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Outline of JBIC's Environmental Guidelines

Part One

  1. The Environmental Guidelines include issues not only of the natural environment, but also social issues, such as involuntary resettlement and human rights of indigenous peoples.
  2. The Environmental Guidelines apply to both overseas economic cooperation (ODA) as well as the international finance operations of JBIC.
  3. The basic objective of the Environmental Guidelines is to encourage project proponents to implement appropriate measures to take social and environmental factors into sufficient consideration.
  4. Basic Policies of JBIC regarding environmental and social considerations include:
    1. JBIC will place importance on dialogue with all stakeholders (while respecting the sovereignty of the host country).
    2. JBIC will conduct screening and reviews of environmental and social considerations to confirm that requirements are satisfied.
    3. JBIC will try to ensure that environmental and social factors are given enough consideration through written agreements in loan documents.
    4. Even after decisions on funding have been made, JBIC can take measures to ensure that the guidelines are followed.
  5. Basic Principles regarding Environmental and Social considerations include:
    1. The project proponents are responsible for ensuring that social and environmental factors have been sufficiently considered. JBIC will make sure that this has been done in light of the Guidelines.
    2. JBIC will review environmental and social considerations when making decisions on funding. JBIC will also examine the likelihood that the Environmental Guidelines will be respected even after a decision to provide funding is made. This will be an important factor in deciding whether to fund a project or not. Projects will be monitored to ensure that the Guidelines are being followed even after funding decisions are made.
    3. For projects expected to have significant environmental impacts, JBIC will check the extent of participation by stakeholders and degree of information disclosure.}
    4. JBIC notes the importance of good governance for appropriate consideration of environmental and social factors. A project must meet the standards of the host country, but JBIC will also take international standards into consideration. If it seems certain standards deviate significantly from international standards, more consultations will be held to confirm reasons for this.
    5. It is possible for JBIC to decide not to fund a project if it is determined that adequate consideration of environmental and social factors cannot be ensured.
  6. Procedures for Confirming whether environmental and social factors have been considered include:
    1. Screening--categorizing projects based on the degree of potential environmental and social impact. Categories can be revised if new information shows it is appropriate to do so.
    2. Environmental reviews are carried out in accordance to the project's categorization.
    3. For monitoring, borrowers must supply JBIC with the necessary information to monitor the projects for environmental and social impacts. If there are problems, and the project proponents fail to take appropriate action, JBIC can consider its own actions, such as suspension of disbursement of loans.
  7. Points on Information Disclosure include:
    1. JBIC will ("in ways appropriate to the project") make information on environmental reviews available. This is also to encourage stakeholders to provide relevant information to JBIC regarding projects.
    2. JBIC will disclose the name of the project, its location, an outline of the project and its category once the screening is complete.
    3. For categories with significant environmental impacts, the status of major documents such as EIA reports, will be published. EIA reports themselves will also be made available.
    4. Results of environmental reviews will be put up on the JBIC website after loan agreements have been made.
    5. Corporate confidentiality will be respected.
  8. Points on incorporating Environmental Reviews into Decision-making and Loan Agreements include:
    1. If JBIC determines that social and environmental factors have not been sufficiently considered, it can request the project proponents to take appropriate measures. If the problems are not resolved, JBIC can decide not to give funding.
    2. Loan agreements and other relevant documents should include requirements to ensure that environmental and social factors are adequately considered. These requirements include: the borrower's responsibility to report to JBIC on how project proponents plan to monitor the project regarding social and environmental factors; when problems arise, JBIC must be informed; project stakeholders should be included in discussions on how to resolve problems; if it is clear that the borrower is failing to supply correct information and there are negative impacts on the environment, JBIC can suspend disbursement of loans or demand immediate repayment.
  9. To ensure implementation and compliance with the Environmental Guidelines, JBIC will accept claims of non-compliance and take necessary action (note: this clause is what necessitates JBIC's establishing a compliance mechanism).

Part Two

  1. In order to sufficiently consider environmental and social factors, certain principles should be followed:
    1. Environmental impacts must be assessed at the earliest stage possible. Alternative proposals or mitigation measures must also be examined and incorporated into planning.
    2. Environmental costs and benefits should be analyzed in as quantitative terms as possible.
    3. EIAs must be produced for projects with expected large adverse impacts. Alternatives and mitigation measures should also be examined.
    4. If projects are particularly controversial, a committee of experts may be formed to seek advice.
  2. When examining appropriate measures, the following must be done:
    1. Multiple proposals must be examined to minimize adverse impacts and to enable the best option to be chosen. If it is impossible to prevent negative impacts, mitigation measures must be considered.
    2. Appropriate follow-up and monitoring plans must be prepared
  3. The scope of impacts which can be examined include:
    1. human health, safety, and the natural environment, involuntary resettlement, indigenous peoples, gender, communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, among others.
    2. Derivative, secondary and cumulative impacts throughout the life cycle of the project should be examined.
  4. Projects must comply with the laws of the local and national governments with jurisdiction over the project site. Projects should be outside protected areas and should not have adverse impacts on protected areas.
  5. Projects should be culturally acceptable, and consultations with stakeholders should be conducted (with sufficient information) when projects are expected to have significant impacts. Special consideration should be given to vulnerable social groups.
  6. Involuntary resettlement should be avoided when possible. If it cannot be avoided, adequate compensation must be carried out, and the living standards of affected people should be the same if not better than living standards of these communities prior to the project's implementation. Affected communities should participate in planning and implementing resettlement plans and other measures.
  7. All the rights of indigenous peoples in regard to land and resources must be respected in accordance with the spirit of international declarations and treaties. Efforts must be made to obtain the consent of indigenous peoples.
  8. Points regarding monitoring include:
    1. Projects should be monitored by project proponents to check if unforeseen impacts have arisen, and if mitigation measures are being implemented effectively.
    2. Concrete and feasible monitoring plans should be made in advance and included in project plans when this is necessary to ensure that social and environmental factors are considered appropriately.
    3. Results of monitoring should be made public, and if third parties show that sufficient consideration has not been given to environmental and social factors, then discussions should be held, and countermeasures examined.
  9. Requirements for EIAs include:
    1. Procedures required by the host country must be fulfilled, and the approval of the host government must be obtained.
    2. EIA reports must be in the official language or a widely used language in the country where the project is to be implemented. Local residents must be provided information in a language and form understandable to them.
    3. EIAs must be disclosed and made available to local communities in the country where the project is to be implemented. The EIA should be available for perusal at all times for stakeholders, and copying of the EIA must be permitted.
    4. Consultation with stakeholders must take place, and this must be done after sufficient information has been disclosed.
    5. Additional consultations should take place throughout the preparation and implementation stages as necessary.

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