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  • Human Rights Research Center

UN Green Climate Fund Cancels Nicaragua Forest Project Over Human Rights Concerns

March 8, 2024

An agriculture worker in Nicaragua, where the GCF pulled out of a project after a human rights complaint. (Photo: Green Climate Fund)

Cited article by Climate Change News

HRRC expresses deep concern over the reported human rights violations and environmental issues in Nicaragua's forest conservation project. We stand firmly against any actions that may lead to violence, conflicts, or the neglect of Indigenous communities' rights.

News Brief

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the UN's primary climate fund, has withdrawn from a forest conservation project in Nicaragua following complaints from local community groups about insufficient protection amid escalating human rights violations in the region. This marks the first time the GCF has terminated an agreement since its establishment in 2010. The $64 million project, initiated in 2020, aimed to reduce deforestation in UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves. Community groups raised concerns that the project, overseen by state authorities, would exacerbate conflicts between Indigenous communities and settlers, leading to violence and violating human rights.

The decision to withdraw from the project comes after a three-year grievance process initiated by a coalition of local and international NGOs. An independent investigation by the GCF's complaint mechanism revealed failures in the project, including the potential to cause or worsen violent conflicts, inadequate due diligence on conflict risks and human rights violations, and a lack of consultation with Indigenous communities. The GCF, unaware of the project's non-compliance at approval, suspended it in July, giving project developers an opportunity to address concerns. However, after a controversial consultation process and insufficient remedial actions, the GCF decided to terminate its support, signaling a global precedent for climate projects to prioritize human rights.


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