JICA proclaimed the new "JICA guidelines for environmental and social considerations" (herein after "the new Guidelines") on April, 1st, 2010, consolidated the different guidelines for environmental and social considerations used by former JBIC and JICA into a single set of guidelines, in accordance with the merger of two agencies. The new Guidelines come into effect from July 1st, 2010, and will be applied to the projects whose applications are made by project proponents etc., on and after the effective date (July 1st, 2010) of the guidelines. The new "Objection Procedures for the Guidelines" is also established at the same time.
In preparation the Guidelines, JICA established a committee for revising the guidelines, which consists of academics, NGOs, the private sector, and related ministries, and all the meetings of the committee were open to the public. In addition, the guidelines were prepared through public comments and consultation process in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
Main Points of the new Guideline are as follows:
- 1) Consolidation of procedures for Technical Cooperation, Loan aid and Grant aid
Under the new guidelines, the scheme-wise procedures previously operated under two guidelines have been consolidated into single common procedure, corresponding to seamless management of three forms of assistance in new JICA operation.
- 2) Enhancing Information Disclosure
Environmental permit certifications, RAP (Resettlement Action Plans), IPP (Indigenous People Plans) and monitoring results are newly added as information to be disclosed.
JICA discloses the result of categorization on the website before making the decision to undertake preparatory surveys. For the category A projects (likely to have significant adverse impacts), JICA then discloses a)final reports or equivalent documents of preparatory surveys, b)EIA reports (120 days prior to concluding agreement documents) and environmental permit certifications, c)RAP and IPP (if preparations are required) prior to environmental review.
Further, JICA discloses the results of environmental reviews after the agreement documents are concluded and also the results of monitoring subject to approval by project proponents, on the website.
- 3) Enhancing involvement of Advisory Committee
Under the new guideline, Advisory Committee consists of external experts gives advice as needed mainly on the Category A projects, not only in preparatory surveys but also at the environmental review and monitoring stages.
- 4) Strengthening the requirements for environmental review
The requirements for environmental and social considerations are strengthened. For example, in case of involuntary resettlement, prior compensation at full replacement cost must be provided as far as possible. When projects may have adverse impacts on indigenous people, effort must be made to obtain the consent of indigenous people in a process of "free, prior, and informed consultation". With such revision, the consistency with the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies is increased.
JICA "Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations" specifies that "JICA will create a comprehensive review of the guidelines within ten years of their enforcement on the bases of its findings." JICA had studied environmental and social safeguard practices as per the Guidelines since February 2018.