those countries. Since the release of the Action Plan in October 1985, the governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Netherlands already have committed to doubling their bilateral development assistance in forestry in the next 3 years.
The development agencies often are criticized for being as much a part of the problem as a part of the solution. Yet they are responding in a very tangible way to the implementation of the global Action Plan. For example, the World Bank has revised and expanded its entire African loan portfolio in forestry in line with the Action Plan recommendations.
In the Ivory Coast, the Bank is helping forestry officials to identify and map the remaining tropical moist forests. In this case, more than a hundred individual forest management plans are being developed, and they include major conservation zones and agricultural development to relieve exploitation pressures on the remaining forests.
The World Bank recently developed an innovative set of policy guidelines for wildlands. If these are carefully implemented, they will go far in improving the environmental aspects of development projects funded by the Bank. The other development banks and bilateral agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are moving in similar ways to implement the Tropical Forestry Action Plan. Not only are fuelwood and industrial forestry projects being developed, but several of these agencies are now financing conservation projects, including such traditional activities as establishing parks and developing management plans for critical wildlife species. The European development agencies have taken the lead in this.
International and local nongovernmental organizations are also becoming much more involved. More than 5,000 forestry and conservation NGOs exist worldwide. Many are working not only to conserve biological diversity but also to develop forestry and agriculture so that critical forest ecosystems are protected while at the same time local demands for wood products are met.
One underlying assumption in the Action Plan is that there are some good examples of successful projects in forestry and agriculture. But taken together, they represent far too small a response to the deforestation crisis. Four of these projects are listed below:
The Dumoga Bone National Park in Indonesia is a major watershed being protected and managed as a park primarily to ensure the success of a large hydroelectric project downstream. In this case, a good deal of forest and its biological diversity is protected because it contributes to development nearby.
Brazil recently developed an impressive system of parks and other conservation areas that cover nearly 15 million hectares. These areas include good examples of many of Brazil’s major ecosystem types, and the government now has plans to establish other areas to fill the gaps in ecosystem coverage. International development assistance is helping to build this system.