Coastal Watersheds Conservation in the Context of Climate Change Project (WB-P131709)

Countries
  • Mexico
Where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Specific Location
Veracruz, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Puebla, Campeche, Nayarit, Jalisco
Whenever identified, the area within countries where the impacts of the investment may be experienced. Exact locations of projects may not be identified fully or at all in project documents. Please review updated project documents and community-led assessments.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Active
Bank Risk Rating
B
Risk rating varies among banks and may refer only to the particular investment and not to the risk for the project as a whole. Projects marked 'U' have an 'Unknown' risk rating at the time of disclosure.
Voting Date
Nov 21, 2013
The estimate day the bank will vote on a proposed investment. The decision dates may change, so review updated project documents or contact the EWS team.
Borrower
GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO
The holder of the loan, grant, or other investment.
Sectors
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Climate and Environment
  • Water and Sanitation
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Potential Rights Impacts
  • Cultural Rights
  • Healthy Environment
  • Housing & Property
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Water
Only for projects receiving a detailed analysis, a broad category of human and environmental rights and frequently at-risk populations.
Investment Type(s)
Loan
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, etc.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 39.52 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, converted to USD$. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 267.80 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, converted to USD$. Please see updated project documentation for more information.
Bank Documents
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Mar 12, 2018

Disclosed by Bank Jul 13, 2012


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Project Description

According to The Bank, the goal of the project is to do "watershed-level planning in regions expected to be highly affected by climate change activities will be concentrated in protected areas and surrounding areas where carbon stock depletion is highest, biological connectivity is essential and institutional capacities are highest."

The project is divided into five components:

Component 1→ The creation and consolidation of protected areas. Creation of new Protected Areas (PA) and strengthening management effectiveness of new and existing PA's. This includes fundraising activities to obtain additional non-GEF funding (Global Environment Funding).

Component 2 → Promoting sustainability within watersheds. This will include implementation of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), agro-ecological and sustainable forest management sub-projects.

Component 3 → Enabling adaptive management by strengthening monitoring capacities and strengthening community monitoring systems in selected watersheds.

Component 4 → Innovative mechanisms for inter-institutional collaboration and promoting social participation.

Component 5 → Project management. This will be for support for implementation of the project, including costs for coordination, technical assistance, support of the technical project committee and regional Project Coordination Units, supervision, etc.

The project will operate in 10 watersheds along the Gulf of California and 6 along the Gulf of Mexico, selected because of their high biodiversity values, presence of protected areas, importance for the implementing institutions, local capacity, matching fund potential, and inter-institutional collaboration in the watershed. The watersheds were selected jointly by the four implementing agencies (CONANP, FMCN, CONAFOR, INECC). INECC identified 17 coastal watersheds along the Gulf of California and 15 along the Gulf of Mexico that meet the basic criteria of high biodiversity values and existing or potential protected areas. The implementing agencies then scored the candidate watersheds according to additional criteria and selected six high priority watersheds along the Gulf of Mexico for the GEF. The selected watersheds show high variability, with degradation prevalent along the Gulf of Mexico; 59.9% is devoted to cattle ranching, 39.2% to agriculture and 1% is urban. Increasingly, natural ecosystems in these watersheds are being pressured by competing land uses: expansion of low intensity cattle ranching, slash-and-burn agriculture, sugar cane, and hydro-electric dams, as well as general coastal development. Negative impacts of these land use changes include carbon emissions, loss of biodiversity, erosion and other land degradation effects, and less sustainable livelihoods for communities within the watersheds.

In terms of social development, the project area in the Gulf of Mexico comprises 2.7 million inhabitants (51% women) distributed in 4,771 localities in 112 municipalities of the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Puebla and Campeche. The majority of this population (85.37%) is located in Veracruz. Approximately 10% are indigenous peoples including: Tzeltal, Chol, Chontal, Nahuatl, Popoluca, Totonaca, Otomo and Tepehua. These communities in particular face high levels of marginalization and low social indicators.

Early Warning System Project Analysis

RISK CATEGORIZATION: Category B

The project is considered Category B. The Bank identifies Category B projects as those that have potential adverse environmental or social impacts, but that the Bank views as minimal, site specific, and potentially reversible. This categorization was given mainly due to sub-projects under component 2, the implementation of Payment for Ecosystem Services, agro-ecological and sustainable forest management sub-projects. According to The Bank, "the Project has prepared a single, project-level Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF). One of the functions of the ESMF is to define the screening procedures and criteria that the Recipient will use to determine what, if any, further environmental analysis and instruments will be required for all subcomponents activities and defines the specific EA procedure during Project implementation." The Bank continues by adding that, "from an environmental assessment point of view, the project is expected to generate positive benefits."

APPLICABLE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS:

  • Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01
  • Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04
  • Forests OP/BP 4.36
  • Pest Management OP 4.09
  • Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11
  • Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10
  • Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12
People Affected By This Project

ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS ASSESSMENT

RIGHTS TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT:

According to The Bank, it "is expected that the project will have overall positive impact on the environment and for the populations living in the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California. The creation of new protected areas and strengthening the management of existing ones will conserve forest and watershed resources and support the economic and social development of these regions. Outcomes and conservation status of areas supp)orted by the project will be monitored through the Global Environment Facility (GEF tracking tools, national protocols and through the development and implementation of community-based monitoring methods, with baseline and subsequent data captured in CONAFOR and CONABIO's (National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity) national database. These monitoring tools are captured in the Project's ESMF." It continues by stating, "given the focal areas of the project, there may also be some minor, adverse impacts to natural habitats as well, depending on the form of the ultimate activities to be developed under component 2 [Payment for Ecosystem Services]. The instrument that treats these issues at the project level is the ESMF. If the ESMF's screening process determines that subcomponent activities may result in adverse impacts to natural habitats, these impacts will be addressed in subsequent specific management measures." It is important to ensure that these specific management measures do take place and are done with the appropriate consultation as outlined in the ESMF and IPPF.

Additionally, The Bank mentions that pesticides could be used for sub-projects, specifically for forest management. The Bank states that a separate Pest Management Plan is not needed for this project, however proper usage and storage should be monitored per measures incorporated within the ESMF to ensure compliance with the policy.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • What means do you have to seek compensation if the public health and/or environmental impact of the proposed operations become a problem for local communities? and/or the local ecosystem?
    What means do you have to seek redress if the public health and/or environmental impact of the proposed operations become a problem for the local ecosystem?
  • Is your water quality likely to be affected by processing operations?
  • Do those implementing the project have a plan in place for preventing increases in disease or for providing health care should diseases become a wide-spread problem?

RIGHT TO CULTURE:

The Bank states that, "The ESMF includes a safeguard provision for chance findings of 'historical sites and/or archeological sites.' These safeguard measures also cover other physical cultural resources such as sacred sites, burial sites and other resources that are of significance to local communities. No Physical Cultural Resources will be affected by the project and it is unlikely that its activities may cause any damage to cultural assets. However, the policy has been triggered as a preventive measure to ensure that all participants respect the rich cultural heritage of the region. In case of chance findings, to handle such findings, Mexico has a well-developed legislative and normative framework, which is under the oversight of the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH)." The INAH ought to be notified should chance findings occur during any state of project implementation. Additionally, the Bank indicates that information regarding procedures for chance findings would be incorporated into the environmental screening section of the ESMF. It is important that the implementing agency(ies) ensure that the INAH is notified should any chance-findings occur prior to moving forward with sub-projects.

