If the world is to confront the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change while meeting the demands of a rapidly-growing global population, it is vital that we find the balance between conserving and regenerating forest areas with economic growth for poverty reduction. This is what the World Bank’s work on forests aims to achieve.
Read More »
Kazakhstan is blessed by vast but fragile spaces. The country is ninth in terms of total size, and though it boasts the third largest forest area in Europe and Central Asia, trees make up less than fi... Show More +ve percent of the overall landscape.That’s why the saplings, seed laboratories and firefighters in Semey, Kazakhstan, are so important. Semey, in the eastern part of the country, sits next to the Irtysh Pine Forest, nearly 700,000 hectares of fragile, yet important, land.“The biggest part of this project is the money spent on new firefighting equipment, to cut down on illegal logging, and to detect lightning strikes,” says Murat Baimukhametov, who is working with the World Bank to help re-plant and restore the forest.Protecting the Forest with a Computer ScreenThe most revolutionary part of the project moves fire detection from the casual glance to a state-of-the-art computer system. Technicians now monitor the forest via computer, looking for lightning strikes, smoke, or any activity out of the ordinary. The system relies on a series of cameras mounted on watchtowers and sprinkled throughout the forest.What it means is that firefighters can respond to trouble with greater speed and accuracy than in the recent past, explains Vladimir Kurmangaliyev, who works at the forestry fire station. “The new equipment allows us to move more quickly, and once we get to the fire, we can deploy faster.” Show Less -
Washington, September 30, 2014 – Belizeans will manage natural resources more sustainably in Key Biodiversity Areas, and alternative livelihoods opportunities will be provided to local communities as ... Show More +a result of a US$6 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) project approved by the Board of Directors.“Like the rest of the Caribbean, Belize is most vulnerable to hurricanes. It is only by protecting its forest and rich environmental resources, as well as supporting reforestation that it can mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.Belize has the largest barrier reef in the Americas and the highest forest cover in both Central America and the Caribbean, including intact virgin forest. The country is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Despite having succeeded in preserving its forest and outstanding biodiversity to a greater extent than its neighbors, forest cover has decreased over the last decade. Belize’s rich biodiversity remains under threat by deforestation as a result of the expansion of agriculture, housing, tourism, and forest fires.The Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas project will:Increase the number of hectares under sustainable forest management by more than two folds in targeted areasEnhance biodiversity protection in six targeted protected areasProvide alternative livelihoods options and training to local forest communities on sustainable harvesting and marketing of non-timber forest productsStrengthen capacity of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and other institutions to improve management and compliance monitoring of forest resources and environmentThis five year project is financed by a US$6 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and US$3 million in kind counterpart financing from the Government of Belize. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, September 30, 2014 – More than 35,000 vulnerable people, including isolated indigenous and forest communities, will benefit from new and improved sustainable water and sanitation and bette... Show More +r basic public services. The World Bank approved a US$ 150 million loan for Brazil’s Acre state, in northwest Amazon.The new financing will expand the existing Acre Social and Economic Inclusion Project (PROACRE), which has benefited more than 700,000 people to date. The additional financing will focus on the isolated municipalities of Santa Rosa dos Purus, Marechal Thaumaturgo, Jordão and Porto Walter in the Amazon forest. “Since PROACRE was launched in 2008, the State has improved considerably the living standards of the poorest population in urban and rural areas,” said Sebastião Viana, Governor of the State of Acre. “This new phase will allow us to bring basic services to a greater number of isolated communities, and also help rural producers join in sustainable market chains, expanding social inclusion in parts of the state that have been historically difficult to reach.”(TBC).Located in the far west of Brazil, Acre has an area as large as Tunisia, and retains 88 percent of its original forest cover. In the early 2000’s, the Government began a series of reforms to open a path to faster and more sustainable growth. However, Acre continues to face crucial development challenges. The state’s per capita GDP remains 60 percent below Brazil’s average, and poverty numbers are higher than in the rest of the country, with more than 133,000 people living with up to US$ 1 per day.“Social inclusion is crucial to help people leave extreme poverty, especially for those living in Acre’s remote areas,” said Deborah L. Wetzel, World Bank Director for Brazil. “This new operation will help consolidate Acre’s successful model of sustainable development and help bring education, health, sustainable production services and infrastructure to these vulnerable populations.”Recognizing the rich and diverse traditions and cultural backgrounds in the state, the project tailors actions to each community's characteristics and service delivery approaches, through a participatory mechanism. Among other activities, the new financing willSupport the construction of water treatment facilities and implementation of 1,120 new piped households water connections in isolated communities;Help pave community roads and construct river ramps improve access to services by road and boat; andPromote the adoption of integrated solid waste management, and the implementation of sustainable landfills.This US$150 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to the State of Acre is guaranteed by the Government of Brazil. The loan period is 25 years, including a 5 year grace period Show Less -