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Learning Curves

OED
January2007

ADBsEnvironmentalSafeguards
Theonesizefitsallapproachisnoteffective.Itfailstoaddvalueinmanycases. Thereisanoveremphasisonproceduralcompliance.Notenoughattentionispaidtoresults delivery. ThereisaperverseincentiveforADBlendingdecisionstobeactivelydirectedtoavoid financingprojectsthatmighttriggerenvironmentalprocedures. Environmentalsafeguardsandenvironmentalenhancementaretwosidesofthesamecoin. Oneshouldnotbeoveremphasizedattheexpenseoftheother. Mainstreamingmayhaveinadvertentlyreducedthevisibilityofenvironmentalissueswithin ADBactivities. Thequalityofenvironmentalassessmentswasfoundtobeinconsistentandoftendidnot reflectcurrentinternationalgoodpractice.
FiveElementsofthePolicy ontheEnvironment
PolicyElement 1. Environment InterventionsforPoverty Reduction 2. Mainstreaming Environmental Considerationsin EconomicGrowth 3. MaintainingGlobaland RegionalLifeSupport Systems 4. BuildingPartnerships 5. Integrating Environmental ConsiderationsintoADB Operations OperationalContent a. Protection,Conservation,andSustainableUseofNaturalResources b.EnvironmentQualityImprovement c. ReducingVulnerabilitytoNaturalHazardsandPreventingDisasters a. PolicyIntegration b.IntegratedEconomicandEnvironmentDevelopmentPlanning c. StrengtheningRegulatorySystemsandEnvironmentalGovernance d.MarketBasedInstrumentsandOtherPolicyInstruments e. PromotingEducationandPublicAwareness a. RespondingtoMultilateralEnvironmentalAgreements b.SupportingRegionalandSubregionalCooperationonEnvironment a. DevelopingPartnershipswithOtherInternationalFinancingandDevelopmentInstitutions b.IncreasingHarmonizationofEnvironmentPoliciesandProcesses a. CountryStrategyandProgram b.LendingOperations c. PublicConsultationandInformationDisclosure d.Implementation,andMonitoringandEvaluation e. EnvironmentallyResponsibleProcurement f. PerformanceBasedAllocationofAsianDevelopmentFundResources

Background TheAsianDevelopmentBank(ADB)hassafeguard policieson:(i)involuntaryresettlement(1995),(ii) indigenouspeoples(1998),and(iii)theenvironment (2002).Thepolicieshaveguidedformulationand implementationofADBsassistanceprograms, particularlyitslendingactivities.


Operations Evaluation Department Asian Development Bank

TheevolvingdevelopmentalcontextinwhichADB operatesandtheexperienceaccumulatedwarrant regularreviewsofthepolicies.ADBhasembarkedon anupdatetoenhancetheireffectivenessandensure theirrelevancetochangingclientneedsandnew lendingmodalitiesandinstruments.In2006,the OperationsEvaluationDepartmentundertookaSpecial EvaluationStudyonEnvironmentalSafeguards.1

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City, 1550 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel +63 2 632 4444; Fax +63 2 636 2444; evaluation@adb.org; www.adb.org/evaluation/