Additionally, it should be stressed that special attention be given to sites such as sacred sites, burial sites and other resources that are of significance to local communities. In the case these sites are found within or in close proximity to the sub-projects, the appropriate agencies and affected communities should be contacted and proper measures taken per the ESMF.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Do you have access to cultural facilities?
  • What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to take part in cultural life has been restricted or denied?
  • Do you have reasons to believe that the planned investment project could affect your right to take part in cultural life?
  • Does the government consider that the planned investment project could result in restrictions on the right to take part in cultural life? If so, has the government taken any measures to protect the right to take part in cultural life of people living in the planned investment project area?
  • Do you have reasons to believe the planned investment project could affect the cultural resources of your community?
  • Does this project have a chance-finds procedure in case cultural artifacts are encountered during operations?

RIGHT TO FOOD:

Although the Bank does not explicitly identify potential impacts to the right to food, this right could be impacted, especially within indigenous communities and ejidos, or communal lands that are held by many people. The project will be located in rural areas within nine states, and many of the project areas are still not known. Project implementation could affect community access to food, either by acquiring land that had been used for agriculture, or limiting access to land that has been used for fishing.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Are food resources for your community decreasing? Is more food getting taken out of the community for sale in nearby cities?
  • If your right to food is not being respected, what legal or other resources are available for you to claim this right?

RIGHT TO WATER:

While not mentioned in the Bank's analysis, the right to water could be impacted. The Bank notes the possibility of the restriction of access and use of natural resources as a result of the consolidation of protected areas and conservation management within Nationally Protected Areas (component 1 of the project). As the full scope of this project is not yet known, it is unclear what natural resources could be restricted and to what degree. These restrictions could materialize as limited access to wells or other sources of potable water.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Are the water sources being used for irrigation the same water sources for human consumption of water (for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc.)? If so, how is the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation making up for this?
  • Is your access to water being restricted by the construction of irrigation canals, drainage systems, or roads?
  • Do you have less water than before for things like drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing?

RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES:

The Bank states that this safeguard was triggered due to the indigenous peoples living in the watersheds in the Gulf of Mexico region, which constitute 10% of the area's total population of 2.7 million people. Specific communities mentioned include Tzeltal, Chol, Chontal, Nahuatl, Popoluca, Totonaca, Otomi and Tepehua. The Bank notes that these communities in particular face high levels of marginalization and low social indicators.

The Bank does admit that some of the activities that will be supported by the project may result in changes in how the communities use resources and that the transition may be difficult. The Bank indicates that the transition will be mitigated by various activities included in the general social strategy and through extensive training for the technical staff in the region "who have the responsibility for screening for negative impacts per the Process Framework and the participatory planning process that will be undertaken each year as part of the preparation of the Annual Operating Plans."

Within the project Indigenous Peoples Plan Framework (IPPF), the Bank acknowledges that the establishment of protected zones (national parks, animal reserves, etc.) can take enormous amounts of land and resources from indigenous communities, sometimes resulting in forced displacement or a collapse of customary systems. It also acknowledges that proper consultation and participation with indigenous communities is harder than with other communities as they are typically away from roads and other communication infrastructure. With this difficulty in mind, the Bank has noted within the Indigenous Peoples Plan Framework that CONAFOR will be responsible for implementation of the IPP and in training operational staff to give proper attention to the plan and indigenous communities. Particularly pertaining to component 2 (payments for ecosystem services), the plan notes that any support programs as part of this component need to ensure that that communities are given free prior informed consent in order to decide on their participation in the project and if mitigation measures are appropriate. It continues in stating that the Bank will not finance activities that will affect indigenous populations without broad community support. The Bank defines broad community support to mean that main groups in the community agree with and support the project. These groups should be representative of the community and include a mix of gender, age, landowners, residents, and any other group that has been traditionally excluded and is therefore considered vulnerable.

As mentioned above, CONANP (one of the implementing agencies) has been accused of limiting access to ancestral land of the Cucapa people in the creation of a bio-reserve and are additionally accused of not supplying proper consultation or given free prior informed consent. With this and the consultation challenges the Bank has identified within the IPP, it is especially important that procedures and processes are followed per applicable Frameworks.

