The Forum at the onset of this submission would like to state that this Phase 1 input process fails to meet the policy commitment of an ‘overall’ ESF review as articulated in the AIIB ESF1 and as committed to in the AIIB Articles of Agreement. It also needs to be mentioned that The AIIB has not provided any clarity on the methodological approach of this ESF Review and the response we have received from the Strategy and Policy Department of the Bank2 has been inadequate to explain what it means by a targeted update. For the last four years of AIIB Operations, the ESF delivery has been riddled with structural challenges in implementation in its projects in China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and others. Civil society has tried to engage with AIIB management, project team leaders and concerned officials on ESF to resolve the plethora of issues and have been left wanting of meaningful responses on the ground. The lack of ESF delivery was found evident in AIIB stand-alone projects such as Beijing Gas and the Bhola IPP in Bangladesh, as well as co-financed projects such as the Myingyan Gas Power Plant with other MDBs such as ADB and IFC, where civil society groups have flagged their concerns on AIIBs lack of clarity on ESF delivery. Project impacts have been severe environmental damage, adverse gender impacts, land grabbing and resettlement, pollution, lack of project information disclosure, lack of meaningful consultations, and in one instance death and accident of labor forces within a project. For the sake of brevity, the NGO Forum on ADB will focus on this input around the standalone Bhola IPP project, and use it as an example to illustrate the ground realities around AIIB ESF delivery for a standalone project.
Read the full submission here.