on Unifying JBIC Environmental Guidelines
Note: At present, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) applies two different sets of environment guidelines?one for International Finance Operations (IFO) and the other for Overseas Economic Cooperation Operations (OECO). The following recommendations are made on the presumption that the new guidelines will cover both of IFO and OECO. The “Present Guidelines”
column refers to the OECO and IFO guidelines as they are at present.
1. Environmental review procedures should be clearly indicated. Guidelines should consist of policies, procedures and guidance for staff/project proponents. (Should include details of what information to include in environmental documentation at each step of a project.)
* No consistent
statement of review procedures exists.
* IFO guidelines do not provide useful guidance for Bank staff or implementing bodies.
Objectives of the
environmental guidelines should be clearly stated and applied
to both IFO and OECO. They should:
a. Be compatible
with the principles of Japan’s ODA Charter (poverty alleviation,
environmental conservation, globally sustainable development,
b. Ensure that people
and the environment are not negatively affected by funded projects.
c. Give “full attention …
to the situation regarding the securing of basic human rights and freedoms”
(ODA Charter) and ensuring
social justice, including equal participation by women.
d. Ensure proper use of public funds as a Japanese public institution.
* For both
IFO (formerly by JEXIM) and OECO (formerly by OECF) it is stressed
that responsibility for environmental consideration is with the
borrower. And that the funder’s only responsibility is to verify.
* No effort is made to refer to JBIC’s own environmental and social principles and policies. (There are no basic principles covering both OECO and IFO.)
Make use of those standards and good practices of the World Bank/IFC OECD/DAC, etc., that are internationally recognized.
For OECO, “Operational Guidance”
documents and a “Social Consideration Handbook”
were produced (not available to the public).
At the earliest possible stage, environmental assessments should be conducted?with adequate participation of the local people. The project design and other elements should be improved based on the assessments.
No description of assessments or good practices.
Scope of environmental assessment
a. Natural environment
b. Human health/security,
c. Special attention
to social and cultural matters for indigenous peoples.
d. Special local
characteristics (cultural heritage, scenery, etc.)
e. Cross-border and
global environmental impacts.
* It is essential to consider both social and natural environments (such access to resources) in an integrated way.
No description of assessments or good practices. (Actually, points “a.”
are considered to some extent.)
Alternatives and Mitigation
a. Alternatives such as “no implementation”
be considered (e.g., require this alternative be considered in
Environmental Impact Assessments and feasibility studies).
b. Impact prevention
OECO Feasibility studies include consideration of alternatives, but there is no “zero option.”
has no description relating to alternatives or mitigation
Neither have anything relating to point “b.”
Assessments should be done by outside independent experts, especially for Category A projects
Environmental Action Plans
Environmental Action Plans should be prepared for Category A projects and publicized as a part of the environmental Impact Assessments.
Criteria for classifying
should determine the level of environmental assessment and the
subsequent procedures. As with the World Bank, etc., they should
comprehensively evaluate the social and environmental impacts.
Categories should be the same for both IFO and OECO.
* Category A: Requires
a complete EIA. As with the OECF, a list of 3 elements should
be used (quality, area, industry).
* Category B: Limited
* Category C: No EA necessary. There should be a positive list of projects which are thought to have almost no environmental impact.
* IFO and
OECO criteria are different.
* For IFO there is
no clear relation between screening and the level of assessment.
* For IFO, Category
A is for only specific sites and very narrow. Category C has many
elements and is very broad.
* For both IFO and OECO the relationship between category and subsequent procedures is unclear (not released publicly).
should be indicated separately, and if necessary special categories
should be created.
a. Two-Step Loans
b. Commodity Loans/Program
c. Untied Loans?in
principle the same as with ODA
e. Co-financing with MDBs
No special mention.
Revision of Category
The final decision
on categorization should be the responsibility of the Environmental
The category should
be reviewed at the appraisal stage.
If major changes occur in a project’s siting/design, or if major environmental or social impacts emerge in the course of a project, the Environmental Office should be responsible for revising the category.
No special mention.
JBIC should consider
identifying types of projects which it should NOT fund, such as:
* Projects which
would violate international treaties and national laws, such as
those that would damage world heritage sites, national parks,
* Projects that would worsen the quality of life of local people (such as projects that conflict with goals of poverty reduction and environmental conservation), and those that would irreversibly damage lifestyles (of indigenous peoples in particular).
(However, OECO are not supposed to fund projects that will cause major impacts on natural conservation areas, rare species, and biodiversity.)
the Quality of EIAs
* The details of
what should be included in full EIAs should be clearly indicated.
For EAs that have already been completed, it should be possible
to verify the details, and if necessary, to require additional
studies or actions.
* Feasibility studies
and EIA that are too old should not be used.
Penalties should perhaps be imposed for poor quality consulting.
Nothing written about details of EIAs.
Quality and Independence
of Environmental Reviews
a. Should be conducted
by environmental and social experts
b. Reviews should
be done by actual field research (including meetings with the
c. Explicitly require
information gathering from parties not involved in project implementation
d. Cumulative and indirect impacts should also be verified.
* At present,
reviews are not necessarily done by experts, and so quality cannot
* Field research does not provide adequate opportunities to verify information from parties not involved in project implementation.
The costs of implementing mitigation and action plans should be included as a part of project costs, and properly provided.
No description for IFO.
V. Information Disclosure/Consultation with Local people
Good practices should be
clearly indicated relating to local participation, and companies
should also be expected to follow them.
* Consultations should
be held at initial stages of environmental assessment (and feasibility
* Information should
be made public before the consultation?in the appropriate languages,
means and media.
* For Category A,
consultation should be conducted at least twice?during scoping,
and after preparation of the draft EIA.
* During project implementation, information disclosure and consultation should be conducted as necessary.
For IFO there is mention of the need to consider obtaining agreement, such as by explaining the project, etc.
Environmental assessment reports should include records of information disclosure and consultations with local people. In cases where the EA has already been completed, additional consultations and information disclosure should be made mandatory, if necessary.
Guidelines for resettlement
of local people should be clearly stated.
* As much as possible,
ways to avoid needing resettlement should be considered.
* If resettlement
is inevitable, in every case a Resettlement Plan should be prepared
and made public.
* For people who
are resettled, and for those who lose their livelihood as a result
of a project, assistance should be given to provide sustainable
ways to make a living. The quality of life must not drop below
the level before the project.
* In principle, land
should be given in compensation for the land they lose.
* Resettlement should
be only done if written agreement has been obtained based on complete
information, provided before the project gets under way.
* It should be confirmed
that adequate resources are available for implementation of Resettlement
* Resettlement should be monitored.
* For OECO,
consideration of alternatives and preparation of impact mitigation
plans are required.
* For IFO, there is mention of the need to consider obtaining agreement, such as by explaining the project, etc.
From the perspectives of the ensuring local peoples’
“right to know”
and project proponents’
accountability, in principle, all information should be disclosed based on (Japan’s) law on information disclosure.
Mention is made of the promotion of information disclosure relating to ODA, but no major improvements have been made.
Making Public Lists of Projects
As much information as possible (including project outline) should be made public at the earliest possible time for both ODA and non-ODA funding (for OECO, at the dispatch of fact-finding mission stage). At the latest, it should be BEFORE the appraisal mission.
Not made public for either IFO or OECO.
Public Disclosure of Feasibility Study (F/S)
Some information is made public after two years.
Disclosure of Environmental
* For Category A
the EIA (for Category B, the Environmental Assessment Report)
should be made public.
* Environmental Action
Plans should also be subject to public disclosure.
* Additional and
updated information should also be regularly disclosed.
* The portions of contractual documents relating to social or environmental matters should also be made public.
Not made public for either IFO or OECO.
Information Disclosure after
Funding is Decided
* Project information.
* Monitoring reports.
* Contractual documents
such as Loan Agreements and Exchange of Notes.
* Information on tenders.
Should be adequately staffed with environmental and social experts.
Not enough specialists have been assigned to the Social/Environmental Office.
The Office should be given the authority such that a project may not go before the Board of Directors if the Environmental Office has not provided written clearance for the project.
Projects can be approved even without a final check by the (IFO) Environmental Office.
Written contracts should be signed with implementing bodies, relating to necessary environmental actions. The Environmental Office should have final responsibility for the details.
Details are not available, but probably only “agreement”
is needed on environmental and social matters.
VIII. Monitoring, Oversight, Evaluation
* Data should be
collected to provide a baseline for evaluation.
* The Environmental
Office should verify the year-round operating reports of companies,
or verify by field research.
* Monitoring should
include whether the agreed environmental action plan is being
implemented. And include consideration of unforeseen environmental
* The Environmental Office should be responsible regarding additional measures, and show written agreement.
Monitoring of Human Rights
and Social Impacts
a. Conflicts, disputes,
b. Coercion of local
c. Corruption (proper use of funds). But this may be outside the scope of environmental guidelines?
Ensuring Compliance with Policies/Problem Resolution
Evaluation of the status
of compliance, and Revisions of Guidelines.
In three years, an
evaluation should be conducted of the implementation of these
guidelines, including also the participation of NGOs. Based on
* The Guidelines
should be revised.
* Effective compliance mechanisms should be considered. (Make this the responsibility of the director in charge of environmental affairs?)
X. Other Issues
measures to prevent corruption.
* Verification of proper bidding, improvements in monitoring of the use of funds.
the Transparency of Commodity Loans and Program Loans.
* Monitoring of proper use of funds, and program implementation.
of the Parliament (Japanese Diet)
* Budget approval
* Establishment of problem-solving mechanisms.