International organizations welcome the World Bank Ombudsman´s initiative to scrutinize an investment project of the International Finance Corporation due to allegations of human rights violations of peasant communities in the Lower Aguán valley, Honduras, and demand immediate halt to the project. See the international statement here.
However, a similar project at the same location remains without investigation. Despite serious allegations of human rights abuses, the Aguan biogas recovery project was registered under the UN’s carbon offsetting scheme in 2011. The CDM Executive Board had argued that it had no mandate to address the issue of human rights and that the responsibility for ensuring sustainable development lies with the host country. Carbon Market Watch has long stated that the United Nations Charter, which encourages respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms, is applicable to all UN bodies including the CDM Executive Board.
“The World Bank Ombudsman´s initiative to scrutinize the investment project upon request of the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman is encouraging” commented Carbon Market Watch Director Eva Filzmoser. “Numerous carbon offsetting projects are located at regions with land use conflicts. The UN should follow suite and establish a CDM Ombudsman to investigate human rights violations and other irregularities during the implementation of carbon offsetting projects”.
The international statement has been sent yesterday to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the World Bank Group and was signed by the following 17 organizations and networks: APRODEV (Association of World Council of Churches-related Development Organizations); Carbon Market Watch; CIFCA (Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico); FESPAD (Fundación de Estudios para la Aplicación del Derecho, El Salvador); FIAN International; FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights); Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy; HIC (Habitat Internacional Coalition); Honduras Forum Schweiz; Latin America Working Group (LAWG); La Vía Campesina; Lutheran World Federation, Central America Program; MISEREOR; OXFAM; PIDHDD (Inter-American Platform for Human Rights, Democracy and Development); Rel-UITA (Latin American Office of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, and Tobacco Workers, IUF); and TROCAIRE.
Eva Filzmoser (Carbon Market Watch)