Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 February 2017
In the context of sustainable development, both developed and developing countries are implementing policies that encourage economic growth, environmental protection and social well-being in resource decisions. According to the 2012 Rio+20 Declaration, market-based instruments that complement regulations can offer an economically efficient push to sustainable growth. Market-based instruments, such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) and other market incentives, may play a crucial role in enhancing the livelihoods and wider well-being of poor people. However, for economic tools such as PES to prove valuable in managing natural resources, the decision-making and implementation processes must integrate adequate rights allocation and participatory mechanisms. This article examines forest ecosystem services in the context of the mangrove reserve forest of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world with an exceptional level of biodiversity. The article argues for a more realistic and equitable approach to PES projects in Bangladesh. It underscores the need for effective participatory tools, third-party monitoring and multi-service PES schemes to improve multiple mangrove ecosystem services in the Sundarbans.
1 Declaration on the Human Environment, Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm (Sweden), 5–16 June 1972, UN Doc. A/CONF.48/14/Rev.1 Vol. I (1973), para. 3.
2 Sustainable development is defined in the Brundtland Report as development that ‘meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’: World Commission of the Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 8; Birnie, P., Boyle, A. & Redgwell, C., International Law and the Environment (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 116 Google Scholar; Sands, P. & Peel, J., Principles of International Environmental Law, 3rd edn (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 215 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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4 UNGA Resolution A/RES/66/288, Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012: ‘The Future We Want’, UN Doc. A/RES/66/288, 11 Sept. 2012, para. 246 (Rio+20 Declaration). Principles that promote sustainable development include justice, dignity, social inclusion, good governance and accountability, resilience, and inter and intra generational equity: ibid., paras 15–8.
5 UNGA Resolution, ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, UN Doc. A/RES/70/1, 21 Oct. 2015. See also UNGA, Report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals, UN Doc. A/68/970, 12 Aug. 2014.
6 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Towards Green Growth (OECD, 2011), p. 10.
8 Rio+20 Declaration, n. 4 above, para. 12.
9 For examples of PES schemes, see Forest Trends & The Kattomba Group, Payments for Ecosystem Services: Getting Started (UNEP, 2008), available at: http://www.unep.org/pdf/PaymentsForEcosystemServices_en.pdf.
10 Friends of the Earth International (FOE), ‘Reclaim the UN from Corporate Capture’, 1 June 2012, available at: http://www.foei.org/resources/publications/publications-by-subject/economic-justice-resisting-neoliberalism-publications/reclaim-the-un-from-corporate-capture.
11 W.M. Adams, ‘The Future of Sustainability: Re-thinking Environment and Development in the Twenty First Century’, International Union for Conservation of Nature, 22 May 2006, pp. 12–3, available at: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/iucn_future_of_sustanability.pdf.
12 Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. They include provisioning services such as food, water, timber and fibre; regulating services that affect climate, floods, disease, waste, and water quality; cultural services that provide recreational, aesthetic and spiritual benefits; and supporting services such as soil formation, photosynthesis, and nutrient cycling: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis (Island Press, 2005), p. v, available at: http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.356.aspx.pdf.
13 Rio+20 Declaration, n. 4 above, paras 193–6.
14 Ibid., paras 193 and 196.
16 The name Sundarbans literally means ‘beautiful forests’. It is also thought that the forest is named after Sundari trees which are found in this mangrove forest: WWF Global, ‘Sundarbans Mangrove: About the Area’, available at: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/ecoregions/sundarbans_mangroves.cfm.
17 Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation, ‘Tackling the Gaps in “Market Environmentalism” for Mangroves’, 2015, available at: http://www.espa.ac.uk/news-events/espa-news/2015-06/64245.
18 It is a rich area of biodiversity with 334 plant species, 39 animal species, 53 mammalian species, 330 bird species, 120 fish species and 8 amphibian species: UNESCO, ‘The Sundarbans’, available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/798.
20 UNESCO, ‘The Sundarbans’, n. 18 above.
22 World Heritage Outlook, Sundarbans National Park Site Description, available at: http://www.worldheritageoutlook.iucn.org.
23 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on Forestry, ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services for Forests (PES) and Forest Financing’, 22nd Session, Rome (Italy), 23–27 Jun. 2014, COFO/2014/4.5, available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-mk166e.pdf.
