In recent years, our country received and continues to receive various funds from international financial institutions in order to manage existing forest resources. How are theseplanned, executed and decided?
In this context, it is worthwhile for civil society to question the principles and governing rules that are taken as the starting point to apply the funds and if these areactually implemented. For this reason, FUNDEPS has decided to monitor the management of the funds that our country has received and match the conditions to the “AR Sustainable Natural Resources Management”, provided by the World Bank and the “AR – L 1067: Forest Sustainability and Competitiveness Program” provided by the Inter-American Development Bank. These standards are applied in several Argentinian provinces and will impact much of the country, but the goal is the same: improve forestry production sustainably.
The management of our forestry resources has historically been marked by the excessive encroachment on agricultural land, the constant deforestation of native forests and human rights violations of indigenous farming communities as well as the absence of transparent and participative decision-making processes. As such, we sent out numerous requests soliciting information linked tothese projects and we contacted a number of persons responsible for implementing the funds.
Although in our final report will include all the relevant conclusions, we find it necessary to bring forward that after the specified deadlines for responses to the information requests sent to the provinces had expired, only a handful responded. Of the responses received, the majority did not provide relevant information about the application of the projects. It is extremely complex to access the information needed to evaluate the areas where forestry projects are implemented and the breakdown of the state organizations is overwhelming.
Although we found much information about the rules that are applied, benchmarks and accountability, and technical criteria on the objectives of the funds, we believe that this reading is complex, the information is over-abundant, which, in practical terms, makes it inaccessibleand, in some cases, it is in another language.
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Translated by D. Phillips