The Project is the first Bio Carbon Fund (BioCF)-supported investment in India. BioCF is a public/private trust fund administered by the World Bank for carbon sequestration projects in forest and agro-ecosystems.
The Request: According to the Request, delays in Project execution by the Bank have caused harm to farmers participating in the Project. The Request stated that farmers actively participated in the Project by raising plantations on their degraded lands and, in doing so, they hoped that the Project and the revenue generated by sequestering carbon would allow them to improve their livelihoods. They maintained that they waited eight years for “the project to materialize” and to receive their share of carbon revenue. Although they learned that the carbon revenue has been released by BioCF, this revenue would only be given to the farmers whose plantations are still standing, while those who had to harvest and sell their trees – the Requesters among them – will not be receiving their share.
Policies and Procedures raised in Request:
- OP/BP 4.01 Environmental Assessment
- OP/BP 4.10 Indigenous Peoples
- OP/BP 13.05 Project Supervision
- OP/BP 14.40 Trust Funds
The Recommendation: The Panel noted that the main concern of the participating farmers is the delay in payment of carbon revenue due to them under the Project. Both VEDA and JKPL indicated their firm commitment to pay the farmers as soon as possible based on the agreed benefit sharing arrangement. The Panel could not find any indication of potential serious non-compliance by Management that contributed to delays in the verification and any resulting underestimation of the volume of CERs. Furthermore, the Panel could not find any indication that there were issues of serious non-compliance by Management that may have caused delays in the delivery of carbon revenue. Considering the above, the Panel did not recommend an investigation.