The holders of the UN Human Rights Council Special Mandates related to the rights of indigenous peoples have written to the President of the World Bank to reiterate their concerns about the use of the ill-defined term ‘broad community support’ in place of international standards requiring consent from indigenous peoples prior to projects that impact on their lands, lives, identities and resources.
Letter responding to consultation called on Development Policy Lending, an area of Bank financing that does not apply safeguards.
Read the response in full here
Civil society organisations are expressing concern about the format of the third round of consultations for the World Bank safeguard review, requesting broad face-to-face consultations on specific issue areas as well as targeted consultations in Bank borrower countries.
The purpose of this submission is to highlight key issues for indigenous peoples in the new Environmental and Social safeguard system proposed by the World Bank. The policies referred to herein are the Environmental and Social Policy (ESP) and the Environmental and Social Standards (ESS), 1 through 10, with particular focus on ESS7 on indigenous peoples.
A compilation of a range of opinions from the members of the International Land Coalition regarding their analysis of the potential impact of the proposed changes to the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework on the situation of land tenure around the world.
The US Congress is putting new pressure on the World Bank to preserve its social and environmental rules for projects in developing countries amid fears that the emergence of rivals backed by China may force it to weaken standards.
The World Bank is next year expected to wrap up a review of its safeguards, which were introduced in the 1980s in response to criticism of environmental damage and rights violations linked to bank-funded megaprojects.
Tanzania indigenous organisations have written to the World Bank to express their concern at the overall weakening of the policy requirements for indigenous peoples in the draft of the proposed World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS). Concerns include implications for the denial of the existence and rights of indigenous peoples under international human rights law, lack of meaningful and effective participation, forced eviction and lack of access to information.
A letter from the UN Special Rapporteurs to the World Bank critiquing the new proposed environmental and social safeguard framework.
Read the letter here
Two years ago, the World Bank decided to undergo a review of its environmental and social policies. At the time when this process was launched, the Bank stated that the multi-stage review was being undertaken in response to the need "to better address environmental and social issues that countries face today, to deliver better environmental and social outcomes in the projects and programs the Bank supports."
Proposed changes to safeguards for forests, natural habitats and biodiversity raise serious concerns among civil society organisations around the world. These concerns have been raised with the Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE), the Board committee tasked with determining if the current draft proposals are ready for public consultation.
49 civil society organisations in Latin America and the Caribbean sent a collective statement to the World Bank highlighting their concerns with the structural changes to safeguard policies in the Bank being proposed that would, if adopted, weaken social and environmental standards for affected peoples and the environment.
Rear the statement here (PDF):
A statement from the Bank on Human Rights Coalition submitted to the World Bank Executive Board. The World Bank has repeatedly committed to producing a new safeguard framework that results in no-dilution of the existing safeguards and which reflects prevailing international standards. Instead, the draft safeguard framework distributed this month to the Committee on Development Effectiveness represents a profound dilution of the existing safeguards and an undercutting of international human rights standards and best practice among development institutions.
A letter endorsed widely by indigenous peoples’ organisations and support organisations, including FPP, was sent to the President of the World Bank Group, Dr. Kim, to ask him to support the inclusion of a requirement for free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the new safeguard policies, and to ensure that the policies respected the rights of indigenous peoples, regardless of the governments under which they live.
Forest peoples Programme and Amnesty InternationalMay 21, 2014Recommendations for the revision of the New Approach to Country EngagementWe welcome the opportunity to provide detailed inputs into the ongoing revisions and discussions on the draft proposed new approach to country level engagement in the World Bank change strategy.
Bank on Human Rights Coalition letter to World Bank President Kim urging him to ensure that the new environmental and social safeguards framework protects individuals and communities from the negative effects of Bank-financed projects.
Signatories of the letter include:
As part of the on-going changes and reforms at the World Bank under the leadership of Dr. Jim Kim, the Bank has recently made public, and started consultations on, an important new policy process which they are calling “a new approach to Country Engagement”. This process is a two-step method through which the Bank will design all its interventions and activities in a given country.
Critical inputs on the process of developing the World Bank’s new approach to assessing and managing serious risks at the country diagnostic and planning level.
The UN Human Rights Council – the highest body in the UN tasked with overseeing human rights law – has just finished meeting in Geneva. In a statement, a group of indigenous peoples’ organisations and non-governmental organisations urged the Council to urgently consider, and provide guidance on, the human rights obligations of multilateral finance institutions, an issue of key importance as these institutions review and update their safeguard systems.
So-called “safeguard standards” for international finance institutions emerged as a consequence of destructive forestry, agricultural colonisation and extractive megaprojects financed by the World Bank in the Amazon, Indonesia and India in the 1970s and 1980s.[i] Since then many other multilateral development banks and development agencies have adopted their own safeguard policies and related complaints mechanisms. In addition to the need to protect community rights from destructive development investments, it is increasingly recognised that even well-intentioned conservation and ‘community development’ projects can cause damage and violate rights if they are poorly designed and fail to protect human rights and fragile habitats.[ii]