January 4, 2022
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced a revision of JICA Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations (hereinafter referred to as “the Guidelines”) and Objection Procedures based on the Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations (hereinafter referred to as “the Objection Procedures”) dated January 4, 2022.
The guidelines are intended to support projects in achieving sustainable development outcomes by minimizing the negative impacts on the natural and social environment. When large-scale infrastructure projects are implemented, in accordance with the guidelines, JICA supports and confirms that the appropriate mitigation measures are taken to deal with the impacts on the environment such as air/water quality, noise, and vibration. When there are people who have to resettle because of development projects, JICA also supports and confirms so that compensation policies are consistent with the guidelines. The Objection Procedures are introduced to accept objections from project-affected people. They are procedures to conduct investigations and to coordinate with affected people when there is a risk that the environmental and social considerations in place do not comply with the guidelines.
The guidelines and the Objection Procedures, as was true formally, aim to achieve an international standard of environmental and social consideration, while realizing even faster project formulation and implementation. For example, the guidelines, as a response to climate change includes efforts to estimate and disclose total GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions. In addition, changes in the method of disclosure of EIA (Environmental impact assessment) reports aim to promote dissemination and dialogue at an early stage of the project formulation and to realize the development effects more quickly. It also strengthens a response aimed at securing appropriate participation by affected people. These revisions were made taking into account the environmental and social policies of multilateral aid agencies such as the World Bank. The Objection Procedures revisions such as emphasizing independence and neutrality of the Examiners for the Guidelines were made to ensure a sufficient investigation period, and improve access by modifying the requirements for submitting objections.
This was the first revision in 12 years, and JICA conducted a comprehensive review with the cooperation of external experts from the Advisory Committee for Environmental and Social Considerations. For this purpose, JICA formed the Advisory Council for the Revision of the Guidelines which included members from academia, NGOs, the private sector, and related ministries of the Government of Japan. It collected and fully utilized opinions widely from inside and outside of Japan by inviting public comments.
JICA will continue to work on appropriate environmental and social considerations for the realization of sustainable development.