24 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, n. 12 above.
26 UN, ‘The Value of Forests: Payments for Ecosystem Services in a Green Economy’, Geneva Timber and Forest Study Paper 34, 2014, UN Doc. ECE/TIM/SP/34, available at: https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/timber/publications/SP-34Xsmall.pdf.
28 Blanco & Razzaque, n. 25 above, pp. 710–8.
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31 UN, ‘The Value of Forests’, n. 26 above, p. 27.
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34 UN, ‘The Value of Forests’, n. 26 above, pp. 27–36.
35 Payments for watershed functions seek to link upstream land use and management with downstream water use and management to realize benefits for upstream and downstream participants in the scheme, and others in the area, including benefits to the environment.
36 Natural Capital Markets, ‘Natural Capital Markets for Watershed Services: Actors, Mechanisms, and Impacts’, 16 Apr. 2014, available at: http://www.naturalcapitalmarkets.org/uploads/media/Summary_Webinar_16.04.2014.pdf.
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43 N. 19 above.
44 Department of Environment, ‘Multilateral Environmental Agreements in force in Bangladesh’, available at: http://www.doe-bd.org/agreement.html.
45 UNESCO, ‘Man and Biosphere Programme’, available at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/man-and-biosphere-programme.
46 M. Lockwood, G. Worboys & A. Kothari (eds), Managing Protected Areas: A Global Guide (Earthscan, 2006), pp. 101–14.
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50 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, State of the World’s Forests 2016 – Forests and Agriculture: Land-Use Challenges and Opportunities (FAO, 2016), Ch. 3, available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5588e.pdf; see also Gilmour, n. 33 above.
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52 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity Synthesis (World Resources Institute, 2005), p. 12, available at: http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.354.aspx.pdf.
53 Ministry of Environment and Forest, ‘Type of Forests and Management’, available at: http://www.moef.gov.bd (in Bengali).
54 M.E. Khoda, ‘Transparency and Accountability in Forest Conservation and Management: Problems and Way Out’, Transparency International Bangladesh, 14 Aug. 2008, available at: http://www.ti-bangladesh.org/beta3/images/max_file/rp_es_forest_08.pdf.
55 E.g., the Forest Policy of 1894 and the Forest Policy of 1947–71 prioritized economic interests that led to resource destruction.
57 USAID/Forest Department, ‘Project Concept Note: Collaborative REDD+IFM Sundarbans Project (CRISP)’, Dec. 2011, available at: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00JFT6.pdf; S. Karim, ‘Proposed REDD+ Project for the Sundarbans: Legal and Institutional Issues’ (2013) 1 International Journal of Rural Law and Policy, pp. 1–7.
58 Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 4 Nov. 1972, available at: http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?id=367. Arts 31 and 32 together incorporate the fundamental ‘right to life’. Art. 31 states that every citizen has the right to protection from ‘action detrimental to the life liberty, body, reputation, or property’. Art. 32 states: ‘No person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty save in accordance with law’. If these rights are taken away, compensation must be paid.
59 M. Farooque v. Bangladesh (1996) 48 Dhaka Law Reports, p. 438.
60 Forest Act 1927, Act No. XVI of 1927, available at: http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/print_sections_all.php?id=144.
61 The Social Forestry Rules 2004 (in Bengali), available at: http://fd.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/fd.portal.gov.bd/page/0c05d1d9_54b2_4b0c_91d3_b1008b50c591/Social%20Forestry%20Rules%202004.pdf. The Social Forestry Rules (as amended in 2010) are available at: http://moef.portal.gov.bd.
62 Ministry of Environment and Forests, ‘National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Bangladesh’, Aug. 2004, available at: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/NBSAP%20bangladesh.pdf.
64 UN-REDD Programme, ‘Bangladesh REDD+ Readiness Roadmap’, Draft 1.2, Apr. 2012, available at: http://www.unredd.net; CBACC-CF is supported by the Strategic Priority to Adaptation Fund of the Global Environment Facility.
65 USAID, ‘IPAC Project: IPAC Implementation and Management Strategy’, available at: http://www.nishorgo.org/?id=40.
66 UN-REDD Programme, n. 64 above. The IPAC Project includes 28 protected forest areas (e.g., national parks and wildlife sanctuaries) and aims to enhance carbon stocks and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the restoration, conservation and sustainable management of forests. See also USAID, ‘IPAC: First Annual Work Plan, 5 June 2008 – 31 May 2009’, available at: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pdacm045.pdf.
