Tag Archive for: GREFI

The objective of this document is to analyze the strategy, objectives and political motivations of the People’s Republic of China in Latin America and the Caribbean. This analysis seeks to complement the previous analysis carried out by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI) based on the Asian giant’s commercial and investment strategy in LAC, which led to the publication of “General Overview of Chinese Investments in America Latina: The cases of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Peru ”in 2016. The document analyzes the Chinese political strategy in LAC by analyzing the relationship framework in certain multilateral and bilateral spaces in which China is present in the Region and in which it even exercises a leadership role. And special emphasis is placed on the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China, and the role that the LAC region has to play in it. (Only in Spanish)

Since the creation of the World Bank (WB) in 1944, with the aim of facilitating and promoting reconstruction and post-war development, the purpose of the institution has been changing over time, adapting to new realities and international contexts . Today, on its 75th anniversary and positioned as “one of the main sources of financing for the eradication of poverty through an inclusive and sustainable globalization process,” the Bank has new challenges that include, among other things, its framework of relationship with civil society, which although it has been strengthening in recent decades, still has huge outstanding issues.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Over time, the reformulation of the World Bank’s purpose brought new institutional practices, including the incorporation of civil society as a valid counterpart not only in relation to the internal governance of the institution but also as a party consulted at the time of planning the projects.

Thus, as a result of the growing closeness of the work areas of the World Bank and of many Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), as well as the deep commitment of an increasingly organized civil society, the Bank began to open, little by little. , new ways of participation and involvement of CSOs both in the construction of policies and in the administration of projects.

In this way, there has been a paradigm shift, which went from being institutionally focused and merely consultative to a model that works in conjunction with CSOs, focused on specific issues. For example, their more active participation in the elaboration of the Strategies of Assistance to the Countries (EAP) and the documents of strategies to fight against poverty, among others.

On the other hand, many CSOs have also changed their position regarding the World Bank’s role in society and have decided to work in an articulated manner. The majority of CSOs that interact with the Bank are currently adopting an “positive intervention” approach, which aims to influence the Bank’s decisions; rather than adopt an essentially confrontational position. Even so, it should be clarified that a large part of civil society maintains its critical and supervisory stance vis-à-vis the World Bank projects, especially in relation to those Bank-financed infrastructure projects that have major socio-environmental impacts.

The strengthening of the dialogue between civil society and the World Bank has been reflected both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitatively, for example, with the increasing active participation of CSOs in the Annual and Spring Meetings organized by the Bank, and in the increase in policy dialogue sessions within the framework of the Forum on Policies related to Civil Society (which it was organized for the first time in 2009 where 300 representatives of civil society organizations from more than 30 countries participated). In turn, qualitatively the spectrum of participation was broadened by bringing different sectors such as youth associations and also incorporating agenda items such as food security and health, among others.

It should also be noted that, in order to promote this strengthening in a transversal way to the entire institution, the World Bank has coordinated efforts with the International Development Association and other members of the World Bank Group, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides political risk insurance for projects in various sectors of countries, developing members and the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an institution responsible for arbitrating a solution to disputes between governments and nationals of other states that have invested in that country.

In this way, it can be seen that in the course of the last decades and as a consequence of a greater openness on the part of the institution, but more than anything due to the increasing pressure and demand coming from civil society, demanding greater participation in decisions and Bank actions, a process of strengthening relations between the World Bank and civil society has been evidenced. However, there are still important shortcomings and issues still to be resolved in the relationships of these actors, which is currently reflected in the disagreement of a large number of CSOs regarding the Bank’s actions in a series of related agendas, especially to the protection of the environment and human rights, and the responsibility of the institution in this regard.

The revision of the Environmental and Social Framework of the World Bank and the criticisms of civil society

Precisely, one of the most recent criticisms of the World Bank from civil society has been the recent revision of the Institutional Environmental and Social Framework and what much of civil society considers as a clear weakening or dilution of the safeguards framework and social and environmental standards of the institution. The reasons for this weakening follows a trend at global, regional and national levels and responds to the need to make the Bank more competitive, in an international context of loss of competitiveness vis-à-vis other emerging financial actors.

Thus, for example, the Comparative Analysis of the regulations of the International Financial Institutions present in Latin America carried out by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI) of which Fundeps is a part, highlights the way in which World Bank investments have been recently made less competitive against new emerging actors such as the Development Bank of China, for example. Likewise, the report carries out a comparative analysis where it can be seen that environmental and social standards turn out to be more lax in emerging financial actors, which to a large extent allows them to become the first sources of financing for National States, displacing traditional institutions such as the World Bank or the IDB, which have more robust standards and, therefore, imply greater costs and delays for national governments.

