Bolivia - Bolivia - Santa Barbara-Rurrenabaque Northern Corridor Highway Improvement Program
Summary of the Request
The “Foro Boliviano sobre el Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo” submitted a Request concerning the negative environmental and social impacts that the construction and access of a bridge connecting Rurrenabaque and San Buenaventura in Bolivia could cause to Rurrenabaque and its inhabitants. In addition, the Request alleged the inadequate management of information and of the public consultation process, during which the community’s concerns had not been addressed and the different designs of the bridge project had not been based on social, environmental and urban planning analyses by the Executing Agency, the “Administradora Boliviana de Carreteras” (ABC).
After gathering comments from the Requesters and the Administration, the Panel submitted to the Board of Executive Directors for their consideration, its Recommendation to conduct a Compliance Review and its Terms of Reference. After considering the document, on December 22nd 2014, the Board of Executive Directors decided not to approve the proposed investigation since the bridge, motive of the Request, was not being financed by the Bank. Consequently, processing of Request BO- MICI001-2011was concluded and the case closed by the ICIM.
Less - 2013
In January 2013, the Government of Bolivia informed the Bank’s Representative of its decision to reassign the funds from Loan 1833/SF-BO, previously allocated for the construction of the Rurrenabaque-San Buenaventura Bridge. On March 25, 2013, Bank Management officially notified the Requesters that, in view of the Government’s decision, the Bank would no longer be funding the construction of the bridge or the studies on possible alternative sites for the bridge. Consequently, the Project Ombudsperson terminated the Consultation Phase owing to the lack of adequate conditions for dialogue. The Consultation Phase Report was issued on April 22, 2013.The Requesters then asked that their Request be considered for a Compliance Review, and on October 29, 2013, the Panel Chairperson declared the Request eligible for this Phase.
Less - 2012
The Request was declared eligible for the Consultation Phase, as it was concluded during the assessment stage that the concerns expressed were related to an insufficient analysis of alternatives for the design and location of the bridge, and of the indirect impacts in the Environmental Impact Study, as well as to the lack of consideration in the Environmental Management Plan of actions to mitigate or compensate for those impacts, in addition to an inadequate consultation process. Although there was no opposition to the construction of the bridge from any group consulted, there was opposition to its proposed location and access routes. Additionally, when the MICI entered the process, the relationship and trust among the Parties was already notably eroded. This led the Parties to condition their amenability to the dialogue. In June 2012, the Parties signed an agreement within the framework of the dialogue process, stipulating that the “ABC” would study a second alternative location for the bridge and its access routes. The Requesters agreed to establish a technical committee, including representatives from both towns, responsible for analyzing the second alternative and following up with the new studies. In November 2012, the Parties approved the final text of the contract between the “ABC” and the consulting firm “PROES” to carry out the studies of the second alternative location. The Bank expressed its approval of the terms of the agreement.