On July 22, 2014, the Panel received a Request for Inspection regarding the Paraguay Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Project (PRODERS). PRODERS aims at improving the quality of life of Small-Scale Farmers and Indigenous Communities in the Project Area by strengthening community organization and self-governance, improving natural resources management, and enhancing the socio-economic conditions of farmers and communities.
The Request was submitted by the leaders of two indigenous peoples’ organizations, the Asociación de Comunidades Indígenas de San Pedro (ACISPE) and the Mesa Coordinadora Joaju Ha’e Paveime Guara, who represent indigenous communities in the Departments of San Pedro and Caaguazú, Paraguay. The Requesters claim that their rights of consultation and participation in the Project were severely undermined because the contract for the NGO Alter Vida, hired as a service provider to ensure adequate means to carry out consultations and other activities, was discontinued due to legal issues regarding the transfer of funds. Thus, the Requesters could not meet, attend trainings, participate in the Project or monitor it.
In a meeting with the Inspection Panel shortly after receipt of the Request, Bank Management acknowledged the issue and explained that a series of actions were in place that would lead to the resumption of consultations as quickly as possible. Management’s Action Plan provided for contracting a new permanent service provider to cover provision of services until Project completion as well as an immediate interim service provider until the permanent one could be found.
The Requesters expressed to the Panel that they were seeking a quick and simple solution to their just demands, rather than a potentially lengthy investigation. After close consultations with the Panel, both the Requesters and Management agreed to process this case under the Pilot approach to allow the implementation of Management’s Action Plan. Within three months, the Requesters and Bank Management informed the Panel that the Action Plan had been successfully implemented. After a brief visit to the Requesters in Paraguay, the Panel concluded that the Pilot approach was an appropriate instrument to handle this case as it led to a rapid and effective resolution of the issues raised. The Panel thus decided to close this case by issuing a Notice of Non-Registration.