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Striking a balance: the environmental challenge of by World Bank

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Another typical World Bank emergency loan came after the 1983 earthquake in Popayan, Colombia. The loan gave the government a quick infusion of money, so that rehabilitation could start right away. In another instance, working with NGOs and other development agencies, the Bank coordinated reconstruction in the wake of Sudan's 1988 flood. The Bank's ultimate goal in dealing with natural disasters is to prepare for calamities before they occur and thereby reduce their effects. " One example is in Mexico.

Wildland management is the least costly and, in many cases, the only means available for maintaining biological diversity. The Bank's approach to wildlands conservation has grown in scope and complexity. Its wildlands policy, adopted in 1986, helps conserve biological diversity by preventing, minimizing, or compensating for any change in wildlands that may accompany Bank-backed actions. The new environment assessment guidelines will ensure that biodiversity is routinely addressed when developing projects.

The Bank's emphasis is on helping countries strengthen their abilities to manage their forest resources. Some forestry ministries in developing countries, says Raymond Rowe, the World Bank's forestry adviser, "have only a ruler with which to measure trees, and no vehicles in which to go out and inspect forest resources. " The World Bank has sought to broaden its work with other organizations. In 1985 the Bank, together with the UNDP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Resources Institute, published Tropical Forests: A Call to Action.

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