A History of Washington Week (Part 4 of 6)

World Bank Dialogues

World Bank Meeting
Meetings with World Bank

World Bank Dialogue ◆ Since 2001 the Washington Week programhas included visits to The World Bank where faith leaders have advocated for the importance of reforestation of forests rather than logging for commercial gain. Here Jim Davidson, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Beverly Meeker from the National Cathedral in Washington DC, and Carlos Agnesi, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, pose for a photo during a discussion of our agenda prior to an introductory meeting.

NRCCC dialogues with the World Bank have often been lively. Since 2000 over a dozen meetings with World Bank officers and officials have taken place. In the 2007 photo in the office of President James Wolfenson a dozen individuals gathered to critique Bank policy. The NRCCC has emphasized five themes to the World Bank:

(1) grants, not loans, to Third World countries;

(2) the removal of corporate involvement in loan management and fulfillment;

(3) the engagement of local religious leaders to teach forest ethics;

(4) the importance of long term thinking, and

Wordl Bank
At World Bank

(5) improve the local environment as well as the regional economy.

As a result of these meetings the World Bank has awarded $92 million in grants and non-repayable loans for reforestation in Mexico. Tropical reforestation is essential to maintain clean water, regional climate stability, jobs for local campesinos and sequestration of CO2 to help hold off global climate disruption. These funds have allowed Mexico to plant 700 million trees in the states of Oaxaca, Michoacan and Chiapas. Through these World Bank grants and "non-repayable loans," Mexico has become a world leader in reforestation.