Bank Information Centre PRESS RELEASE: World Bank Breaks its Promise Not to Weaken Protections for the Poor and Planet
Critique written by Bretton Woods Project: Dangers of dilution: World Bank’s new weak environmental and social framework
Our Land, Our Business: How World Bank Rankings Impoverish SmallHolder Farmers and other reports by the Oakland Institute.
Oakland Institute Press Release: Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, and NGOs Take to Streets in Ten Cities Demanding an End to World Bank’s Morally Bankrupt Development
Some excerpts from above documents:
The World Bank has fallen far short of its goal of setting a new global standard when it comes to protecting the poor and the planet. Instead, it is setting off a race to the bottom.
About two years ago the World Bank launched a review and update process of its environmental and social safeguards policies. These policies are the result of decades of struggle by civil society organisations (CSOs) and grassroots movements around the globe to establish clear rules to ensure that Bank and government investments, made in the name of development, avoid environmental and social disasters. CSOs welcomed the opportunity to strengthen and expand the safeguards framework, to ensure that finance for development respects and fulfills human rights.
The Bank released the first draft of the new environmental and social framework at the end of July and even though it contains some improvements, overall it represents a step backwards that could lower the standards for the entire international development community.
‘Opt-out’ clause on safeguards for Indigenous Peoples
Most shockingly, the draft Framework provides an opt-out option for governments who do not wish to provide essential land and natural resource rights protections to Indigenous Peoples within their States.4 This regressive clause, if adopted, would represent a wink and nod by the World Bank to governments that they should not feel compelled to respect international human rights law, and can violate the fundamental right to land, territories and resources and to self-determination of indigenous peoples.