ADB and the Environment Case1

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ADB and the Environment case

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  • Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement with NGO Forum on the ADB

    Southern Transport Development Project

    Sri Lanka 1

    Southern TransportDevelopment ProjectSri LankaContributors:

    Rathnawalee Nettipola,

    Janaka Kumara

    Dilena Pahtragoda,

    Cinthaka Kalutota

    Suranja Kodithuwakku

    by

    HEMANTHAWITANAGE

    Sri LankanWorkingGroup onTrade andIFIs

  • A Monitoring Framework for ADBs Environment Policy based on Four Case Studies

    ADB and the Environment 2

    Executive Summary

    I. Introduction1. Project in General2. Project in Terms of its Sectoral Context History of the proposed Sri Lankan Expressway Network3. Project in Terms of its Country-specific Context

    II. Project Description1. Origins to Status Quo2. Change Model3. Project Diary4. Concerns Weak public participation Inadequate Information Disclosure Inadequate Resettlement Changes in Project Design Lack of Alternative Options Assess ment and Faulty Evaluations Weak Environmental Standards Adverse Social Impacts

    5. Activities Taken by Affected People and NGOs Filing of Human Rights Case Inspection Process Appeal to Supreme Court

    III. Project Monitoring1. Monitoring Schedule2. Monitoring Plan3. Monitoring against national and ADB Environmental Provisions Project in Context of National Environmental Act Project in Context of ADB Environment Policy4. Monitoring against Desirable Environmental Standards5. Monitoring against Other ADB Policies

    IV. Conclusion

    O u t l i n e

  • Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement with NGO Forum on the ADB

    Southern Transport Development Project

    Sri Lanka 3

    A DBs EnvironmentalPolicy requires theconsideration of environmental problems indevelopment decisionmaking. The Environmental ImpactAssessment is a document whichanalyzes the environmental impacts.

    The Southern Transport Develop-ment Project is a construction of anexpressway connecting Matara andColombo by a 128 kilometer road.The road crosses through four riverbasins and many other wetlands. Italso passes many villages and de-molishes over 1,200 houses.

    The EIA was done for a three-ki-lometer corridor and it was not aproject specific EIA per se. It was sub-ject to heavy criticism as it did not prop-erly address the environmental and so-cial impacts.

    The project is covered under theSri Lankan Environment Policy1 andthe Resettlement Policy2 and is alsosubject to ADB policies and provi-sions such as the Involuntary Resettle-ment Policy, the Operations Manual(OM) Section 20 from 1997 on Envi-ronmental Considerations in ADB Op-erations, the Information DisclosurePolicy and the Policy on Inspection.

    The OM on Environmental Con-siderations has very few concretesafeguard provisions for environmen-

    E x e c u t i v e S u m m a r y

    tal protection. One requirement isthe completion of an EnvironmentalImpact Assessment for Category Aprojects likely to have significant en-vironmental impacts. STDP falls in thiscategory. Even though an EIA wasdrafted for STDP, it is inadequatebecause it does not include all thegeographical areas covered by theroad trace, and secondly, does nottake into consideration major envi-ronmental concerns, such as thefact that the road crosses four riverbasins, over one hundred wetlandsand two thirds of trace is covered withpaddy fields. Further there is no envi-ronmental monitoring for the project.Social impacts were prioritised dueto the involvement of the affectedcommunities but environmental is-sues were not properly addressed.

    The main reasons include the lack of consideration of the

    environmental impacts bythe road designers,

    lack of willingness to addressthe environmental issues dueto the road being used by poli-ticians for their own means

    inadequate law enforce-ment in settling disputes overthe affected environment atlocal level,

    Insufficient human capacityand funds in the project moni-toring and approving agen-cies such as Central Environ-mental Authority.

  • A Monitoring Framework for ADBs Environment Policy based on Four Case Studies

    ADB and the Environment 4

    The local implementing agenciesdo not make it their priority to imple-ment relevant ADB policies. This maybe due to ignorance of the specificrequirements in the policies. In someinstances, the main implementingagency does not bind the contrac-tors and subcontractors to environ-mental provisions required by ADB.

    The main contractor in STDPseems to be concerned about fol-lowing environmental requirements.However, it is impossible for the con-tractor to mitigate the environmen-tal impacts due to design problems.

