Some of the results achieved with World Bank support (IBRD, IDA and trust funds), are as follows:
Clarifying access to, tenure of, and benefits from biodiversity establishes incentives and builds poor people’s assets. Weak governance and open-access resource regimes have frequently resulted in the degradation of common property resources, and greater focus on rights-based management can provide an avenue for managing the development-conservation tradeoff and help build assets for the poor as a way out of poverty. In Albania, building on the success of activities piloted under a preceding IDA investment in forest sector management, the Natural Resource Development project (FY06-12) confirmed usufruct rights and introduced participatory forest and pasture management in 251 communes, covering an area of 307,665 ha. The project created 105 Forest and Pasture Users Associations to support the sustainable management of community resources. This led to an 8% increase of incomes in project supported communities within the life of the project. The project also led to reforestation of 1,634 ha, sequestering an estimated 64,000 tCO2. In Mexico, the Second Community Forestry Project (FY05-09) placed 1.78 million ha under community zoning plans. Given the success of these plans, the government prepared an additional 451 zoning plans covering 2.64 million ha. In Namibia, community conservancies have been shown to have positive impacts on household welfare, raising revenues generated through the conservancies, in turn spurring the establishment of numerous new conservancies (Integrated Community-Based Ecosystem Management, FY05-11). Rights- and community-based management is not limited to land, as open-access regimes and the overexploitation of marine resources have been shown to cause billions of dollars in welfare losses in coastal communities and fisheries around the world. In Senegal, co-management areas have brought the Ngaparou fishery back from the brink of collapse in the space of four years, and rising fishing revenues have led to investment in value addition along the value chain (West Africa Regional Fisheries Project, FY11-present).
Biodiversity conservation and management can yield income and growth opportunities, but more effort is needed to fully understand and realize the potential. In Zambia’s Kafue National Park, World Bank support to the park authorities led to private investors tripling available accommodations, such that tourism visits rose markedly and park revenues grew ten-fold within six years (Support for Economic Expansion and Diversification, FY05-12). Similarly, in South Africa’s Greater Addo Elephant National Park, a US$5.5 million investment spurred US$14.5 million in private sector investment and the creation of 614 jobs (Greater Addo National Park Project, FY04-11). The Albania Natural Resource Development project led to an 8% increase in incomes in communities that rehabilitated and sustainably managed their forest and pasture resources (FY06-11). In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a 23% decline in seasonal outmigration was associated with average annual forest-based incomes rising from US$ 44 to 104 (FY03-10) as a result of the AP Community Forest Management Project. The Second Community Forestry Project in Mexico (FY05-09) showed a similar trend, as an estimated 6,200 people did not migrate from the project states as employment in the forest sector increased by 27 % and the net value of forest goods and services grew by 36 %. Conservative estimates of the impact of the Eastern Arc Conservation and Management Project in Tanzania (FY05-10) indicate that its 273 participatory forest management (PFM) sub-projects benefiting 520,000 individuals generated an average of US$ 100 per person annually.
The World Bank is now the largest provider of development assistance for combating environment and natural resources crime. In 2006, the World Bank was financing over US$ 310 million in investments for forest law enforcement and governance (FLEG) alone. A more recent review found that the level of funding had remained quite steady with ongoing commitments at around US$ 300 million supporting 39 projects covering forestry, fisheries, and wildlife law enforcement. Specifically, the World Bank has financed such diverse environmental law enforcement work as the establishment of a forest police agency in Lao PDR; a series of projects across South Asia on wildlife law enforcement; fisheries law enforcement projects in West Africa; park and protected areas ranger operations, including providing training and equipment, as well as log tracking and chain of custody systems in Liberia; and a forest crime detection and case tracking system and independent forest crime monitoring in Cambodia and other countries. The World Bank’s program of support to financial sector integrity is helping to bring anti-money laundering tools to bear in addressing environment and natural resources law enforcement (ENRLE). The World Bank initiated the concept of FLEG with its sponsorship of the first East Asia Ministerial Meeting on the subject in 2001, followed by similar meetings in Africa, Europe, and North Asia. With funding from the European Union through the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument, the World Bank set up a FLEG program that supports governments, civil society, and the private sector of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine in the development of sound and sustainable forest management practices, including the prevention of illegal forestry activities. FLEG work can also increase the share of legal exports, increasing government revenues, as happened in Liberia following the introduction of a chain of custody system (Development Forestry Sector Management Project, FY07-12).
Working across landscapes drives strong economies and healthy communities. In the Acre State in the northwestern corner of Brazil, the state government has been making a concerted effort to bring services to its dispersed rural population and to move away from a growth model based on extraction of forest products and expansive agriculture. The project has provided rural communities with higher economic inclusion through improved access to agricultural extension services and stronger market chains for selected products, while resulting in a more securely managed natural endowment through improved sustainable forest management practices. Where previously 90 percent of Acre’s timber extraction was illegal, now the majority comes from approved forest management plans. Better land use planning has enabled the protection of forests and natural habitats. Real GDP has increased by over 44 percent and deforestation rates have declined by 70 percent. Acre is showing that safeguarding its natural wealth will also help lift its people out of poverty (Acre Social and Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development Project – PROACRE, FY09-present).