Environmental and Social Policy Framework
Improving the Environmental and Social Sustainability of IDB Operations

We are happy to announce that our new Environmental and Social Policy Framework (ESPF)  entered into effect on October 31st, 2021.  We are also pleased to present the borrower guidelines developed in consultation with diverse stakeholders throughout the region.  The ESPF and its guidelines are the result of a rigorous drafting and review process that spanned 32 months and was based on an inclusive, transparent, and participatory process.

Environmental and Social Policy Framework

The Environmental and Social Policy Framework (ESPF) sets ambitious new standards in several areas and provides IDB clients with cutting-edge provisions to manage environmental and social issues. The new ESPF places respect for human rights at the core of environmental and social risk management and includes a dedicated, stand-alone standard on gender equality. It also has a new standard on labor and working conditions that is aligned with core international conventions.

To download the full ESPF, click on your preferred language:

The ESPF also includes considerations of risks associated with pandemics and epidemics, and is aligned with international best practices on biodiversity protection and conservation. Additionally, the ESPF includes specific circumstances under which free, prior, and informed consent is required from indigenous peoples, and requires differentiated management measures for vulnerable subsections of the population, including African descendants, persons with disabilities, and people of different sexual orientations and gender identities, among others.  To ensure an open, transparent, and inclusive engagement during project design and implementation, the ESPF also includes a stand-alone Standard on Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure which, among other enhanced provisions, requires clients to implement project-level grievance mechanisms.

Environmental and Social Performance Standards and Related Resources

The ESPF includes a policy statement which outlines the roles and responsibilities, the scope of the framework and the IDB's commitments.  The policy statement is followed by ten Environmental and Social Performance Standards (ESPS) describing the borrower requirements.  This framework encourages positive environmental and social outcomes for Bank-financed projects, while minimizing the risks and negative impacts to people and the environment. 


Environmental and Social Performance Standards - English


The IDB has developed a series of guidelines and resources to provide practical guidance on the implementation of each performance standard. These guidelines are not intended to establish policy, but explain the requirements of each performance standard, offering good practices to improve project performance. 

These guidelines are available in the Bank's official languages.  To download the full borrower guidelines click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Have the IDB'S Environmental and Social Policies Changed?

The environmental and social context of the Latin America and the Caribbean region has evolved since the IDB’s current safeguards policies were developed more than 15 years ago. The ESPF modernizes many of the requirements under those policies into one consolidated and comprehensive framework which better responds to the environmental and social challenges facing our countries, focusing on issues related to social inequality, climate change and depletion of natural capital.

What is the Scope of its Application?

The ESPF applies to all new IDB-financed investment loans, investment grants, and investment guarantees.  It also applies to certain Policy-Based Loans and Technical Cooperation.  Existing projects will continue to apply the Bank’s current Safeguard Policies.

What Policies Does the ESPF Replace?

The ESPF supersedes the environmental and social risk and impact management sections of the following sectoral policies: Environment and Safeguards Compliance Policy (OP-703); Disaster Risk Management Policy (OP-704); Involuntary Resettlement Policy (OP-710); Policy on Gender Equality in Development (OP-761); and Indigenous Peoples Policy (OP-765).

Sectoral Policies OP-703; OP-704; OP-710; OP-761; and OP-765 will continue to apply for all matters related to the Bank's mainstreaming work on issues in those Policies. “Mainstreaming” refers to IDB’s proactive actions to address environmental and social issues strategically as cross-cutting dimensions of development.

Other relevant documents and information

Information on the Public Consultations Undertaken for the ESPF

Europe (Brussels):





United States (Washington, DC):


The following consultations meetings were held:




January, 30-31, 2020 Brussels, Belgium
February 18-19,2020 Panama City, Panama
February 27-28,2020 Kingston, Jamaica
March 3-4,2020 Lima, Peru
March 9-10, 2020 Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 13, 2020 Washington, DC*
March 23 and 31, 2020 Asia*

*Virtual Meetings


Public Consultation Plan

The IDB’s Draft Environmental and Social Policy Framework at a Glance