The Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a new Environmental and Social Policy Framework (ESPF). The new ESPF is the result of a rigorous process that spanned 20 months and was based on an inclusive, transparent, and participatory public consultation process. An External Advisory Panel of Experts also helped improve the framework by providing valuable contributions.
The ESPF sets ambitious new standards in several areas and provides the IDB’s clients with leading-edge provisions to tackle environmental and social issues. It elevates respect for human rights to the core of environmental and social risk management and includes a dedicated, stand-alone standard on gender equality. A new standard on labor and working conditions aligns with the core international conventions and instruments.
The new policy framework also includes consideration of risks associated with pandemics and epidemics, and it aligns with international best practices on biodiversity protection and conservation. In addition, the ESPF stipulates when free, prior, and informed consent is required from indigenous peoples, mandates protections for African descendants and persons with disabilities, and requires consideration of race, ethnicity, age, and social conditions. To obtain open, transparent, and inclusive engagement around projects, the ESPF also includes a stand-alone stakeholders’ engagement and information disclosure standard, which requires clients to routinely implement grievance mechanisms.
Moreover, an exclusion list now identifies activities that the IDB will not finance because they could adversely impact people and the environment, or because they are inconsistent with the IDB’s commitment to addressing climate change and promoting environmental and social sustainability.
The IDB now enters a period of approximately one year during which it will help clients prepare to implement the new policy framework. Once this period is over, the ESPF will apply to the preparation and execution of all new IDB-financed operations.
The ESPF and related documents of interest are available on the IDB’s website
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region.