WB/Colombia: Increased Support for Environmental Management

March 8, 2012

  • Institutional Strengthening to Promote Green Growth
  • Vulnerable segments of the Population Among Biggest Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2012 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved US$10 million in additional financing today to expand Colombia’s Sustainable Development Investment Project.

To this end it will support the institutionalization of policies aimed at promoting greater environmental health; comprehensive management of water resources; and increased planning and monitoring of environmental management.

“These resources will be crucial in leveraging key projects whose implementation will help improve air quality in cities, thanks to a vehicle inspection center to be built in the medium term that will allow the Ministry to monitor the emission of pollutants in imported vehicles. They will also support a National Water Policy focused on the protection and responsible management of our water resources,” said Frank Pearl, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. “It will also improve the Ministry’s capacity to monitor the environmental management carried out by the organizations that form part of the National Environmental System,” he concluded.

The project focuses on the development and implementation of environmental reforms aimed at improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens. It seeks to contribute especially to the mitigation of the effects of environmental degradation on the most vulnerable and underserved segments of the population, through improvements to the public health system and the quality of life.

One of the objectives of this project is strengthening health and air quality information systems. To achieve this, it will, for example, install a CO2-emission test laboratory for vehicles to monitor air quality and implement technical measures; strengthen the capacity of national and regional environmental authorities to implement noise pollution regulations; and reinforce the provision of environmental information to support the development of water and natural resources information systems.

The loan will also support the training of at least 35 regional environmental officials to give them the ability to prepare watershed-protection plans that incorporate climate risk evaluations in water resources and land use.

Fourteen hydrological stations, seven radars, ten satellite stations and three sediment monitors will be installed to guarantee the reinforcement of the water resource monitoring network and the implementation of the Water Resource Information System.

This way, the loan intends to align the priority placed on economic growth and competitiveness with a rational use of natural resources and the environment in order to promote green growth.

“We support Colombia’s government in the implementation of long-term public policies. We recognize the country’s commitment with the preservation of the environment and we value its efforts to undertake institutional improvements to attain sustainable growth,” said Gloria M. Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia.

The partnership between the World Bank and the Government of Colombia on environmental issues dates back to 1990. Through a wide spectrum of instruments and services, the Bank has given advice on public policy development, investments and financial services such as catastrophe bond issues. It has also facilitated South-South experience exchanges.

This loan has a variable interest rate and margin, and the maturity date is on February 15th, 2030.

Media Contacts
In Colombia
María Clara Ucrós
Tel : (57 - 1) 326-3600
In Washington
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : (202) 458-5054