Furthermore, The Bank states that within the Gulf of California, the project will be supported in large part by counterpart and matching funds, and that target watershed/sub-watersheds and populations will depend on areas to be selected in accordance with donor preferences. The Bank also states that none of the watersheds that are being considered by the project in the Gulf of California region include indigenous communities within the protected areas, but consultation will be conducted as needed and an Indigenous Peoples Plan prepared if necessary during project implementation.

Although the Bank states there are no indigenous communities in this region, it does note the existence of ejidos, (again, these are communal lands that are held by many people), and states that ejidos will be beneficiaries of the project. Specifically, the IPPF ejidos hold 23.8% of the land in Nayarit, 24.8% in Sinaloa and no more than 12% in Campeche. These lands are typically used for farming and are recognized by the Mexican Government in Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution. In the early 1990's, the Mexican Government reformed Article 27 to allow ejidos to convert 'use' rights into individual rights to sell, rent, or mortgage land to non-ejido members; and to set up joint venture contracts with domestic or foreign private companies. Before this reform, it was very difficult for ejidos to be bought or sold, keeping them monitored and protected by the communities. This process of converting and/or selling ejidos is very long and detailed. According to Mexican law, this can only happen "by having the ejido agree to 'certify' the rights of each person who owns or possesses land in the ejido and then convert the certificates to private property titles." It is only once the land is converted into private property titles that it can then be sold to others outside of the ejido. It is unclear within Bank documentation what kind of process, if any, has been initiated to negotiate with ejidos within the project area, or which ejidos will be affected. Ejidos are included within the IPPF, which details processes and procedures that must be followed when consulting and negotiating with these communities.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Did the company seek to obtain free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous or other peoples living in the investment project area?
  • Have you (as peoples) been consulted about the investment project? Was the consultation done in good faith?
  • During the consultation process, was consideration given to your traditional decision-making processes?
  • Do the land or other sites affected by the investment project have cultural significance for your community?
  • Have your traditional practices or knowledge been affected since the beginning of the investment project?

RIGHT TO HOUSING AND PROPERTY:

According to the Bank, the project will not cause physical resettlement. However, it does note the possibility of the restriction of access and use of natural resources as a result of the consolidation of protected areas and conservation management within Nationally Protected Areas (component 1 of the project). The Bank states that, to avoid or mitigate negative impacts, a Process Framework will be prepared, comprised of screening and impact assessment mechanisms. Following the successful experience of previous GEF projects, sustainable development action plans will be prepared to address potential impacts."

Bank documents state the success of previous GEF projects; however the GEF has also been criticized in their consultation with indigenous and local communities and its handling of forced involuntary resettlement and restrictions of natural resources. According to a report within Cultural Survival Quarterly, indigenous rights groups and grassroots organizations world-wide have accused the GEF of not enforcing their own project documentation in adequately dealing with land tenure and resource rights within nationally protected areas and in their actual involvement of local communities in the project planning stage. Additionally, the report notes that GEF documents are rarely translated from English into local languages, which could be a concern for this project, as the Bank identifies about 82 languages used within Mexico. The report gives examples of lack of community participation in the GEF Meso-American Biological Corridor Project in Panama and conflicts with land tenure and resource rights in the GEF Philippines Conservation of Priority Protected Areas Project.

Although the Bank does not identify that the project will cause physical resettlement, it should be noted that there have been allegations of forced evictions of local and indigenous communities within Mexico, notably within the Montes Azules Nature Reserve in Chiapas. Amnesty International reported in 2007 that 39 men, women, and children from two indigenous communities were forcibly evicted from their homes within the reserve, with more evictions planned. At the time the report was written, authorities had not provided the evicted families with alternative land or other compensation.

