The Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) is the foundation of the World Bank’s (the Bank) policies for investment projects, establishing a series requirements- also known as safeguards- for borrowing governments (the Borrower) to help “identify, avoid, and minimize harms to people and the environment”. With the underpinning goals of poverty eradication and sustainable development, the ESF aims to encourage the Borrower to carry out environmental and social impact assessments to address critical risks in order to receive Bank funding.
In an effort to modernise this policy framework, the Bank is in the process of reviewing and updating the ESF and, over a period of two years, conducted a multi-stakeholder consultation to support these reforms. Largely seen as an opportunity to strengthen Bank safeguards for the Borrower, international civil society organisations and grass-roots movements remain disappointed by the weak human rights commitment and due diligence requirements among others.
Across Latin America, rural and indigenous women have been adversely affected by large-scale development projects, including those funded by the Bank. Impacts range from forced displacement and dispossession, criminalisation of their activism and opposition as well as the polarisation of their communities.
For this reason, LAMMP’s participation in the consultation process centred on emphasising on the multi-layered challenges faced by women in these communities and the specific gendered impacts of these processes. It also aimed to join in with the demands of international civil society to strengthen human rights requirements.
You can read LAMMP’s contributions to the consultation processes here: