MY VIEWS 1999 : July-August
July/05/1999/ELAN: Re: THE PAN EUROPEAN FOREST
Dear Dr. Centeno. A positive comment. It is good to see that
competition between certifiers of forest products and management techniques
is on the increase, which implies that over all protection and
conservation levels of remaining funtioning ecosystems will increase.
However, both competing certification regimes seem to have the criteria
related to what to do with actual deforested areas/damage ecosystems
either missing or at best close to last place.
Are the socio-economic issues within deforested areas/demaged
ecosystems in Europe less acute than than those within the remaining forest
areas/funtioning ecosystems?. If yes, this would explain
why not putting money or resources to "sustainably manage" deforested
eras/damage ecosystems is not much a priority there. In developing
countries, it appears that socio-economic issues within deforested
areas/damage ecosystems are more acute than those in remaining forest
areas/functioning ecosystems. Or it is my impression wrong?.
Comments are welcome.
On Sun, 4 Jul 1999, Centeno wrote:
> THE PAN EUROPEAN FOREST CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
> The general criteria on which forest management is meant to be based are
> the result of the Helsinki (1993) and Lisbon (1998) Ministerial
> Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe.
> Criterion 1: Maintenance and appropriate enhancement of forest
> resources and their contribution to global carbon cycles
> Criterion 2: Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality
> Criterion 3: Maintenance and encouragement of productive functions of
> forests (wood and non wood)
> Criterion 4: Maintenance, conservation and appropriate enhancement of
> biological diversity in forest ecosystems.
> Criterion 5: Maintenance and appropriate enhancement of protective
> functions in forest management (notably soil and water)
> Criterion 6: Maintenance of other socio-economic functions and
July/07/1999/World Bank: Environvironmental Sustainability Dicussion
From: Lucio Munoz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed, 7 Jul 1999 17:48:03 -0400 (EDT)
Responding to the call of open and sincere dialogue of the issues raised
for this conference, I would like to start by presenting a few comments.
I will divide these comments into negative, and positive, and then use this
background for a futuristic reflection of the ideal role for the World Bank.
The negative comments are the following:
1) With all my respect, I disagree with the Banks's president
position(Mr. Wolfensohn) that "the knowledge bank needs to listen and to
learn". In my opinion, the bank has not just listened, and learned, but it
has also attempted to change. In the 1980's the Bank listened, learned,
and changed policy, including forest policy.
The problem according to me is that the set of incentives and regulations
consistent with the policy changed were not compatible. The Bank responded in
the 1980's and 1990's to social and environmental pressures by establishing a
"land sustainability policy responsive to environmental and social
objectives" that was aimed at
a) increasing/protecting levels forest areas;
b) slowing/reverting levels of deforestedareas; and
c) the reduction of POVERTY.
However, the World Bank used a set of sustainable development incentives
and regulations to achieve a land sustainability goal. As we know, the
best way to achieving a clear goal is by following consistent tools and
approaches. Today, in 1999 the three goals that the bank set in the
1980-1990 period remain a moving target despite gains in the environmental
arena. I am afraid that if the bank does not use its knowledge in a dynamic
way, that knowledge may soon become statistics since statistics could be
defined as passive knowledge.
2) I was expecting the bank to evaluate why the goals of the land
sustainability policy were not attained, and use this knowledge to search
for the most efficient way to go back on track. I found it a little
surprising to see that the bank it is evaluating its role in promoting
environmental sutainability when since the policy change it was supposed
to follow a policy based on economic, social, and environmental
The positive comments are:
1) I am glad to see that dialogue is becoming a more used approach to
address the different dilemmas related to the sustainability issue at
all levels of the discourse. Confrontation usually leads to uncertainty
which affects all stake-holders involved in the conflict;
2) the evaluation has to start some where, and at this moment it appears
that the evaluation of the promotion of environmental sustainability is
the priority issue at this moment.
It seems to me that sooner or later the bank has to frontally face
the issues of social sustainability, as the combination of economic and
environmental concerns may be sustained by the direct intervention of
dominant stake-holders, but we may not be able to do that for ever. Hence,
sooner or later it will be clear that a safer policy for the bank would be
to go back to the "land sustainability policy" originally set.
It appears that the levels of economic, environmental, and social
degradation within existing deforested areas is greater than the levels of
economic, environmental, and social degradation in most remaining forest
areas. Therefore, investments in the reparation/restoration/redistribution
in rights and uses of existing deforested areas may bring higher net
benefits to all stake-holders at least in the short and medium run, and
at least in less developed countries, than investments in some remaining
forest areas. If this were true, and if sustainability in general were
the goal, then the investments made to achieve land sustainability must be
distributed in such a way that the net benefits from both forest and non-forest
areas are optimized. This could justify, the need to formally set a
policy and create institutions specifically dealing with the issue of
existing deforested areas. This could allow to monitor environmental
sustainability in both, remaining forest areas and in existing deforested
However, as the previous posting indicated, it is difficult to
monitor or evaluate something for which there was not system in place to
track down, specially when we are attempting to evaluate what it appear to
have been a non-primary goal.
