Readers React

How the World Bank can help rather than hurt

To the editor: Time and again we hear about efforts to develop, preserve, modernize or otherwise improve parts of the world such as this article about the World Bank's project to help preserve Kenya's Embobut Forest. And time and again we come to learn that these efforts have resulted in indigenous populations being displaced, the environment being degraded and people being left in poverty to try to build new lives. ("The World Bank's broken promise to 'do no harm,'" op-ed, April 16)

In his case, we learned that some parents were not even able to retrieve cooking utensils or their children's school uniforms before their houses were burned down.

In the name of development, we are trampling on human rights, not to mention ignoring the collective wisdom of the people in these indigenous communities who have been living with respect for and in harmony with nature for generations.

The nations and institutions that want to undertake these kinds of projects would do well to learn from the people who have already been effective stewards of these environments before determining any future "development."

Joanna Ryder, Hermosa Beach

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