indigenous Peoples policy, explains in detail how that is achieved and documented. If a Delivery Partner working with a country has more stringent rigorous standards than the World Bank, these will apply. In countries that have ratified ILO Convention 169, the Convention will apply to readiness preparation.

The FMT appreciates your questions and takes the concerns raised seriously. We have an open and continuous dialogue with the representatives of Civil Society Organizations in the FCPF Participants Committee on the matter of participation and consultation and welcome further interaction on these issues.

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