These alleged forced evictions should be of particular interest with the currently proposed project as six Tzeltal indigenous families were among those evicted in the Montes Azules Nature Reserve project in Chiapas. In the Safeguards Datasheet, the Bank identifies the Tzeltal as one of the communities in the Gulf of Mexico project area that faces high levels of marginalization and low social indicators.

Some questions community members and local NGOs should consider asking:

  • Have you been informed of any potential changes that could affect your access to adequate housing?
  • Do you have reasons to believe that your access to adequate housing could change once the investment project begins?
  • Are there mechanisms through which you can file a complaint and/or obtain a remedy when your right to adequate housing has been affected?
  • Are there human settlements adversely affected by the presence of this project?
  • Have there been any complaints of forced evictions in the context of this investment project?
  • Will households resettled for this project actually be compensated properly, and will communities move voluntarily?
  • Will the resettlement area provide access to similar sources of livelihood as previous locations?
  • How will appropriate compensation for lost resources, facilities and other assets be determined?
  • Does everyone in your community have access to land and resources?
  • What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you feel that your access to land and resources have been affected?
  • Have you been informed of any potential changes that could affect your access to land or resources? If so, did you receive enough information about these changes and/or were you able to participate in the decision-making related to these potential changes?
Investment Description
  • World Bank (WB)

The total cost of the project will be $267.80 million USD. Of this amount, The Bank has committed $39.52 million USD and the borrower will supply the remaining $228.28 million USD.

The committed loan is a specific investment loan (SIL). These loans support the creation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of economic, social, and institutional infrastructure. In addition, SILs may finance consultant services and management and training programs.

SILs are flexible lending instruments appropriate for a broad range of projects that help to ensure the technical, financial, economic, environmental, and institutional viability of a specific investment.

The loan will be managed by the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Environment unit (LCSEN). According to The World Bank, the "mission of the LCSEN is to help client countries promote economic development with environmental sustainability. LCSEN works with clients to internalize the economic impact of environmental degradation and supports their efforts to improve environmental and natural resource management, address climate change challenges (particularly adaptation), and promote investment in sustainable infrastructure."

Additionally, this project is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant project. The GEF was established in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to assist in the protection of the global environment and to promote thereby environmentally sound and sustainable economic development. In 1994 the GEF was restructured to become a permanent, separate institution.

The GEF provides new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve agreed global environmental benefits. The World Bank continues to have three main roles within GEF:

  1. The World Bank is the GEF Trustee
  2. The World bank is one of the Implementing Agencies
  3. The World Bank hosts the GEF Secretariat and provides administrative support
Private Actors

The borrower for this project is the Government of Mexico, specifically the Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico. However, project implementation will be carried out by CONANP, FMCN, CONAFOR, and INECC.

CONANP- (La Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas) The National Commission of Protected National Areas. CONANP started in June, 2000 as a decentralized body of the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). The general objective of CONANP is to preserve the natural heritage of Mexico and ecological processes through Nationally Protected Areas and regional sustainability programs.

CONANP is not working with The World Bank on any current projects, nor is there record of closed projects within the World Bank project database.

FMCN- Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature. According to their website, the FMCN mission is to financially support and strengthen efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Mexico. Additionally, they have the goal "that by 2030, Mexico will have reversed the process of deterioration of its ecosystems and that Mexican society will value its biodiversity."

FMCN is not currently working with The Bank on any other projects. However, there is record of them working on four other projects with The Bank, the last one having closed on November 4th, 2008.

CONAFOR- (La Comision Nacional Forestal) The National Forest Commission. Their mission is to boost the protection, conservation, restoration, and enjoyment of Mexico's forest ecosystems.

CONAFOR is working with The Bank on The Mexico FCPF Readiness Preparation Grant, which is currently a pipeline project. According to The Bank project database, they have also worked on six other projects with The Bank, with the last one closing December 18th, 2008.

