20061006

 

DRC: Asserting the right

In the DRC, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that it seems the World Bank as an learning organization is not the swiftest coach on the road. Moving from the pipeline investment in Cameroon to promoting logging in DRC, it appears that World Bank has again targeted forest areas where peoples have lived since time immemorial and again has neglected to ask them what they think about it. No gold stars for Lessons Learned. On the positive side, what you see in the DRC is local organizations of indigenous peoples and local and international organizations that support indigenous peoples working together to assert the right of people to be involved in processes that affect them. As nothing can be characterized as "all good" or "all bad", the ability to repeat the identical mistake in such a short period of time may be best characterized as remarkable....and whoever has money in this time might do well to recall the experience of Exxon's early investors in the last saga of indigenous peoples, pygmies and World Bank services.

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