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.
Before looking in detail at the requirements of the system, it is worth noting that the ESSs apply only to one of the Bank’s three loan instruments, investment loans. This is indicated in Paragraph 1 and paragraph 6 (footnote 3) of ESS1. The ESSs are not applied to Development Policy Loans or Program for Results (P4R), which make up a significant proportion of Bank financing. This restriction is problematic, as it ensures that any advances secured in the protections provided to indigenous peoples in ESS7 are NOT applied to projects impacting on indigenous peoples if a different loan instrument is used. This is an opaque and confusing method of standard development, and makes it difficult for affected peoples to be sure of what standards are applied to them. As has been stated repeatedly during the review of these safeguard policies, it is crucial for indigenous peoples that the same policies and protections apply regardless of loan instrument used.
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