67 The other two projects under IPAC are the Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary Management of Natural Resources and Community Forestry Project, and the Bangladesh REDD+ Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation in Protected Areas Project: UN-REDD Programme, n. 64 above, p. 38.
68 Nishorgo Support Project, ‘Management Plans for Teknaf Game Reserve’, 2006, available at: http://www.nishorgo.org/tbltd/upload/pdf/0.00839000%201354826954_4.5_Management%20plans%20for%20Teknaf%20Game%20Reserve.pdf. The Nishorgo Program of the Forest Department was created in 2004 through support from USAID and the International Resource Group to promote a co-management model for administering the protected areas of Bangladesh, including the Sundarbans, by focusing on building partnerships between the Forest Department and key local, regional and national stakeholders.
69 Khoda, n. 54 above.
70 S.G. Sen, ‘Conservation of Sundarbans in Bangladesh through Sustainable Shrimp Aquaculture’, 14 Mar. 2010, available at: http://www.innovations.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/1227364.pdf.
71 Asian Development Bank (ADB), ‘Bangladesh: Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project, Validation Report’, Sept. 2008, available at: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/evaluation-document/35664/files/in285-08.pdf.
72 Hossain, J. & Roy, K., ‘Deserting the Sundarbans: Local People’s Perspective on ADB-GEF-Netherlands Funded Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project’, Dec. 2007, available at: http://unnayan.org/reports/Deserting.the.Sundarbans.pdf Google Scholar.
73 Ibid., p. 7.
74 Sundarbans Oil Spill Assessment, ‘Joint United Nations/Government of Bangladesh Mission’, Dec. 2014, available at: http://whc.unesco.org/document/140155.
75 Ibid. The mission consisted of 25 experts and officials from Bangladesh government agencies and universities, the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, UNDP, USAID, the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, France, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
76 ‘Oil Stained Wastes Finally being Removed from Sundarbans’, 25 Mar. 2015, available at: http://en.ntvbd.com/bangladesh/2479/Oil-stained-wastes-finally-being-removed-from-Sundarban/print.
77 Sundarbans Oil Spill Assessment, n. 74 above.
78 ‘Bangladesh Lifts Ban on Cargo Boats after Sundarbans Oil Spill’, NDTV, 7 Jan. 2015, available at: http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/bangladesh-lifts-ban-on-cargo-boats-after-sundarbans-oil-spill-723933.
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85 International Monetary Fund (IMF), ‘Bangladesh Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper’, IMF Country Report No. 13/63, Mar. 2013, pp. 197–9, 202, available at: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2013/cr1363.pdf.
86 Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, ‘Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2008’, Sept. 2008, available at: http://www.sdnbd.org/moef.pdf.
87 Dev Roy, A.K. & Alam, K., ‘Participatory Forest Management for the Sustainable Management of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest’ (2012) 8(5) American Journal of Environmental Science, pp. 549–555 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 552, available at: https://eprints.usq.edu.au/6279/2/Roy_Alam_AJES_2012_PV.pdf.
88 Ibid., pp. 552–4.
89 National Forest Policy 1994, para. 1 (on file with the author).
90 Ibid., para. 12.
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95 Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Power Development Board, ‘Final Report on Environmental Impact Assessment of 2x (500-660) MW Coal Based Thermal Power Plant to be Constructed at the Location of Khulna’, Jan. 2013, available at: http://www.bpdb.gov.bd/download/coal_EIA_report_rampal_khulna/EIA%20of%202x%20(500-660)%20MW%20Coal%20Based%20Thermal%20Power%20Plant%20at%20Rampal%20in%20Bagerhat%20District,%20Khulna.pdf.
96 More than 70% of shares in NTPC Ltd are owned by the Government of India.
97 Department of Environment, ‘Approval of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for Proposed Khulna 1320 MW Coal-Based Thermal Power Plant Construction Project at Rampal Upazila under Bagerhat District’, Memo No. DoE/Clearance/50622011/206, 5 Aug. 2013, available at: http://bifpcl.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Approval-of-EIA.pdf.