July/08/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <mailto:email@example.com?
I disaggree with Mr. Potter's statement that environmental
sustainability = developmental sustainability = economic sustainability =
social/political sustainability because if that were true it implies that
the overall system may be equal to its sigle parts.
Sustainability implies social, economic, and environmental
sustainability at the same time. There is no sustainability if social or
economic or environmentally or any combination of them sustainability is
missing. When social or economic or environmental or any combination of
them sustainability is missing, then we have sustained development.
Economic sustainability was the corner stone of the sustained
economic development path followed before the Bruntland Report was
released(1987). Environmentally sustainable development is the corner stone
of the current development path being pursued.
I agree that although sustainability seems to big and elussive
target, it should still be pursued since it would at least provide the
necessary indicators for monitoring and evaluation, and accountability. I
also agree that the main criticism of the Bank performance mostly has
been on the outcome(unsustainable development), rather than on the inputs
(the use of natural resources).
This in my opinion permits the Bank to consider the possibility of taking
a leading role as an institution in recalling the previous "sustainability
July/12/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
Toledo/Lucio Munoz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 12 Jul 1999 15:12:21 -0400 (EDT)
I would appreciate if people who have diagreed with me can clearly state why
they disagree either through the forum or by directly sending EM to me at
mailto:email@example.com so that I or anybody else in the discussion can
try to clarify it.
Of course, sustainability requires if not a different, and adjusted way of
thinking. We should not expect traditional economic or social or
environmenal thinking to be consistent with the systematic nature of
sustainability. For example, traditional economic and/or social theories
were borned at at time when environmental concerns were not an issue.
That is why I think this time of discussion is important, not just for the
world bank, but all the players involved in development. After all, the
world bank is only one, player.
July/19/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
Toledo/Lucio Munoz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 09:59:47 -0400 (EDT)
I generally agree with the summary made. However, I think that four
points need to be either stated more clearly or added: a) the
World Bank is only one player in development coordination with the other
local and international players is essential; b) by incorporating local
and internation social and environmental concerns in its programs the Bank
will be moving closer to the sustainability domain; c) for the above to be
possible, there will be a need for consistency of mind between the bank
and its clients in terms of systematic thinking and planing; and d) the
above would have a positive impact on the successful rate of project
July/20/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
Toledo/Lucio Munoz (email@example.com)
Tue, 20 Jul 1999 18:36:37 -0400 (EDT)
Dear Mr. Mabratu,
Breaking the system into pieces in a summation form and
assuming away trade off appear to have been the problem as it allows you
to excercise "selective priorization", meaning that priorities not
necessarly have to reflect the common good. Breaking sustainability
into component sustainability should not be a problem since over all
sustainability implies component sustainability. In other words,
sustainability implies external and internal sustainability at the same
time. Now, if we carry out a system analysis(internal, external or both),
but implement a piece wise solution, then we may get a problem. For
example, in the pesticide case posted, it looks like external factors are
affecting internal processes, and preventing the successful completion of
Coming back closer to the discussion objectives, I would like to
ask Bank representatives responsible for this discussion, if they have
thought about the possible trade off related to implementing the four aspects
being evaluated in a different manner, but within the framework of
"environmentally sustainable development"? Don't we need to redefine
development in sustainability terms to be able to channel those four goals
more appropriately while still keeping the role of the bank as mainly a
July/27/1999/World Bank: Munoz's Comment on the Forest Policy
Review Objectives and Process
Hello. I have reviewed the information about the forestry policy review,
objectives and how it is being carried out. I found several critical points
which I would like to mention in order to collaborate with your policy review
1) There seems to be a need for a simple integrative framework to organize and
carry out the policy review and develop the strategy;
2) Since this simple integrative framework was missing when a similar
study/review done in 1991, there is no much posibility to maximized the lessons
3) Because of the above, it is hard to see the extent of the lack of internal
coordination (Forestry financing/non-forestry financing) at the bank and the
extent of the lack of external coordination with the other
4) Even without having the above, priority research areas seemed to have been
already selected; and
5) the IM memorandum is practically a summary of the Bank's Forestry
paper/policy/1991 and it is also focused mainly on remaining forest areas.
