The World Bank is to provide US$64m of funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) forestry sector.

The Bank’s board has approved the funds in order to increase forestry reforms in the country following an independent assessment of its current role in the area.

The Bank’s Inspection Panel found that there had been “significant policy compliance failures” in the DRC, including a lack of consultation on forest strategies with indigenous peoples, but said that its continued engagement in the area was important.

“The World Bank has done a lot but can do more to protect forests, reduce poverty, support indigenous peoples’ rights and promote global environmental stability through its work in the DRC,” said World Bank Group managing director Ngozi Nokonjo-Iweala. “We will take on board the panel’s findings, apply lessons learned and stay engaged in co-operation with our development partners and the DRC government, which is leading this important effort.”

The additional funds are to be distributed through three “complementary operations”, which will enable new forest management strategies and schemes to be established in the country.