Tag Archive for: Social and Environmental Standards

On April 1, the Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) presented an evaluation report of the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (MICI) corresponding to the period 2015-2020. The evaluation examined the Mechanism’s policy and its application, with the aim of informing the Boards of the IDB and IDB Invest on the extent to which the MICI has been an effective and efficient mechanism in the resolution of claims associated with environmental and social impacts of projects financed by the Bank.

“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”

In its report, the Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) determined that the current MICI policy corrected important issues identified in its last evaluation of 2012. Among the main advances, it highlighted the solution to the problems of accountability and associated conflicts of interest. to the previous organizational structure, as well as the duplication problems of the eligibility instance; the establishment of deadlines for the management of requests; and the creation of instances for the participation of the administration. Likewise, he highlighted a greater consistency between the policy, the guidelines developed, and the associated processes.

The evaluation also highlighted the progress made in the internal functioning of the MICI, as a result of the restructuring of the mechanism, as well as the process of consolidation and institutional learning. The mechanism has been able to define its work plan and manage its human and budgetary resources independently of the IDB Group administration.

However, judicial exclusion, a key issue, remained pending. It is one of the exceptions of the internal policy to the eligibility of applications and establishes that those matters raised in an application that are being the subject of arbitration or judicial processes in a member country of the IDB Group are not eligible.

Although judicial exclusion was identified by OVE in 2012 as a limiting factor for the effective and independent functioning of the MICI, it was maintained in the reformulated policy in 2014. Likewise, there are other limitations that have emerged in the application of the policy in recent years. 5 years but that, to a large extent, have been paid for by the MICI. This shows that there is sufficient margin for the mechanism to manage the limitations of the current policy.

Access to the MICI

Regarding access to the mechanism, OVE identified that the MICI is not yet well known among applicants. Realizing that between the different institutional levels there is a lack of consensus on the importance of publicizing the mechanism and the way to achieve it. An issue that should not be overlooked, since access to the MICI depends on the knowledge that people have about the existence of the mechanism.
For their part, those who were able to access the MICI found that their applications were not registered due to the difficulty in complying with some requirements. In this regard, the IDB Group does not have a claims management system, which makes it impossible to know the number of concerns that the administration receives.

Case management

Regarding case management, although the MICI is operating in accordance with the principles established in its policy: independence, objectivity, impartiality, transparency and efficiency; Their ability to act independently is affected by being subject to the decisions of the Board of Executive Directors.

In accordance with its policy, the Board controls the possibility of initiating an investigation in the Compliance Verification Phase (FVO) and decides whether or not to approve the recommendations of an MICI investigation. Originally, the approval of the Board of Directors to continue with an investigation was thought as a short procedure but it has come to be conformed as a contentious procedure affecting the independence of the MICI.

Finally, many ongoing investigations have presented delays related to the complexity of the projects and themes. Complaints were also filed by the applicants about the length and slowness of the processes in the Compliance Verification Phase (FVO), which reduces the possibilities of effective redress.


After identifying the main difficulties in the current operation of the mechanism, OVE proposed a series of recommendations to be adopted by the MICI. Among the main ones, in the first place, the elimination of judicial exclusion and the strengthening of its internal capacities stand out. In turn, OVE highlighted the need to reinforce the independence of the mechanism and ensure the adoption of corrective measures when there are findings of non-compliance with the policies and related damages.

Remembering that one of the main objectives of the IDB Group is to improve the quality of life in the region, monitoring its policy is a key tool to guarantee compliance with socio-environmental safeguards and transparency in the development of projects. funded. If the recommendations made by OVE are applied, it would imply a declaration of commitment by MICI to the users, who, among other complaints, have systematically insisted on an improvement in the conditions for accessing the mechanism.

Based on this evaluation, one might wonder if the limitations of the current policy can be rectified by incorporating OVE’s recommendations or if these limitations, on the contrary, make a new comprehensive review of the policy necessary, a measure that has been ruled out by OVE until the moment.

At Fundeps, we consider that there are still many obstacles to overcome to guarantee an effective and independent action of the mechanism, especially regarding the need to nullify judicial exclusion. However, we highlight the importance of these types of entities that are beneficial for both the public and private sectors, and especially for the communities affected by IDB Group investments.

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Clara Labat 

Julieta Boretti


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Argentina and China are advancing in the negotiations for the construction of Atucha III, the fourth nuclear power plant in our country, with Chinese technology and financing. US officials expressed their concern to the President of the Nation on a recent visit.

The Ambassador of Argentina in China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, the Secretary of Energy of the Nation, Darío Martinez, and the director of Nucleoeléctrica Argentina, Isidro Baschar, held, on April 6, a meeting with the directors of the National Agency for Energía de China (NEA) and the China Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), in which they agreed to boost negotiations for the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in Argentina.

The representatives of Argentina and China reviewed the status of the negotiations for the construction of the nuclear power plant in our country with Chinese technology. In addition, they explored the possibility of expanding the bilateral link in other areas of cooperation, such as the Argentine export of services and components for Chinese nuclear projects and the life extension of nuclear power plants in China.

The Secretary of Energy, Darío Martinez, affirmed that “the project of the IV Nuclear Power Plant has the full support of the President of the Nation and is on the list of priority projects between both countries.” Likewise, Sabino Vaca Narvaja explained that “Argentina has a highly developed platform in the nuclear sector with its own developments and a unique scientific base in the region. Achieving our fourth nuclear power plant, in addition to expanding our energy sovereignty, will place us at the forefront of a sector with historical development in our country ”.