Given this situation of loss of competitiveness by the World Bank, the Bank’s Social and Environmental Framework recently reviewed and in force in 2019 is considered by some civil society organizations as flexible against some fundamental issues that would put the environment and rights at risk Humans from the villages of the member countries. For their part, CSOs have expressed reservations about the review of safeguards that practically did not take into account their recommendations. Also, CSOs have denounced that the new MAS lacks a human rights approach and does not take any reference of international standards in the matter.

On the other hand, the main criticism towards the work of the World Bank, regarding this context of competitiveness, is the exclusion of due diligence by the bank by granting the possibility to borrowing governments to request to use their own safeguards systems to national level transferring responsibility for the correct application of safeguards to governments and not to the bank.

In this way, it can be concluded that the World Bank faces great challenges as a financial institution to remain competitive in the face of new emerging institutions and, in turn, incorporate the demands of civil society effectively and effectively. Thus, improving the relationship of real participation with civil society in an increasingly complex context, without weakening its socio-environmental regulatory frameworks, continues to be a latent challenge for the World Bank within its 75 years.

More information

New analysis on regulations in development institutions present in Latin America – Fundeps


Ailin Toso

Florence Harmitton

Contact Gonzalo

Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Together with the rest of the organizations that make up GREFI, we publish a comparative analysis of the regulatory frameworks of the main institutions that finance development in Latin America, with a focus on the similarities and differences between traditional, emerging and chinese banking institutions.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI), made up of FUNDEPS, DAR, Ambiente y Sociedad and Fundar, recently published its latest research paper on the regulations of international financial institutions (IFIs): Comparative Analysis of IFIs regulations Present in Latin America This is a comparative analysis that takes as an object of study the operational policies of different institutions: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank (WB), the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the Corporation Financiera Internacional (CFI), the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Development Bank of China (BDC) and the Chinese Bank of Exports and Imports (ExIm Bank). The essential objective was to be able to achieve a comparison between those traditional institutions, new development institutions and Chinese institutions. The anchoring of this study is given by the number of new actors that today are part of the financial and investment scenario in Latin America.

The analysis was carried out on four axes: access to information, citizen participation, indigenous peoples and social and environmental safeguards. The indicators for these categories were obtained from the best international practices in each of these subjects (the OAS model law on access to information, ILO Convention 169, among others). Each category was divided into different elements that received a score. The product of this work is presented in a statistical way, expressing at what level (percentage) the policies of the institutions achieve the highest standards.

The main results obtained in the study report that two banks categorized as traditional IBRD-BM (86%) and CFI (64%), in addition to an emerging CAF bank (62%), obtain the highest ratings. Among institutions rated less than 50% are two traditional IDB banks (45%) and CII (26%), one emerging bank BNDES (17%) and two Chinese banks BEIC (8%) and BDC (0%). An interesting finding is that only in the categories of traditional banking and emerging banking institutions with relatively high rating are observed. In contrast, Chinese banks stand out with the lowest evaluations according to the proportion of estimated adequacy. This is partly explained by the BDC bank, which does not obtain a qualification in any thematic axis, since, due to lack of access to its regulations, these are not known. (See the specific chapter on CDB).

More information:

Full publication Comparative analysis of the regulations of IFIs present in Latin America


Agustina Palencia: agustinapalencia@fundeps.org

Representatives of civil society and native communities participated in the workshop in the city of Bogotá (Colombia). The result was the elaboration of an agenda that complements the territorial demands of the affected communities with the proposals raised from civil society and the academy.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

On May 17 and 18, the workshop was organized by the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure and the Regional Coalition for Transparency and Participation. The workshop sought to strengthen the joint action of civil society (communities, movements and social organizations, national and local) that are being affected by projects financed by Chinese banking and what monitor the social and environmental impacts of these investments in Latin America.

Topics related to the social and environmental policies currently implemented by Chinese institutions, the analysis of Chinese funding in the region, the projects to which it is intended and the identification of the impacts of these projects on the environment and human rights were addressed. We attended civil society representatives from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and representatives of native and peasant communities.