98 ‘Rampal Power Plant Project yet to Get Environmental Clearance: Minister’, Star Online Report, 9 June 2016, available at: http://www.thedailystar.net/city/rampal-power-plant-project-yet-get-environmental-clearance-minister-1236952.
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100 BankTrack, ‘Equator Principles Analysis of the Rampal Coal-Fired Power Plant Project, Bangladesh’, June 2015, available at: http://www.banktrack.org/manage/ems_files/download/rampal_equator_principles_full_analysis_pdf/rampal_equator_principles_full_analysis.pdf.
101 Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), ‘Rampal and Matarbari Power Projects: Governance Challenges in Environmental Impact Assessment and Land Acquisition’, Apr. 2015, available at: http://www.ti-bangladesh.org/beta3/images/2015/es_ffs_coal_15_en.pdf. TIB recorded evidence of financial irregularities, unethical transactions, and widespread corruption.
102 Lenin, J., ‘French Banks Say No to Bangladesh Coal Plant’, The Guardian, 25 June 2015, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2015/jun/25/french-banks-say-no-to-bangladesh-coal-plant Google Scholar.
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104 Hossain & Roy, n. 72 above.
105 ADB, n. 71 above.
106 Hossain & Roy, n. 72 above.
107 Ibid., p. 8.
108 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, Decision 1/CP.13, ‘Bali Action Plan’, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1, 14 Mar. 2008.
109 Lopes, P.A., ‘Is REDD Accounting Myopic? Why Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Programs Should Recognize and Include Other Ecosystems and Services beyond CO2 Sequestration’ (2011) 11(2) Sustainable Development Law and Policy, pp. 25–32 Google Scholar; Wilkinson, K., ‘Payment for “Ecosystem Services” and the “Green Economy”: Green-Washing or Something New?’ (2014) 5(2) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, pp. 168–191 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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112 UN-REDD Programme, ‘Strategic Framework 2016–20 (Revised Draft)’, 7 May 2015, UN Doc. UNREDD/PB14/2015/III/3, available at: http://www.un-redd.org/work-programme.
113 The World Bank, n. 110 above.
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116 Decision 2/CP.13, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2007/6/Add.1, 14 Mar. 2008; Decision 4/CP. 15, UN Doc. FCCC/CP/2009/11/Add.1, 30 Mar. 2010.
118 The UN-REDD Programme was launched in Sept. 2008.
119 Cadman & Maraseni, n. 114 above.
120 For an example of proposed REDD in Chittagong (Bangladesh) see M.D. Danesh Miah, ‘Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the REDD Plus Strategies in Bangladesh’, The Rufford Foundation, 2011, available at: http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/md_danesh_miah.
121 UNDP, ‘UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme’, available at: http://mptf.undp.org/factsheet/project/00090410.
122 UN-REDD, ‘Readiness Preparation Proposal for Bangladesh’, Apr. 2014, available at: http://fd.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/fd.portal.gov.bd/page/3743f769_c99c_4fdc_a48d_a3cfe6765545/Bangladesh%20R-PP_Final.pdf.
123 Information on other parallel projects supporting REDD+ readiness can be found in the REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal: ibid., p. 145.
124 USAID/Forest Department, ‘Bangladesh REDD+ARR Protected Areas Project: Project Concept Note’, Jan. 2012, available at: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00JFT7.pdf.
125 Collaborative REDD+ Improved Forest Management Sundarbans Project (CRISP), Project Concept Note, Feb. 2011, available at: http://www.nishorgo.org/tbltd/upload/pdf/0.84199100%201357815512_CRISP.pdf.
126 According to the FAO, sustainable forest management addresses forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and the environment: FAO, ‘Sustainable Forest Management’, available at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/sfm/en.
127 UN-REDD, ‘UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries’, National Programme Document, May 2015, available at: http://www.unredd.net/index.php?view=download&alias=14573-bangladesh-npd-signed&category_slug=national-programme-documents-2040&option=com_docman&Itemid=134. UNDP and the Bangladesh government officially launched the UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme.
128 USAID, ‘Integrated Resources Management Plans for the Sundarbans (2010–2020)’, available at: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/pnaec417.pdf.
129 Campaign for Climate Justice, ‘Carbon Trading and the Sundarbans: United States Interest Conflicts with Local People’s Rights’, Equity and Justice Working Group (Bangladesh) and Humanitywatch, Campaign Paper, Mar. 2011.
