Environmental and Social Policies

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 When we provide governments with financing to invest in projects — such as building a road, connecting people to electricity, or treating waste water — we aim to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from potential adverse impacts. We do this through policies that identify, avoid, and minimize harm to people and the environment. These policies require the borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive World Bank support for investment projects. We know from experience that including environmental and social considerations into project design and implementation improves development outcomes.

Safeguard Policies
The current environmental and social policies of the Bank are known as the "Safeguard Policies," the mechanism for addressing environmental and social issues in our project design, implementation and operation, and they provide a framework for consultation with communities and for public disclosure. Examples of these requirements include conducting environmental and social impact assessments, consulting with affected communities about potential project impacts, and restoring the livelihoods of displaced people.

Environmental and Social Framework
In August 2016, the World Bank adopted a new set of environment and social policies called the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). As of October 1, 2018, the ESF applies to all new World Bank investment project financing. With existing projects continuing to apply the Safeguard Policies, the two systems will run in parallel for an estimated seven years.

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The Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies

The World Bank’s current environmental and social policies, consisting of our 11 Operational Policies.

Operational Policies

Bank Procedures

Piloting the Use of Borrower Systems to Address Environmental and Social Safeguard Issues in Bank-Supported Projects 

Table A1 - Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies - Policy Objectives and Operational Principles

Piloting the Use of Borrower Systems to Address Environmental and Social Safeguard Issues in Bank-Supported Projects  

Environmental Assessment
Annex A - Definitions
Annex B - Content of an Environmental Assessment Report for a Category A Project
Annex C - Environmental Management Plan   

Environmental Assessment
Annex A - Application of EA to Dam and Reservoir Projects
Annex B - Application of EA to Projects Involving Pest Management

Environmental Action Plans   

Environmental Action Plans  

Performance Standards for Private Sector Activites

Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities

Natural Habitats
Annex A - Definitions

Natural Habitats

Pest Management    

 

Indigenous Peoples,
Annex A - Social Assessment
Annex B - Indigenous Peoples Plan
Annex C - Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework   

Indigenous Peoples

Physical Cultural Resources

Physical Cultural Resources

Involuntary Resettlement
Annex A - Involuntary Resettlement Instructions

Involuntary Resettlement

Forests
Annex A - Definitions  

Forests

Safety of Dams

Safety of Dams
Annex A - Dam Safety Reports: Content and Timing

Projects in Disputed Areas

Projects in Disputed Areas

Projects on International Waterways

Projects on International Waterways

Performance Standards for Private Sector Projects Supported by IBRD/IDA - On June 26, 2012, the Board of Executive Directors approved adoption and application of World Bank Performance Standards to be used for Bank financing or support (e.g., Partial Risk Guarantees) which is destined to projects, or components thereof, that are owned, constructed, and/or operated by the private sector, in place of the World Bank environmental and social Safeguard Policies (R2012-0130;IDA/R2012-0161). 

Technical assistance for preparatory work for private sector engagement in Public-Private Partnerships would be eligible, as well as investment operations that include medium -or long-term management contracts, affermage/leases, privatizations, concessions, and projects within the Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) family.  Financial Intermediary lending also is a candidate, provided the Bank lending or guarantee to the financial intermediary is designated for subprojects implemented by the private sector or private parties. 

-        Board Paper
-        OP 4.03 Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities
-        BP 4.03 Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities
-        IFC Performance Standards


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