The board of directors of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) reported that it has decided to maintain frozen disbursement for 116.6 million dollars destined for the Bio-CLIMA Project in Nicaragua. According to the organization, this measure will remain in force until the government of Daniel Ortega complies with all the policies and procedures established by the Secretariat of the Fund.
The objective of this environmental project, according to the Ortega regime, is to reduce deforestation and strengthen resilience in the Bosawás natural reserve and the Río San Juan biosphere; however, indigenous peoples see it as a threat to their land, which has been attacked by settlers.
The decision of the Green Fund Board was made on July 13, during the thirty-sixth meeting. In addition, this measure was adopted after the international instance carefully analyzed the report presented by the Independent Reparation Mechanism (MIR) which, in 2021, received a complaint against the project and, after evaluating the complaint, recommended responding to the indigenous and Afro-descendants.
In a releasethe environmental body indicated that it is aware of the measures adopted by the Secretariat of the Fund, “by virtue of the pertinent legal agreements with the accredited entity (the Central American Bank for Economic Integration) to address cases in which the Secretariat determined that the development of the financing proposal for FP146 did not comply with the policies and procedures” of the Green Fund.
Also, it fully supported the Secretariat in the possibility of “exercising the rights” of the GCF if non-compliance with the policies is not satisfactorily resolved. This implies that the Secretariat has the authority to take more drastic measures, such as the definitive suspension of the Bio-CLIMA project, in case the required conditions and policies are not met.
Likewise, it requested the Secretariat not to review the monitoring framework provided by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the Ortega administration, until the regional financial entity “has addressed cases of non-compliance with the policy to the satisfaction of the Secretariat in a manner consistent with the relevant legal agreements.”
“The Board has ensured that the GCF does not make any disbursements in respect of this project until all relevant policy non-compliance has been satisfactorily addressed,” he noted.
In order for the Ortega regime to access project funds, it must meet three fundamental conditions: free, prior and informed consultation with the affected communities, the appointment of an independent third party to supervise the project’s actions and, finally, guarantee transparency in the use of the assigned resources.
In this sense, until now the specific term that will be given to the Ortega government to comply with the policies established by the Green Fund is unknown. However, in the coming days, the international environmental body will disclose the final decisions adopted with respect to Nicaragua.
For their part, Nicaraguan activists, environmentalists and opposition leaders have denounced that the government of Daniel Ortega could use the resources of this environmental project to “oxygenate” itself financially, which “will not favor the indigenous communities”, but rather harm them by placing them “in the hands of the Ortega-Murillos”.
They add that if the funds reach the hands of the Ortega dictatorship “they will be used to continue the constant violations of human rights in the indigenous territories of the country’s Caribbean coast.”