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Item #d91dec67

Under fire recently for financing projects which lead to rainforest destruction, the World Bank's new policy on forestry now prohibits financing of commercial logging in primary moist tropical forests. (See Reports/General, Policy, Economics, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Dec. 1991.) Another feature of the new policy is encouragement of forest zoning, which would establish separate reserves for nature protection, for rubber tappers and Indian groups, and for commercial activities. Zoning is included in a controversial plan to save the Amazon rainforest recently presented by the World Bank in Geneva (New Scientist, p. 15, Dec. 7, 1991).

In a related development, the World-Bank affiliated Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is broadening its scope to include trees, and will open a new institute on social forestry research in Asia next fall. The institute will conduct applied and basic research on forest management and the social and biological factors leading to forest destruction, and will begin preserving the germ plasm of trees. (See Science, p. 787, Nov. 8, 1991.)

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