SummaryofFindings ADBsEnvironmentPolicywasfoundtoberelevant toADBsactivitiesandtheneedsofitsdeveloping membercountries(DMCs).Thereisevidencethat ADBsinvolvementinprojectssometimesaddedvalue intermsofimprovingenvironmentalperformanceat theprojectlevel.However,suchvalueadditionvaried markedlyfromcountrytocountry,fromprojectto project,andindifferentaspectsofenvironmental assessment.Thereisalsoevidencethatthepolicy providedimpetustoimprovementofthe environmentalsafeguardstowardgreaterclarity,more emphasisonassessmentofprojectalternatives,and improvedmonitoring,notwithstandingweaknessesin alltheseareas.Onthewhole,theenvironmental safeguardproceduresgovernedbyADBsOperations Manualweredeemedtohavebeeneffectivein avoidingsignificantadverseenvironmentalimpacts fromADBsprogramsandprojects. However,theefficiencyandsustainabilityofthe safeguardproceduresarequestionableduetohigh transactioncostsandlimitedbenefits.Themaincause ofthisistheuniformapplicationofasinglesetof procedurestoallDMCs,whichisnolongeraneffective responsetotheneedsofDMCsorthegrowingresource constraintsfacedbyADB.Therewouldbemeritin revisingthepolicyandsafeguardprocedurestoaddress thechangingsituationinDMCs.Thiswouldlikelybe focusedonthenecessityforgreaterflexibilityin procedures,recognitionoftheneedforalignmentwith nationalsystems,ashifttoanemphasisoncapacity buildingratherthanonprojects,andachangein emphasisfromproceduralcompliancetoresults deliveryandcosteffectiveness. Recommendations TheprinciplesandobjectivesofADBsEnvironment Policyremainvalidandrelevantbutthepolicyshould berevisedtobetterreflectcurrentneedsandresources withinDMCsandADB. StrengthenOrganizationalEffectiveness.Thereisa needtostudyissuesrelatedtothereorganizationof 2002,includingconsolidationofenvironmental resourceswithinADB. ImprovetheQualityofADBsEnvironmental AssessmentProcessandLowerTransactionCosts toMakeItMoreCostEffective.Themajorityofthe technicalweaknessesidentifiedinthe environmentalassessmentcanbeaddressedthrough
Learning Curves available @ www.adb.org/evaluation/

asystematicreviewandupdateofmatterssuchas categorization,scope,quantification,standards,and improvingtechnicalmethodologies. ImprovethePartnershipwithNongovernmentand CivilSocietyOrganizationsonEnvironment. Enhancingthispartnershipposesquestionsrelated to:(i)the120daydisclosurerule,(ii)the transparencyandindependenceofthe environmentalassessmentprocess;and(iii)reliance onnationalproceduresandheightenedroleof nongovernmentandcivilsocietyorganizationsin monitoringandimplementation. MoveTowardAdoptionofImprovedCountry SystemsandHarmonizationwithOther DevelopmentPartnersinSelectedDMCs.The ParisDeclarationonAidEffectivenessprovides strongguidanceongreaterharmonizationbetween fundingagenciesandpartnercountrieson environmentalassessment. PrepareanImplementationPlanfortheRevised EnvironmentPolicy.ADBshoulddevelopanaction plantoimplementtherevisedpolicy,andanyplan tobedevelopedmustinvolveanassessmentof ADBsresourcesatheadquartersandinthefieldfor implementingenvironmentalsafeguards. Feedback ADBManagementsResponseconfirmedthatthe studyraisesimportantissuesthatarerelevanttopolicy update.Managementbelievedthattheongoingprocess ofpolicyupdate,includingtheplannedconsultations withawiderangeofstakeholders,providesan appropriatevehicleforfurtherexaminingthereport andaddressingtherecommendationsofthestudy. StakeholderFeedbackprovidedothersuggestionsfor policyupdate.TheChairsSummaryofthe DevelopmentEffectivenessCommitteeDiscussions notedthatthestudyhadraisedmanyoftheright questionsforthereview,thattheissuesidentifiedand recommendationsmadeaddressednotonly implementationofthepolicybutalsoprovisionsinthe policyitself,andthat,byitsresponsetotheevaluation, ADBManagementhadstartedthecriticalcorporate leveldialoguethatwouldleadtothepolicyreview.
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ADB.2006.SpecialEvaluationStudyonEnvironmental Safeguards.Manila.Available: http://www.adb.org/Documents/SES/REG/sstreg2006 13/seses.pdf

Team Leader: Chang-Ching Yu; Tel +63 2 632 5926; ccyu@adb.org