INECC- (El Instituto Nacional de Ecologia y Cambio Climatico) The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change. Their stated goal is to use scientific and technical knowledge to form, manage, and evaluate public policies related to environmental protection, conservation, ecological restoration, green growth, and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

INECC is not working with The World Bank on any current projects, nor is there record of closed projects within the World Bank project database.

PAST HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES:

In 1993 CONANP along with SEMARNAT created the Biosphere Reserve for the High
Gulf of California and the Colorado River in the State of Baja California. According to a report by Peace Brigades International, this legislation was passed without previous consent with the Cucapa community, the indigenous peoples of the area. The reserve was construction on Cucapa ancestral land, therefore prohibiting the Cucapa from fishing in an area they had done so for centuries.

In 2008, the National Human Rights Commission presented the Cucapa case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stating that the Cucapa were not "consulted about the project, nor did they give free and informed consent," in the hopes to change the protected area to allow fishing. To date, this case has still not been resolved.

FMCN, CONAFOR and INECC have not been cited for any past human rights abuses.

Contact Information

Adriana Goncalves Moreira
Senior Environmental Specialist (The World Bank)
amoreira@worldbank.org

Silvia Rodriguez
Subdirector (Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico)
silvia_rodriguez@hacienda.gob.mx

Mariana Bellot
Director (CONANP)
mariana.bellot@conanp.gob.mx

Renee Gonzalez
Director (FMCN)
rgonzalez@dcfmcn.org

Sergio Graff
General Coordinator (CONAFOR 8120-MX)
sgraf@conafor.gob.mx

Helena Cotler
Director (INECC)
hcotler@ine.gob.mx

CONSULTATION PROCESS:

According to The Bank, "During preparation, four workshops were conducted in the Gulf of Mexico watersheds. A total of 110 people participated from 27 organizations, 37 communities, 10 indigenous groups as well as representatives from all three government levels. Their inputs were used to develop the ESMF and the related safeguard instruments. The ESMF was disclosed on the FMCN webpage on April 1, 2013. Validation of the contents of the ESMF and the related safeguard instruments took place on April 10th, 2013 via the support of the Consulting Board for Sustainable Development (Consejo Consultivo de Desarrollo Sustentable) in Veracuz, which includes representatives of the federal, state, indigenous, women, private, academic, youth, and no-profit sectors. Their inputs were incorporated into the final version of the ESMF, IPPF and PF and they are available on the CONANP, CONAFOR, INECC and FMCN webpages (in FMCN since 1 April 2013)." The Bank did not mention workshops being held for project components located in the Gulf of California.

In terms of the Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework, The Banks states, "A social assessment and consultation process was undertaken during preparation in order to better understand their socio-economic and demographic circumstances and to gather inputs, concerns and suggestions for the preparation of an Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework (IPPF). None of the watersheds that are being considered by the project in the Gulf of California region include indigenous communities within the protected areas, but consultation will be conducted as needed and an IPP prepared if necessary during project implementation. An Indigenous Peoples Plan Framework (IPPF) has been prepared for Components 1 and 2 per the requirements of OP 4.10. According to The Bank, the IPPF was shared with a representative group of indigenous leaders from the Gulf of Mexico as well as other relevant stakeholders and their concerns and their inputs have been incorporated into the final version, which has been disclosed on the websites of the four executing agencies and on the Bank's Infoshop. The IPPF prepared for the Forests and Climate Change project will be used for the CONAFOR-executed part of Component 2 and IPPs prepared for those activities as agreed with CONAFOR. The IPPF prepared by CONAFOR was disclosed prior to the approval of the Forests and Climate Change project in Nov 2011 and it was re-disclosed on the FMCN website.

Furthermore, The Bank states that any additional consultation will be held per guidelines set forth in the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) and the Indigenous Peoples Plan Framework (IPPF). Both of these frameworks also include mechanisms for complaints.

ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF WORLD BANK

The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing ipanel@worldbank.org. You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at: http://ewebapps.worldbank.org/apps/ip/Pages/Home.aspx.