Lagos, Nigeria / Phase 3 Safeguards Review Submission
On February 22-24th 2016, the World Bank held a consultation on its safeguard policies with representatives of the US government and civil society. The discussion covered important issues in the ongoing review of the Bank’s environmental and social safeguards, including concerns surrounding labor, biodiversity, climate change, vulnerable groups, resettlement and accountability, among others. There was significant debate over the implications of the Bank’s new ‘adaptive risk management’ approach to safeguards for communities and the environment.
Click here to see the opening remarks by Marisa Lago, U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, which represent the United States government’s priorities for the safeguards review in this critical final stage.
We hope for more clarity in the final ESF so that public disclosure is not a “tick the box” exercise, but rather allows the public and project-affected people to provide meaningful input to these key documents.
The statement touches on four key recommendations:
- Augment existing resources (budget and staff) for the successful implementation of the proposed Environmental and Social Framework
- Establish a concrete methodology for determining eligibility of country safeguards systems for use in place of Bank safeguards; adopt a careful roll-out that would exclude high and substantial risk projects from consideration for use of country systems until a successful track record is established; and identify Bank funds to allocate to technical assistance to build borrowers’ safeguards capacity
- Insist on compliance with Bank standards in co-financed projects
- Do not weaken timing and disclosure requirements for key documents; adjust language to clearly mandate that the Environmental and Social Commitment Plan, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, resettlement plans and Indigenous Peoples plans be made publicly available well before the project goes to Board