WASHINGTON, DC (USA) – Today at 2p.m. EST, Ricardo Navarro, chair of Friends of the Earth International, will meet with President Wolfensohn at the World Bank. Navarro, former Goldman Environmental Prize Winner from El Salvador, will be demanding the World Bank end its financing for oil and mining. A recent review of World Bank lending in the oil, mining and gas sectors, commissioned by Wolfensohn at the request of Navarro, concluded these projects do not meet the World Bank’s mission of poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

International environmental and human rights groups are gathered in Washington D.C. this week on the occasion of the World Bank’s 60th Anniversary Spring Meetings. “The best birthday present President Wolfensohn could give to the world’s poor would be to stop Bank funding of fossil fuel and mining projects and invest in wind and solar,” said Ricardo Navarro.

Navarro, who at World Bank meetings in Prague four years ago demanded the review by Wolfensohn, will be presenting a painting based on drawings by children from mine affected communities around the world. The World Bank’s controversial development policies and practices are under fire as a result of the Extractive Industries Review (EIR).

The review, led by former Indonesian Environment Minister Dr. Emil Salim, found systematic destruction of the environment and harm to indigenous peoples because of World Bank investments in oil, mining and gas. The EIR recommends shifts in Bank investment towards clean, renewable energy.

President Wolfensohn is expected to implement these recommendations, and it is anticipated that his meeting with Navarro and other environmental leaders today will be a key step in the deliberations of the World Bank Group.


Jon Sohn, Friends of the Earth-US, 202-412-2467

Hannah Ellis, Friends of the Earth-UK, (44) 7810-558246

Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth International, 202-49202154