Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

Update and Consolidation of World Bank Safeguard Policies

The World Bank is currently undertaking a comprehensive process for ‘Updating and Consolidation’ of eight of its so-called ‘Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies’ and its policy on the use of Country Systems. ‘Safeguard Policies’ are policies intended to establish minimum requirements to minimise or remove the risk of social and environmental harms being directly caused by World Bank financed activities. The Country Systems policy is intended to allow countries to apply their own social and environmental safeguard systems if they are judged to be equivalent to the Bank’s own standards.

The ‘Updating and Consolidation’ process will have immense importance for indigenous peoples and others impacted by World Bank financing. In addition to all the normal areas of Bank financing, including for infrastructure, agribusiness, extractive industries and development policy loans, the Bank is increasingly involved in financing climate change-related initiatives, including those aimed at reducing deforestation and those designed to improve the adaptive capacity of both eco-systems and communities.

Given increasing pressures on the World Bank to compete with financial institutions in developing countries, there is a genuine concern that the ‘Updating and Consolidation’ process could result in a weakening of safeguards and reduced accountability of the World Bank and borrower countries. There may even be risks that some specific policies could be lost altogether. Forest Peoples Programme and many indigenous organisations and NGOs are engaged in tracking this process in an effort to ensure that it results in strengthened standards and greater World Bank accountability.

Begun in 2010, the process is proceeding slowly, but it is expected that a new set of policies will be in place in 2014. Details of the current status of the review can be found on the World Bank's website.

This FPP website page will provide up-to-date information on the ‘Updating and Consolidation’ process and related critical issues as they emerge.

Relevant resources

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Comments on Overarching Human Rights Provisions in the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework

Coalition for Human Rights in Development

21 March, 2016

The Coalition for Human Rights in Development submitted recommendations this week urging the World Bank to amend its proposed Environmental and Social Framework to meaningfully address human rights. The submission addresses arguments that have been put forward against embracing human rights and provides concrete recommendations for strengthening the draft framework.
Read more here.

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FPIC not FPICon: when support is not enough

Forest Peoples Programme

16 March, 2016

FPP has released this briefing note reviewing the serious implementation challenges that the World Bank has faced in trying to meet its unique standard of ‘broad community support’ and argues for the adoption of the internationally recognised standard of free, prior and informed consent, now widely adopted by private and public sector financial institutions including by the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group).

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Continuing issues with the World Bank ESF

16 March, 2016

FPP’s formal submission to the third phase of the consultations for the World Bank Safeguard Review highlight continuing concerns with adequately addressing implementation challenges, overall weakening of the ESF through transfer of responsibilities to borrowers, ambiguity about the impact on the Inspection Panel’s ability to fulfil its mandate and inadequate definition of free, prior and informed consent.

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What are the World Bank Safeguards?

12 October, 2015

 

Bank Information Center’s new informational video on the World Bank safeguards review. The video is intended to foster a general understanding of the review and its significance, and motivate people to send a note to their World Bank Executive Director asking for the strongest possible protections for the poor and the planet. Please help us circulate it widely. We hope it proves to be a useful tool for Phase 3 of the review.

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Letter to World Bank Group Special Representative to the EU

22 June, 2015

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

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Joint Civil Society Letter to the World Bank

27 May, 2015

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.

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African human rights body warns the World Bank on proposals to reverse decades of advancement in protection of indigenous peoples’ rights

12 March, 2015

LONDON, 12 March 2015: In February 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights met in Banjul, The Gambia, for its 17th Extra-Ordinary Session, to deal with critical matters pending since the cancellation and delay of previous sessions due to the spread of Ebola during 2014.

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Joint AIPP and FPP submission to the World Bank

17 February, 2015

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.

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Feedback from members of the International Land Coalition to the World Bank E&S Framework

12 February, 2015

ILC

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.

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Latin American and Caribbean Civil Society Perspectives on the Draft of the World Bank’s New Environmental and Social Policy and Environmental and Social Standards

9 February, 2015

Lima, Peru, February 4, 2015 - We, the undersigned civil society organizations and social movements of Latin America and the Caribbean, wish to express our profound concern and dissatisfaction with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Safeguard review process, as well as with the current draft of the new Environmental and Social Policy and Environmental and Social Standards published by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (which is a part of the World Bank Group).  Likewise, we wish to highlight the lack of receptivity we have witnessed on the part of the Bank to the comments and suggestions we have submitted on previous occasions with regard to this issue.

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