NGO Recommendations
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.

NGO Recommendations

Present Guidelines

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.

2. Objectives of Guidelines

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, etc.)

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).


Timing of Assessments:

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, social environment

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.”

and “b.”

are considered to some extent.)


Alternatives and Mitigation of Impacts

a. Alternatives such as “no implementation”

should 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.”

IFO has no description relating to alternatives or mitigation

Neither have anything relating to point “b.”


Independent Assessments

Assessments should be done by outside independent experts, especially for Category A projects

Not stipulated.


Environmental Action Plans

Environmental Action Plans should be prepared for Category A projects and publicized as a part of the environmental Impact Assessments.

No description.


Criteria for classifying projects

Project categories 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 EA.

* 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).


Special Loans/Projects

Detailed procedures should be indicated separately, and if necessary special categories should be created.

a. Two-Step Loans (TSL)

b. Commodity Loans/Program Loans

c. Untied Loans?in principle the same as with ODA

d. Rehabilitation Projects

e. Co-financing with MDBs

No special mention.


Revision of Category

The final decision on categorization should be the responsibility of the Environmental Office.

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.


Categories Prohibited

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, etc.

* 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).

Not stipulated.

(However, OECO are not supposed to fund projects that will cause major impacts on natural conservation areas, rare species, and biodiversity.)

13. Ensure 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 local people)

c. Explicitly require information gathering from parties not involved in project implementation (including NGOs)

d. Cumulative and indirect impacts should also be verified.

* At present, reviews are not necessarily done by experts, and so quality cannot be guaranteed.

* 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 studies).

* 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.

No description.


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 Plans.

* 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 Under Consideration

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 Information

* 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 impacts.

* The Environmental Office should be responsible regarding additional measures, and show written agreement.


Monitoring of Human Rights and Social Impacts

a. Conflicts, disputes, opposition movements.

b. Coercion of local people.

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 this evaluation:

* 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

Comprehensive measures to prevent corruption.

* Verification of proper bidding, improvements in monitoring of the use of funds.

Improving the Transparency of Commodity Loans and Program Loans.

* Monitoring of proper use of funds, and program implementation.

Involvement of the Parliament (Japanese Diet)

* Budget approval and reporting.

* Establishment of problem-solving mechanisms.