We emphasize the alarming situation of environmental defenders in Chinese investment contexts in countries of the region, who are not only criminalized for the defense of their collective rights but also lack the protection of the State . We succeeded in strengthening the Continental Alliance to follow up on Chinese investments to face the geopolitical strategy that seeks to maintain the constant export model of raw materials in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Those of us participating in the workshop agree that weakening the environmental and social frameworks of the region does not guarantee respect for the rights of the communities involved in the area of ​​influence of the projects that are financed by Chinese banks. Added to this is the non-binding nature of the Chinese banking guidelines. The non-existence of protection at the national level and at the level of multilateral banking puts the communities that are being affected by the investment at risk.

As a result of the Workshop, an advocacy agenda was drawn up that brings together and complements the territorial demands of the affected communities with the reform proposals put forward by civil society and academia. In this regard, at the international level, new standards for companies and Chinese banking are proposed that guarantee compliance, greater participation and effective consultation processes; At the national level, a joint strategy that will reverse the weakening of socio-environmental legislation and provide guarantees of equitable access to justice for environmental defenders.

More information


María Victoria Gerbaldo, victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org

From April 18 to 22, the World Bank’s spring meetings were held in Washington. On April 20 we presented a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America with the NGOs that make up GREFI.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Spring meetings of the World Bank are being held in Washington, DC from April 18 to 22. On April 20 we presented a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America with the NGOs that make up GREFI.

From April 18 to 22, the Spring Meetings of the World Bank took place in Washington. These meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (GBM) meet annually with central bank authorities, finance and development ministers, private sector executives and representatives of academic circles.

The aim is to discuss issues of global concern, such as the global economic outlook, the end of poverty, economic development and aid effectiveness. In addition, seminars, regional briefings, press conferences and many other activities focusing on the world economy, international development and the global financial system are organized.

Within this framework and within the Civil Society Policy Forum, we will be presenting, together with the NGOs that make up the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure, a panel on the legal framework of Public-Private Partnership Projects and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America. Martha Torres Marcos-Ibanez of Law, Environment and Natural Resources will moderate the panel. The exhibitors will be Vanessa Torres from Environment and Society Association, María José Romero from Eurodad, Nancy Alexander from Heinrich Boell Foundation and Heike Mainhardt from Bank Information Center (BIC).

Public-private partnership (PPP) projects have gained a key role in the development of infrastructure projects in Latin America. In this context, the legal framework of PPPs has been deepened in several countries of the region in order to improve and promote the use of this form of investment in the implementation of mega projects in Latin America. It is becoming more common to see how the private sector is taking on the responsibilities and duties of the state alone, and the best example is the provision of public services and the development of infrastructure. In this regard, PPPs have been used by governments as a powerful tool to boost the economy through increased infrastructure development and as a mechanism to bridge the infrastructure gap. This panel intends to report on the legal framework of PPPs in Latin America, more precisely in Peru and Colombia. The legal instruments used by the private sector and the State will be developed to implement the PPPs and will focus on the gaps in the legal framework that generate environmental and social risks in the implementation of infrastructure projects under APP.

On 20 April, we also moderated a panel on accountability mechanisms in financial institutions. We also participated in meetings with the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

More information



Juan Carballo – juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

On December 5, the Workshop on Mechanisms for Accountability and Civil Society was held in Bogotá. The workshop was jointly organized by the Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs) of the Inter-American Development Bank (Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism / MICI) and the World Bank Group (Inspection Panel and Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman CAO), in collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs), Environment and Society Association, and the Regional Group on Financing and Infrastructure (GREFI).

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


Independent accountability mechanisms were established to address the grievances of people affected by environmental and social impacts of development projects funded by multilateral institutions. Since CSOs sometimes work to support affected communities through capacity-building efforts and support in access resources, IAMs carry out proactive public outreach in collaboration with CSOs throughout Latin America to publicize Their services with civil society networks and that both sides can broaden their perspectives.

In this sense, the three main objectives of the event were:

– Allow Colombian CSOs to become more familiar with the IAMs and the conflict resolution and enforcement services they provide;

– To allow IAMs to expand their relationship with CSOs in Colombia, especially with local organizations and communities that are in populations potentially affected by projects; Y

– Provide a space for dialogue between IAMs and CSOs, in order to exchange experiences, reflections and points of view on accountability issues related to public and private sector development projects in Colombia.