130 UN-REDD Programme, ‘Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria’, 25–26 Mar. 2012, UN Doc. UNREDD/PB8/2012/V/1.
131 E.g., REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES), developed by two NGOs: Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), and CARE International.
133 The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility was created to assist developing countries in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, to enhance and conserve forest carbon stocks, and sustainably manage forests (REDD+), available at: http://www.climatefundsupdate.org/listing/forest-carbon-partnership-facility.
134 C. McDermott et al., ‘Governance for REDD+, Forest Management and Biodiversity: Existing Approaches and Future Options’, in J.A. Parotta, C. Wildburger & S. Mansourian (eds), Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives (International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), 2013), pp. 115–37.
135 M.Z.H. Khan, ‘Bangladesh: Cutting Off Our Head to Cure a Headache?’, Transparency International, 3 July 2014, available at: http://blog.transparency.org/2014/07/03/bangladesh-cutting-off-our-heads-to-cure-a-headache; Transparency International, ‘2011–2015: Making Sure Climate Money Gets to Where It’s Needed’, available at: http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/activity/making_sure_climate_money_gets_to_where_its_needed.
136 Karim, n. 57 above; ADB, n. 71 above.
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138 Mangroves for the Future, ‘Ecosystems across Borders: MFF at the World Parks Congress 2014’, 18 Nov. 2014, available at: http://www.mangrovesforthefuture.org/news-and-media/news/asia-region/2014/mff.
139 Mangroves for the Future, ‘Bangladesh’, available at: https://www.mangrovesforthefuture.org/countries/members/bangladesh.
140 IUCN, ‘Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative’, Annual Progress Report 2012, available at: http://bangladesh.nlembassy.org/binaries/content/assets/postenweb/b/bangladesh/netherlands-embassy-in-dhaka/import/water-management/project-documents/e4l/e4l-annual-report-2012.pdf.
141 EuropeAid, ‘Annual Work Programme for Grants of the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihoods Security (SEALS) Project (2011)’, available at: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/awp-bangladesh-forest-seals-2011_en.pdf; ‘Tk 128cr Project to Develop Ecosystems in Sundarbans’, Bangladesh Economic News, 15 Jan. 2011, available at: https://bangladesheconomy.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/tk-128cr-project-to-develop-ecosystems-in-sundarbans.
142 The SUNDARI Project is officially managed by Concern Worldwide; 31 community based organizations, 18 producers and collectors groups and 1,845 self-help groups have been formed with the targeted 25,000 Sundarbans Dependent Extreme Poor Households: Concern Worldwide, ‘SUNDARI: Protecting the Biodiversity of the Sundarbans by Reducing Human Pressure’, available at: https://www.concern.net/sites/default/files/media/resource/sundari_-_protecting_the_biodiversity_of_the_sundarbans_by_reducing_human_pressure.pdf.
143 The project works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supports the implementation of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (n. 86 above). It is particularly relevant for the disaster management, capacity building and institutional strengthening pillars of that strategy: GIZ, ‘Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation in Coastal Protection Forests (2010)’, Project No. 2010.2220.1 (in German), available at: https://www.giz.de/projektdaten/projects.action?request_locale=en_EN&pn=201022201.
144 Law Commission (UK), ‘Criminal Liability in Regulatory Contexts’, Consultation Paper No. 195 (2010) p. 3.
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147 According to Gunningham and Sinclair, ‘self-regulation entails social control by an industry association, whereas voluntarism is based on the individual firm undertaking to do the right thing unilaterally, without any basis in coercion’: N. Gunningham & D. Sinclair, Designing Smart Regulation (1999), pp. 1–19, at 16, available at: http://www.oecd.org/env/outreach/33947759.pdf.
148 E.g., the ADB’s role in the SBCP; Hossain & Roy, n. 72 above; ADB, n. 71 above.
149 E.g., the role of NTPC Ltd and the World Bank in the proposed Rampal Power Plant Project: BankTrack, n. 100 above; Inclusive Development International, ‘“Disaster for Us and the Planet”: How the IFC is Quietly Funding a Coal Boom – Outsourcing Development: Lifting the Veil on the World Bank Group’s Lending Through Financial Intermediaries’, Part 1, Oct. 2016, available at: http://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Outsourcing-Development-Climate.pdf.
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