The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is hosting a series of consultation workshops this week to get feedback from external stakeholders on the Second Draft of the Safeguard Policy Statement which is part of an ongoing safeguard policy update.
Around 70 participants, including representatives from civil society organizations, government agencies, business, academic institutions, and multilateral and bilateral organizations, will be attending the multi-stakeholder consultation session at ADB headquarters from 19 to 20 November. A separate consultation session will be held on 18 November for Indigenous Peoples.
In response to requests from the NGO Forum on ADB, a coalition of civil society groups that monitor ADB operations, ADB will also host a half-day post-consultation dialogue on the draft on 21 November at ADB headquarters.
ADB is pulling together currently separate policies on involuntary resettlement, indigenous peoples, and the environment under one policy statement to improve clarity, coherence, and consistency, enhance their relevance to the changing needs, and strengthen their effectiveness.
ADB’s safeguards seek to ensure that development projects are designed to respond to the views and needs of affected communities, including indigenous groups, and that the environment is protected.
“ADB’s safeguards are central to achieving inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and poverty reduction. The policy update will make our safeguards more effective and relevant. We are continuing to ensure that borrowers, civil society and others have opportunities to engage actively in the process,” said Nessim Ahmad, Director of ADB’s Environment and Social Safeguards Division.
The workshop is the culmination of an extensive consultation process that has included 14 consultation dialogues with stakeholders from Asia and the Pacific, North America and Europe, as well as written submissions. The second draft of the safeguard policy statement (October 2008) takes into account the broad range of views expressed in the earlier consultations.
A final draft policy paper is expected to be submitted for ADB Board consideration in early 2009.