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close this bookGATE - 4/92 - Networking: Lessons and Hopes (GTZ GATE, 1992, 56 p.)
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Development scene

More World Bank Aid for Environmental Projects

Washington - The World Bank is planning to expand its environment-related activities. Presenting the Bank's Environment Report in September, the head of its environment department Mohamed El-Ashry named four areas - promotion of planning capacities in developing countries, ensuring the environmental compatibility of all World Bank projects, linking of the fight against poverty to environmental protection, and the further implementation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The Environment Report indicates that in the last financial year the Bank financed 19 projects, costing $ 1.2 billion, aimed solely at protecting the environment. Ten of them are concerned with the management of natural resources. Six are providing aid to enable specific developing countries prepare and implement environmental protection programmes. According to the Bank a further 43 projects include major environmental protection components.

El-Ashry pointed out that the Bank was helping individual countries prepare Environment Action Plans. But it was not intended to link EAPs to Structural Adjustment Programmes. The World Bank was now also taking the social and ecological consequences of SAPs into consideration.

How the GEF is to financed in future is still unclear. A billion dollars is available to cover the pilot phase, which runs until 1993. The fact that this global fund has been entrusted to the World Bank has been sharply criticized by environmental non-governmental organizations from both North and South, They accuse the Bank of continuing to pursue too many ecologically harmful projects.

Industrialized Countries Should Move Towards New Growth Model

Frankfurt - At the "German Environment Day", held in Frankfurt in September, politicians and scientists advocated a new, environmentally compatible model for prosperity in the industrial countries. In this connection, German President Richard von Weizsacker voiced support for the idea of including the cost of environmental protection in the economic system. According to the President, energy prices should rise "moderately and gradually". Speakers from developing countries argued the case for remission of Third World debts, reminding the industrialized states that at the “Earth Summit" they admitted being mainly responsible for the global environmental crisis.

At the "Climate Forum", Frankfurt climate researcher Christian Schonwiese warned of the risk of population migrations as a consequence of the greenhouse effect. Unless the industrialized nations changed their habits, he said, there would be "climate refugees" Model calculations had predicted an increase in the number of tropical whirlwinds, lower rainfall in the Mediterranean region and a rise in temperatures in the northern countries. An overall fall in agricultural production was probable.

Discussion groups, exhibitions and cultural events at the German Environment Conference were aimed at involving people from the political sphere, the business community and environmental associations in dialogue. However, the environmental associations complained that industry exploited this major conference - some 15,000 participants stayed for the duration - as a PR opportunity to boost their own images.

Cartoon: Brot fe

GTZ's Activities in Eastern Europe "Not at Expense of South"

Eschborn - With the establishment of a new unit in its organization, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) has created a basis for new tasks in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The new unit has a staff of about twenty and is already providing technical assistance in Hungary, Albania, Poland, Romania, Byelorus, Uzbekistan and Turkmenia.

As the head of the unit, Dirk-Hartmut Hoppe, explained to gtz-intern, GTZ's eastern European activities focus on privatization, establishing public institutional structures and promoting agriculture. In the medium term, Hoppe expects this department of GTZ to expand. But he also emphasized the position of GTZ management that the agency's work in eastern Europe should not be at the expense of its activities in the South.

GTZ's principal clients are the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and multilateral organizations such as EC authorities. In its budget for next year the BMZ has earmarked DM 97 million for eastern Europe.