In the framework of the public consultation process on the review of IDB environmental and social safeguards policies, together with a group of more than 50 civil society organizations in the region, we made comments and observations on the draft of the new Policy Framework. Environmental and Social, through a document that was sent to the Bank on Monday, April 20.
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The proposal of this policy differs from the previous ones, since this draft Framework seeks to integrate environmental and social policies into a single policy. Thus, the draft of the MPAS is structured in two parts. In the first, it presents the Policy Statement that addresses the IDB’s responsibilities and roles and relevant issues such as human rights, gender equality, non-discrimination and inclusion, rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants and other traditional peoples, participation of interested parties. , reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and protection of Biodiversity, and natural resources and ecosystem.
In the second part of the draft, the ten environmental and social performance standards that must be met by the borrowers throughout the project life cycle are detailed. In addition, for the Bank, the Standards will serve as guides for risk assessment, classification, due diligence, monitoring and management.
The 10 Performance Standards are as follows:
- Assessment and management of environmental and social risks and impacts.
- Work and working conditions.
- Efficiency in the use of resources and prevention of contamination.
- Community health and safety.
- Land acquisition and resettlement.
- Conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources.
- Indigenous villages.
- Cultural heritage.
- Gender equality.
- Stakeholder Participation and Disclosure of Information.
Following the Bank’s Public Consultation Plan, the public consultation process on the MPAS began in January through face-to-face consultations scheduled by the IDB in different parts of the world. It was not only possible to participate through face-to-face consultations, virtual consultations were also enabled through the sending of comments through the Bank’s website or through an e-mail address. This first phase of virtual consultations ended on April 20.
It was in this framework that more than 50 civil society organizations that we have been working collaboratively and jointly since last year, prepared and sent to the IDB a document with a large number of comments and observations on the draft of the new MPAS.
The document, with more than 80 pages, is structured in general comments and specific comments on each performance standard found in the framework, and not only identifies in detail each of the problematic aspects that we identified in the draft, but also provides particular recommendations to correct them. In this way, it seeks to avoid the evident dilution of environmental, social and human rights standards that would entail the approval of the draft of the new MPAS as it stands. The document was sent on Monday, April 20, the date on which the first phase of virtual public consultations on the draft of the new MPAS ended.
At the same time, from Fundeps, and with the support and collaboration of a group of civil society organizations specialized in gender issues, we sent particular comments regarding the draft MPAS from a gender perspective. In this document, we raise the need for the IDB not only to avoid weakening its current Gender Policy, considered one of the most advanced in the matter in relation to the rest of the IDB-related Financial Institutions, but also to decide to put itself decisively at the forefront In this matter, for which it must necessarily carry out a process of mainstreaming the gender perspective in all its financed policies and projects (See document).