MY VIEWS 1999 : July-August




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 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 (

Wed, 7 Jul 1999 17:48:03 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Friends,

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

sustainability goals;

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.

The future:

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.

Sincerely yours,

Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada.


July/08/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <

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



Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada.



July/12/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

Toledo/Lucio Munoz (

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 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.


Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada


July/19/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

Toledo/Lucio Munoz (

Mon, 19 Jul 1999 09:59:47 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Friends:

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



Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada


July/20/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

Toledo/Lucio Munoz (

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

the project.

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

financial player?.


Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada.



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



Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada


July/30/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

Toledo/Lucio Munoz (

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;

Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada.


August/09/1999/World Bank: Environmental Sustainability Discussion

Toledo/Lucio Munoz (

Mon, 9 Aug 1999 15:18:14 -0400 (EDT)

Dear friends,

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

whole summary.

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.


Lucio Munoz

Vancouver, Canada