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On August 4, 2015 the World Bank publicly released the second draft of its Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), thus initiating Phase 3 of the safeguards review. The ESF contains the safeguard policies designed to protect communities and the environment in World Bank investment projects.
The effectiveness of the World Bank’s new safeguards is compromised by several issues, including an over-reliance on borrowers for due diligence, lack of clear timing and procedural requirements for risk appraisal, and no budget or implementation details. The revised ESF also debuts weaker language on the World Bank’s responsibility vis-a-vis universal human rights.
In a joint press statement, BIC and 18 other organizations noted that the new draft “contradicts World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s promise to ensure that the Bank’s new rules will not weaken or ‘dilute’ existing mandatory environmental and social protection measures and calls into question the extent to which the Bank has responded to public input.” The World Bank Inspection Panel also critically commented on the draft, highlighting its shaky accountability and monitoring requirements.
BIC has composed a “Guide to a First Look at the World Bank’s Revised Environmental and Social Framework” detailing main areas of concern. This Guide addresses issues with disability rights, children’s rights, gender and SOGIE, environmental and social assessment, climate change, forest and natural habitats, and information disclosure.
For more information on safeguards, visit BIC’s main safeguards page.