Based on my quick reading of what I could download, I got the following
1) Primary focus should be on both: the impact on remaining forest areas and
existing deforested areas, not just on remaining forest areas;
2) Formal representation from goverments affected seems to be very limited, NGOs
do not necesarly reflect local aspirations;
3) a way to balance environmental concerns between the bank and affected
countries should be sought. It seems failure to do something in this direction
may explain much of the apparent limited success of the 1991 Policy;
4) Based on the above, sovereigty issues seem justified;
5) Social concerns seem to be secondary in terms of the two main objectives of
the bank, protection and Forest sustainable development, yet it is highlighted
over and over as a necesary condition for the success of the over all forestry
6) The process should be more practical, and less technical to reach the ground
with an spill over effect after all the real two issues are what to do with the
existing deforested areas? and what to do with the remaining forest areas? in
the countries targeted;
7) The enphasis of the policy should not be only "active", but also "proactive"
if it is to reflect actual conditions and the long-term nature of the problem;
8) New ideas should be sought on how to make the tax system more forest cover
9) The possibility of implemented the policy from an "inside-out" approach
instead of an "outside in" approach should be explored;
10) Research that balance global and local concerns/views and/or methological
issues should be prefered .
I hope my comments will be beneficial to your excellent work and comments are
July/30/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
Toledo/Lucio Munoz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fri, 30 Jul 1999 15:07:12 -0400 (EDT)
Re: World Bank and Sustainability"
Comments: The aspects raised by Mr. Abeles are good points.
They relate to the need to balance local policies and global policies and
local projects with global projects. However, are we ready for that?.
The traditional scientific discourse has been that the theory, local or
global, must match the practice. However, those issues are sustainability
issues, and we do not have yet a well organized and accepted
"sustainability theory". Using sustainable development theory to tackle
sustainability issues may lead to measurement tools that are not
consistent with the practice, which would violate the theory-practice
consistency principle. Just as focusing only global or only local is not
a good sustainability practice.
Hence, the need to develop a "sustainability theory" to understand
and guide the sustainability practice is here to stay, and the Bank should
promote its development as it can use it later to take a leading role, and
move slowly and timely into the sustainability paradigm that almost
certainly will prevail in the next century if humainity is still around.
Comments are welcome;
August/09/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion
Toledo/Lucio Munoz (email@example.com)
Mon, 9 Aug 1999 15:18:14 -0400 (EDT)
As usual this are my positive comments for your consiration
about the second half of the discusion. They are made in the same
sequence as your posting to make it easier to incorporate into your
analysis and easy to follow by those participants who did not read the
1) General comments:
a) the Bank has started a good process of discussion that in the
long term it will benefit its financial position and reputation;
b) instead of battling the sustainability issue, it should be
incorporated in the day to day activities of the Bank as the majority of
participants in my opinion had directly or indirectly suggested;
c) to promote even more participation in future discussions, the
names of the contributors should be cited under their opinions or
statements in all summaries made by moderators to allow participants
to trace their contributions through time or to allow the bank to keep
track of the sources of those comments for later use or additional
discussion, privately or public.
2) Specific comments:
a) with respect to the World Bank and sustainable development, it
should be stressed that the Bank need to push as much as possible the
existing sustainable development framework toward sustainability in the
short term to slowly learn the transition path;
b) Mr. Robert Goodland presented definitions of the four different
components of sustainability, not sustainability itself. I disagree
with his statement that "while all four types of sustainability are
essential, it is not necessary to fuse them together" because if this is
true, then it is not necesarry to have sustainability. Only when all four
types of sustainability are brought into active interaction we get
over all sustainability. If one of them or some of them are
missing from the discusion table, we have sustainable development,
not sustainability. I undertand that by living the components separately
we may be able to achieve "maximization goals", which are consistent only
with sustainable development. Under sustainability, optimization is the
c) the World Bank as a learning organizations has to start by
accepting that intentionally or not, patterns of unsustainable development
have resulted from previous policy and incentive structures. The analysis
of the outcomes indicates that there is need for policy and incentive
change in order to bring the bank closer to its stated goals. Since
changing is no an easy task, the Bank should be commended for its
intention to change;
d) Safeguards have to be changed from a reactive framework to
proactive one. The inclusion and recognition of local and global
interests should be the basis for developing strong stewarship projects.
Mainstreaming should be based on a balanced long term approach where all
development concerns are incorporated, not on one sided short term
approaches. Global sustainability must be promoted from the basis that
there is not global sustainability without local sustainability.
e) the problem with monitoring and evaluation; and participation
and stakeholder involvement is that they are add ons to sustainable
development progrmas, not an integral part of it, and hence they are
transitional and usually short-term. Under sustainability these
aspects are an internal components of it as the constant
interaction of its parts provides a continual generation of information
and the bases for a long-term flexible planning approach.
Greetings from Vancouver.