In a new interview, BIC partner Srinivas Krishnaswami takes a close look at the World Bank’s funding of energy projects in India, and finds that very little of the increased capacity the Bank has funded has gone to helping the poor. He then discusses other paths for India’s future.
Following the January consultation in Mumbai, several peoples’ movements and civil society organizations have written an expanded critique of the draft IFC policy revisions. The document ranges from specific comments on details in the draft, to explanations of an overall vision of what the new policy should look like.
Indian journalist Raji Bakshi looks into the IFC policy review and imagines what it could mean for the future of projects in her country. Bakshi argues, a well written policy could open up new space for citizen engagement, while still raising concerns over client complience.
The Phulbari Coal Project threatens numerous dangers and potential damages, ranging from the degradation of a major agricultural region in Bangladesh to pollution of the world’s largest wetlands. The project’s Summary Environmental Impact Assessment, and its full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment are replete with vague assurances, issuing many promises of future mitigation measures.
Over 100 civil society groups from 31 countries are calling on financial backers to withdraw their support from the the controversial Phulbari Coal Project in Bangladesh. The project will displace over 200,000 people, impoverish farming households and cause immense environmental impacts in one of the most fertile regions of Bangladesh. Despite these factors, according to information available on its website, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) remains interested in financing the project after having distanced itself from it earlier this year.
The Director of the Asian Development Bank’s Private Sector Operations Department, Robert Bestani, notified the Bank’s Board of Directors last week that it will take the Phulbari Coal Project in Bangladesh out of the Bank’s funding pipeline.
Civil society groups from South Asia are planning to boycott the Asian Development Bank’s consultation meeting on its safeguards policy update, to be held in New Delhi, India tomorrow. The groups, from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh state that the ADB’s consultation draft, released in October 2007, greatly dilutes the Bank’s earlier policies on Environment (2002), Involuntary Resettlement (1995) and Indigenous Peoples (1998), and is opposed to indigenous peoples’ rights and subverts environmental considerations.
Citing violations of five of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) own policies, non-governmental organizations from around the world have petitioned the ADB to discontinue its pre-appraisal of the Phulbari Coal Project and remove it from the funding pipeline.