    The project still faces controver-sies due to significant social impacts.Although there is a resettlement planit was not released to the public. Thislack of transparency is a major rea-son for the disputes. The road con-struction has started from one endeven though some of the lands havenot yet been officially acquired. Thispressures the people and the agen-cies when taking decisions.

    The approach of the ADB and therelevant government agency staff isnot acceptable. But the lessonslearned in this case show that peoplewere empowered in some areas tofight against the wrong decisions.Democratic space has been im-proved for some communities due tothe involvement of local and inter-national NGOs. For example, people

    in Galanigama, Akmeemana andKahathuduwa used the ADBs in-spection panel as well as the humanrights commission to the SupremeCourt to try to get redress. Also theprocess shows how governmentagencies and even the ADB abusepower in decision making. The af-fected people did not receive sup-port from the general public in thiscampaign, but nevertheless, therewas a lot of media attention.

    This campaign also shows thatthe environmental concerns of thepeople were not properly high-lighted since social issues such as re-settlement was a major concern.Therefore the concerned institutions,i.e. IFIs, local agencies and civil so-ciety groups need to follow the en-vironmental policies and regulationsboth on national and internationallevel to make sure that the presentgeneration protects the environmentand nature for future generations.

    1 Under the National Environmental Act (NEA)a project in thin magnitude needs to followthe Environmental Impact Assessmentregulations and should be open for publiccomments for a 30 day period. In the STDPan EIA was done and two public hearingswere held for obtaining oral comments.2 The Sri Lankan Resettlement policy wasprepared in 2001 with the technicalassistance of the ADB

  • Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement with NGO Forum on the ADB

    Southern Transport Development Project

    Sri Lanka 5

    The Southern Transport Development Project (STDP) whichis locally known as Colombo-Matara Expressway is an infrastructure developmentproject. The project is now jointlyfunded by the ADB (Asian Develop-ment Bank) and the Japanese Bankfor International Corporation (JBIC).The total project cost is 27 billion ru-pees (approximately US $ 600 mil-lion). The financial resources comeas follows from different sources. JBICcontributes the stretch of Kottawa toKarandeniya which is 66.9 km and theADB contributes funding for the restof the highway i.e. from Karandeniyato Matara which is 59.5 km.

    Under the ADB environmentalcategories, Loan No: 1711 SRI South-ern Transport Development Project(2000-2005) comes under the cat-egory A projects with potential tohave significant adverse environ-mental impacts for which an Envi-ronmental Impact Assessment (EIA)is required.

    The consulting agencies involvedin the design are Wilbur Smith Asso-ciates in association with Resource

    The Project in General

    I n t r o d u c t i o n

    Development Consultants (WSA &RDC) and the construction has beenawarded to Kumagai Kumi, a Japa-nese company. The EnvironmentalImpact Report (EIAR) report was con-ducted by consultants from the Uni-versity of Moratuwa.

    According to the EIA this projecthas been justified as a project forpoverty alleviation and in that senseis in line with the poverty reductionstrategy. However, this justification cre-ated local controversy. The EIA states

    The proposed Express-way, by enabling speedingtransport of produce, willhave a positive influence onagriculture by way of expand-ing markets, reducing wast-age during transportation,timely availability of inputs,quicker disposal or produce,etc. The outputs of agricultureand fisheries are highly perish-able and large amounts of pro-duce go waste during transpor-tation of produce from south-ern areas of the country tolarge urban centres like Galle,Kalutara, and Colombo1 .

  • A Monitoring Framework for ADBs Environment Policy based on Four Case Studies

    ADB and the Environment 6

    The Road Development Authority (RDA) definesthe objectives of the proposed Expressway projectas follows:

    To provide the required accessibility andmobility for the future developmentof the southern Province and part ofWestern and Uva Provinces included in the

    Proposed Southern Development Plan.

    To provide a highway to act as a catalystin encouraging and attracting industriesand services for the economic andsocial development of the Western and

    Southern provinces and beyond.

    To provide a highway that will be part ofa proposed access controlled highwaynetwork in Sri Lanka to improveinter-regional transportation.

    (EIAR, March 1999)

    1 Chapter 6 page 46 of the Environmental Impact Assessment report, Southern ExpresswayDevelopment project, Main Text, 1999

  • Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement with NGO Forum on the ADB

    Southern Transport Development Project

    Sri Lanka 7

    The Project in