The one-day workshop included presentations by the different IAMs about their services and examples of their work; CSO presentations on their experiences with the activation of the mechanisms, as well as tools to access project information; Small discussion groups related to the access and work of the IAMs and a broader discussion on the trends of accountability in Colombia.

Source: Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad


Juan Carballo, <juanmcarballo@fundeps.org>

What information is available about Chinese investments in Latin-America and the Caribbean? How do these investments affect the natural resources governance in Peru, Colombia, Argentina y Mexico?

El Grupo Regional de Financiamiento e Infraestructura (GREFI) analizó los cambios que se están produciendo en el flujo de inversiones chinas en la región y sus impactos en la gobernanza de los recursos naturales, en un evento en el marco de las Reuniones de Primavera del Banco Mundial y el FMI de este año.

A lo largo de las últimas décadas, las relaciones entre China y América Latina se han intensificado enormemente. Se estima que el intercambio de comercial ha crecido de 12 mil a 169 mil millones de dólares entre los años 2000 al 2014 y el año 2015. En este sentido, Pekín anunció la creación de un fondo de inversión de 10 mil millones de dórales para la cooperación bilateral con Latinoamérica para proyectos de tecnología, energía, minería e infraestructura. Su estrategia de crecimiento en América Latina es bastante clara.

Frente a sus inmensas necesidades de materias primas, llega a competir con otras instituciones financieras que por su larga historia y por el trabajo realizado a partir de grandes movimientos de la sociedad civil de la región, han ido generando mecanismos de acceso a la información y políticas para la protección socioambiental. Estos procesos han sido largos y siguen su curso. Nuevos desafíos como la armonización del derecho a la consulta previa y el cambio climático con las estrategias de crecimiento económico para nuestros países, ha hecho que se sigan exigiendo cambios y mejoras.

Con la llegada de China y una alta canalización de recursos en la región, acompañados de una estrategia clara en cuanto su modelo de crecimiento en la región que necesita de materias primas a un ritmo constante, GREFI trae a la discusión algunas preguntas que creemos fundamentales para nuestros países ¿Qué sucede cuando un actor de estas características llega a nuestros países? ¿Cómo se puede acceder a la información sobre las inversiones procedentes de China en la región? ¿Cómo impactan estas inversiones?

Los conflictos socioambientales relacionados a inversiones extractivas y de infraestructura son una realidad reciente debido a marcos regulatorios débiles, baja capacidad de supervisión de los mismos, conflictos entre diferentes niveles de gobierno e mecanismo de consulta ciudadana inadecuados o inexistentes, entre muchos otros factores. Sumado a esto es importante considerar el poco conocimiento que todavía se tiene sobre las compañías chinas, y sobre todo de los marcos regulatorios nacionales con los que trabajan.

La falta de transparencia, el poco acceso a información relevante sobre financiamiento chino y acuerdos bilaterales firmados, es otro asunto sobre el que todos debemos demandar cambios, antes que nuestra capacidad de exigencia se haga más pequeña en comparación con la creciente influencia de china en las políticas de desarrollo en América Latina.


El Grupo Regional sobre Financiamiento e Infraestructura (GREFI)está integrado por cuatro organizaciones de la sociedad civil de la región de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC): Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad (AAS) de Colombia; Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR) de Perú; Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación de México; y la Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (FUNDEPS) de Argentina.

Fuente: www.grefi.info



Juan Carballo – Director Ejecutivo


Gonzalo Roza – Área de Gobernabilidad Global


In the framework of a public consult made last December 8th in the city of México, over 180 Civil Society Organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean sent their position regarding the second draft of the new Environmental and Social Framework of the World Bank. They asked for answers to the representatives of the region that are part of the Executive Board.

El pasado martes 8 de diciembre el Banco Mundial llevó adelante, en la ciudad de México, una consulta pública en relación al segundo borrador del nuevo Marco Ambiental y Social (MAS), en el marco de la revisión de las Políticas de Salvaguardas de la Institución. Este proceso, iniciado hace ya más de tres años, ha tenido una participación limitada de la ciudadanía y representantes de organizaciones de la sociedad civil (OSC), no ha sido ampliamente difundido y ha carecido de información oportuna para su revisión de manera previa a la consulta y de criterios claros que establezcan cómo los representantes del Banco responderán a las preocupaciones y propuestas que las OSC han realizado.

