Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

Update and Consolidation of World Bank Safeguard Policies (2012-14)

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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Press Release: World Bank moves to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples

29 July, 2014

PRESS RELEASE.

Tuesday 29 July 2014 / For immediate release.

A new statement provided to the World Bank highlights the serious concerns indigenous peoples have regarding the World Bank’s proposed (leaked) new standards for projects impacting on indigenous peoples, and specifically a shocking new ‘opt-out’ clause. 

World Bank moves to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples

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World Bank’s Draft Safeguards Fail to Protect Land Rights and Prevent Impoverishment: Major Revisions Required

29 July, 2014

97 non-governmental organizations and civil society networks and 17 distinguished individuals from Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe sent this collaborative statement to the World Bank’s Board, demanding that the draft be sent back to the drawing board and re-written with serious safeguards to respect and protect the land, housing and livelihood rights of the poor.

View the statement here

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World Bank Turns Its Back on Rights Protections for the Poor

29 July, 2014

PRESS RELEASE (July 29 2014)

World Bank Turns Its Back on Rights Protections for the Poor: Global civil society response gathers momentum

Grave concerns are held by civil society regarding the proposed weakening of the World Bank’s protections for land rights and land tenure in the leaked new draft Environmental and Social Standards.

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Civil Society Statement on ESS6- Biodiversity, World Bank Environmental and Social Framework CODE Draft

29 July, 2014

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.

Civil Society Statement ESS6 Biodiversity

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Latin American and Caribbean civil society organisations concerns on the World Bank Environmental and Social Policy and Environmental and Social Standards First Draft

29 July, 2014

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):

English

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World Bank Safeguard Draft Rolls-Back Protections for People and the Environment Key Human Rights Concerns

29 July, 2014

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.

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Final Statement on Draft World Bank Safeguard Policy

29 July, 2014

This statement, prepared jointly by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), contains views and recommendations for improving the draft for the second round of consultations. We have been engaging in the review process since it was launched in 2011 and we hope that the dilutions to the current safeguard policies shall be addressed properly, and the added provisions such as the on the free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples be strengthened, along with the legal recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and resources.

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World Bank to undermine regional and global legal standards on indigenous peoples' rights

11 July, 2014

The World Bank has been reviewing its suite of safeguard policies since late 2010 (see prior FPP newsletters from May 2014, Oct 2013, April 2013, Oct 2012 and Oct 2011). The Bank has spent these past 4 years in ‘listening mode’ as thousands of comments came in from constituencies around the world with little or no concrete feedback from the Bank. Much is at stake with this process of review, as the Bank seeks to incorporate critical project level protections for social and environmental outcomes into the wider process of reform in the Bank overseen by President Kim.

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Urgent letter from indigenous peoples’ organisations to the World Bank President: respect our rights in the new safeguard policies

5 June, 2014

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.

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Urgent letter sent from FPP to the World Bank President

5 June, 2014

Urgent letter sent from FPP to the World Bank President, Dr Kim regarding concerns with the development of the new safeguard system to be proposed specifically the need to enshrine FPIC and to apply the policy in a strictly nondiscriminatory manner.

To read the letter please click here

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