For his part, the Deputy Director of the Department of Nuclear Energy of NEA, Qin Zhijun, stressed the importance of nuclear energy in the Chinese development strategy, in particular, considering the need to have a diversified energy matrix, as well as the importance of nuclear energy in the fight against climate change.

Worry in Washington

On April 14, two high-ranking officials of the United States government arrived in Argentina. The Director for the Western Hemisphere of the National Security Council, Juan Gonzalez, and the Acting Undersecretary of the State Department for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung, shared a lunch with the President of the Nation, Alberto Fernandez at Quinta de Olivos . Also, in the evening, they shared a dinner with the President of the National Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa.

Joe Biden’s government officials asked the Argentine government for “prudence” in relation to China. Likewise, they expressed their concern about the project for the construction of the Atucha III nuclear power plant, with financing and technology from China.

The concern on the part of the United States in the construction of the nuclear power plant with technology and financing from China reflects that Argentina is not exempt from the current political dynamics characterized by competition between the two giants.

Atucha III, the fourth nuclear power plant in the country

The construction of this project is scheduled to be located at the Atucha Nuclear Complex, located in Lima, Zárate district, about 100 km from the City of Buenos Aires. In this same complex are the Atucha I and II nuclear power plants.

According to Nucleoeléctrica Argentina S.A, the negotiations contemplate that the reactor to be built in the new plant is a Hualong HPR1000 Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) of Chinese origin. How do these reactors work? Basically they use enriched uranium as a source of heat (thermal energy), which is transported by high pressure water to a steam generator, which in turn converts that water into steam that drives an electricity generating turbine. This is the type of reactor most used in the world for electricity generation.

With regard to risks, NASA assures that “the safety levels of the Hualong reactor are significantly high and the risks of delay during construction are reduced.”

This new plant would be capable of generating 1200 MWe of gross energy. To put this in perspective, the Atucha I, Atucha II and Embalse reactors generate 362 MWe, 745 MWe and 656 MWe respectively.

Given the characteristics of the project in question, the type of energy to be used, the controversy regarding the technology to be used and its impact on the external positioning of the Argentine Republic in a context of dispute between the United States and China, from Fundeps we propose the need to that the national State faces the negotiation process in a transparent way and provides a broad framework for debate within Argentine society regarding the project and the use of atomic energy.

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  • Mariano Camoletto
  • Andres Paratz

Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

On the eve of the next trip to China, the Argentine government negotiates infrastructure investment agreements worth close to 30 billion dollars.

“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 President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, will visit the President of China, Xi Jinping, on May 5. One of the backbones of the meeting will be the negotiations for the entry of the South American nation to the Silk Road project and the landing of 5G technology from the hand of Huawei. In addition, it is expected that other important agreements for the bilateral relationship will be discussed, such as the expansion of the Caucharí solar energy park in Jujuy, infrastructure projects, livestock, investments and financing.

After a 2020 characterized by the health and economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the Argentine government advances in investment agreements with China for a value close to 30 billion dollars. Argentina has 15 infrastructure projects on the list to present to China. These agreements are of great importance for the national government, mainly in view of the necessary reactivation of the Argentine economy.

The projects that Argentina prioritizes for investment from China are the rehabilitation plan of the San Martín Railway system, improvements to the Roca Railway line, infrastructure works on the Miter and Urquiza railway, the redefinition of the Belgrano Cargas railway network and the incorporation of rolling stock for passengers. In parallel, the installation of smart pig farms is being discussed. It is estimated that the value of the investment would be around 3.8 billion dollars for a period of four years, in addition to the objective of producing 882 thousand tons of meat for a value of 2.5 billion dollars.

Likewise, the landing of Chinese investments in mining is discussed, especially in the production of copper and lithium in northern Argentina. Regarding lithium, Argentina signed an agreement with Jiangsu Jiankang Automobile (JJA) for the production of vehicles and batteries in the country. The list of projects includes the remodeling of the Chaco-Corrientes bridge, the construction of an aqueduct and water treatment plants, road corridors and the development of a logistics hub in Tierra del Fuego.

Regarding investments in energy, the president has in his portfolio five main works that require large investments that he will request from the Asian giant. This plan prepared by the Secretary of Energy, Darío Martinez, and the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, stands out for the non-inclusion of one of the most demanded works by China: the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in the country with Chinese technology . This works plan includes the construction of the southern gas pipeline, the electric grid in AMBA, the electric grid in Patagonia, the Mesopotamia pipeline and the construction of a thermal power plant.

The construction of the fourth nuclear power plant began to take shape during the government of Cristina Fernández for a value of 12 billion dollars. With Mauricio Macri in power, the cost was lowered to 9 billion. However, with the economic crisis and Macri’s electoral defeat, the project came to a standstill. The arrival of Alberto Fernandez meant for China the possibility of discussing the realization of the project. Another work that does not appear in this plan is the construction of the Chihuido hydroelectric dam in Neuquén. This work claimed by Russia and China would remain in the hands of Germany.

One year after the start of the pandemic in Argentina and the measures that have been adopted to act accordingly, the link with China has deepened. The Chinese market has become the main destination for beef exports from Argentina. Bilateral trade between the two countries, which in 2000 was around 2 billion dollars, closed in 2019 at a value close to 16.3 billion dollars, with Argentine exports for 7 billion dollars and imports for 9 billion dollars. of dollars. In addition, the Argentine government closed an agreement with the pharmaceutical company Sinopharm in early February for the shipment of 1 million doses and the arrival of another 3 million doses is expected at the end of March.

This new boost to the relationship with China is expected to be strategic, commercially balanced and accompanied by the necessary responsibility in environmental and social matters.

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Mariano Camoletto


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org