El nuevo borrador del MAS está siendo ampliamente criticado por diversos motivos. En particular, se destaca que el Banco no tiene un compromiso explícito respecto a respetar los derechos humanos, que se refleje en sus políticas. El MAS propuesto evita referencias a estándares internacionales en materia de derechos humanos, lo que es indispensable si se quiere lograr un desarrollo sustentable. Además, el Marco está permeado de un lenguaje ambiguo, es decir, no cuenta con procedimientos definidos, plazos claros y criterios y requisitos obligatorios.

Además, la propuesta del Banco deja abierto el cumplimiento de los estándares, es decir, no define claramente cuándo ni cómo se debe cumplir con lo establecido en el MAS. En el marco vigente, un requisito indispensable consiste en evaluar los impactos y riesgos ambientales y sociales de manera previa a la aprobación de un proyecto, así como publicar las evaluaciones antes de la fase de evaluación de proyectos de alto riesgo. El nuevo Marco, por el contrario, establece que las evaluaciones ambientales y sociales deben iniciarse “lo más temprano posible”, por lo que de entrada pone en riesgo los procesos de consulta, ya que éstos no pueden realizarse de manera efectiva sin que se cuente con la información completa y detallada acerca de un determinado proyecto.

Por esto, más de 180 organizaciones de la región de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC), entre ellas FUNDEPS, se han posicionado frente a este borrador, que va en contra de la misión principal del Banco Mundial sobre erradicar la pobreza extrema y promover una prosperidad compartida. Las organizaciones solicitan una respuesta por parte de los Directores Ejecutivos que representan a la región de ALC.

El MAS del Banco Mundial baja el estándar tanto para el propio Banco, como para toda la comunidad internacional. En lugar de promover un fortalecimiento de estándares, este borrador estimula que otros bancos multilaterales, instituciones financieras internacionales, bancos nacionales de desarrollo y otras iniciativas en el ámbito de desarrollo bajen sus estándares o carezcan de incentivos para fortalecerlos en aras de tener una mayor competitividad.

Más información:


Gonzalo Roza – Coordinador del Área de Gobernabilidad Global

As a part of the Financing and Infrastructure Regional Group (GREFI), FUNDEPS organizes a workshop on Accountability Mechanisms and Civil Society in Lima.

Este evento se organiza en el marco de las Reuniones Anuales del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) y del Grupo del Banco Mundial, que tienen lugar en Lima del 6 al 12 de octubre del presente año.

Los mecanismos de queja independientes (MQI) de las bancas multilaterales se crearon con el objetivo de resolver reclamos presentados por comunidades afectadas por los impactos sociales y ambientales generados por la ejecución de proyectos de desarrollo con financiamiento proveniente de estos organismos.

La experiencia muestra que uno de los obstáculos para activar dichos mecanismos es el escaso conocimiento que existe por parte de la sociedad civil sobre éstos y su funcionamiento, de tal manera que puedan ser integrados a estrategias integrales de defensa de derechos frente a proyectos de desarrollo.

En este contexto, el taller tiene como objetivo promover el diálogo con los encargados de diferentes mecanismos de queja y representantes de la sociedad civil, con el fin de dar a conocer distintos MQIs presentes en la región; su funcionamiento; y fomentar un intercambio de experiencias y perspectivas relacionadas a los mecanismos.

El taller contará con la presencia de representantes del Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) de la Corporación Financiera y el Panel de Inspección (PI) del Banco Mundial, del Mecanismo de Queja del Banco de Inversión Europea y del Mecanismo Independiente de Consulta e Investigación (MICI) del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. Asimismo, participan diferentes representantes de organizaciones de sociedad civil y de movimientos sociales de la región.


Más información:



The frame of activities for the Conference of Parties in the framework convention on the Lima Climate Change Conference, will discuss how international funding and socio environmental safeguards in infrastructure projects in Latin America have an impact on the Amazon jungle.

This event has been jointly organised by FUNDAR, Centre of Analysis and Investigation (Mexico), Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies- FUNDEPS (Argentina) Association for Environment and Society AAS (Colombia) and the Right of the Environment and Natural Resources- DAR (Peru) all constituting as the regional group for Funding and Infrastructure.
The discussion forms part of the Conference of Parties in the framework convention on climate change in Lima. The speakers will tackle the actual state of funding for infrastructure in Latin America from traditional banks like the World Bank Group/ International Finance Corporation and the new bank from the BRIC Countries. A comparative analysis of four projects with external funding has been carried out in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, evaluating the impacts on the Amazon forest and the instruments (safeguards) for the management of social and environmental risks.

It will especially be about the negative example of Brazil and the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES, its acronym in Portuguese). The BNDES, who also funds projects outside of Brazil, has been accused of its lack of transparency, of described social and environmental norms, which have been clearly defined, and the mechanisms guaranteeing the fulfillment of national laws.
It is feared that the recent creation of the BRICS nations bank will neither put enough emphasis on the norms that protect the environment and society in the process of its application. This reality is affecting the policies of traditional banks, such as the World Bank Group or the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Those countries seeking to attract more investment will also react to the changes in the available international funding. Large infrastructure projects that ignore the environmental concerns, such are the cases of CVIS (Peru), Mocoa Pasto (Colombia), Coca Codo Sinclair (Ecuador) and the TIPNIS (Bolivia), are proof of it.

A panel of experts on climate change, megaprojects and governance (transparency, participation, risk management) will debate the key ideas and any advance of the previously mentioned analysis. The session will also give the public the possibility to participate in the debate.

Key questions:

1.How can banks apply safeguards on project funding in Latin America to prevent social conflicts and environmental disasters?
2.What is the role of the new national and regional banks in the funding of regional infrastructure?
3.How the weakening of standards in funding the region affects the countries system? How can these react in front of new challenges?

More information:

Details on the logistics of the event
Panorama on the funding for infrastructure in Latin America
Guideline for the discussion. Implementation of a Freedom of Information Policy for The Brazilian Development Bank
Paradigmatic cases of BNDES investment in South America. Need and opportunity to improve internal policies


Gonzalo Roza / Coordinator of Global Governance

Translated by: Gisela Quevedo

The event’s agenda revolved around the governance of and trends of investments in infrastructure in Latin America, and on the necessity of improved communication on the part of Latin American civil society in the face of a complicated and challenging regional backdrop.

The regional workshop “Trends in Investments in Infrastructure in the Region: Climate Change and Governance” took place in the city of Lima (Peru) on the 24th and 25th of April. Its objective was to examine and debate the economic and socio-environmental impact of investments in infrastructure financed by the multilateral development bank and by the national development banks of Latin America. The event was organized by AAyS (Environment and Society Association) of Colombia; CDES (Center for Economic and Social Rights) of Ecuador; CEDLA (Center of Studies for Labor and Agrarian Development) of Bolivia; DAR (Environmental Law and Natural Resources) of Peru; IBASE (Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Analysis) of Brazil; FUNDAR Center for Analysis and Research of Mexico, and FUNDEPS (Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policy) of Argentina.

The first day of the event was dedicated to the presentation of papers and publications that the organizations of the region have been carrying out in the past few months. These papers covered various topics: the current situation of governance and financing of infrastructure in the region; socio-environmental safeguards and human rights; and climate change.  The presentations revolved around the infrastructure megaprojects in the Amazon, the financing of infrastructure by the multilateral development bank and by the national development banks, Chinese investment in the region, the financing of Climate Change, and the processes of citizen participation in spaces like UNASUR and BNDES, among other topics. Simultaneously, there was a space dedicated to the discussion around the adpotation of a strategy on the part of Latin American civil society in relation to the upcoming COP-20 (Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), to take place in the city of Lima in December of this year.
With these discussions the conference articulated the complex situation of infrastructure finance in the region:
  • Multiplicity of involved actors, be they multilateral international banks like the World Bank or regional multilateral banks like BId and CAF; national development banks like Brazil’s BNDES;
  • More global forums and spaces, like the G-20, the BRICS or UNASUR itself, via its Council on Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) charged with implementing the criticized IIRSA initiative in the region.
  • Growing Chinese investment in the region
  • Greater participation of the private sector either directly or via public-private partnerships.
  • Weakening of environmental safeguards on the part of the principal institutions offering financing
  • Failure on the part of the states to effectively observe and guarantee human rights when driving development projects.
On the second day of the event, the agenda was centered on a workshop activity in which the participants, members of diverse organizations and civil society network from the majority of the countries of the region, worked to identify priorities and to advance in the development of a strategic agenda that would allow the region to effectively confront such a complex and troublesome situation.
The Lima workshop is an important step in the direction of improved communication and coordination among the diverse organizations of the region, allowing for effective change on issues that would be impossible to deal with individually. Therefore, we invite all interested organizations to join us in the process of communication and collective work to promote a development model for our region that is more sustainable, participative, and respectful of human rights.
Translated by: Savannah Mcdermott