World Bank Environmental and Social Framework workshop opens today

A workshop to support the implementation of the new World Bank Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) kicks off today Monday, 26 February – March 1, 2018 at Alisa Hotel, Accra.

The workshop, is expected to brings together government and non-governmental representatives from Ghana and Project Implementation Units from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The workshop aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the new environmental and social requirements applicable to the investment projects it finances starting October 2018.

ESF is the result of the most extensive consultations ever conducted by the World Bank, with nearly four years of analysis and engagement around the world with governments, development experts, and civil society groups, reaching nearly 8,000 stakeholders in 63 countries.

With this new framework provides a broad coverage of environmental and social issues, including important advances on transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation and accountability. The ESF also places more emphasis on building Borrower governments’ own capacity to deal with environmental and social issues.

The workshop will consist of: a half day presentation to high level Government officials; a two-day technical training for project implementation staff; and half day awareness session with other stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

In a statement copied to thebftonline.com, the World Bank Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Henry Kerali said, “time and again, we have seen that investment projects are more sustainable and have a greater development impact when the environment is protected, and when communities and people are engaged.

According to the statement, “the ESF is a great opportunity for governments to strengthen their environmental and social systems, and help build the country’s’ capacity to implement programs in a sustainable way and to achieve stronger results.”

The World Bank’s environmental and social policies aim to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from the potential adverse impacts of the projects it finances — such as building a road, connecting people to electricity, or treating waste water which policies help identify, avoid, and minimize harm to people and the environment.

Per the timetable the project is expected to go into effect October 2018, and will progressively replace the World Bank’s current Safeguards policies.