World Bank to turn back the clock 30 years on land rights‏

World BankCELADA was recently notified by the Managing Director of Inclusive Development International that the World Bank has presented to its Board a draft of its new social and environmental safeguards policies.

Inclusive Development International and other organizations have reviewed a leaked draft of these policies and are appalled by its implications. Based on the evidence available, CELADA is equally concerned.

“Some of the most alarming proposed changes include:
  • An ‘opt out’ option for governments that decide they don’t want to apply the Indigenous People’s policy.
  • Major dilutions of the Bank’s current standards on “involuntary resettlement,” including the requirement for borrowers to submit and the Bank to review and approve – prior to project approval – a comprehensive resettlement plan that ensures affected people are not harmed and have an opportunity to share in the benefits of the project.
  • Exclusion of land titling projects from the coverage of the resettlement policy, leaving people like Cambodia’s Boeung Kak Lake community whose homes were demolished after they were determined not to have ownership rights by a Bank titling project completely unprotected from forced eviction.
  • Totally inadequate protections against land-grabbing, despite an alarming reference indicating that Bank projects could involve large-scale transfers of land for agricultural investment.
  • The elimination of essential appraisal and supervision requirements, which made the Bank itself accountable for non-compliance with the policies.”

We have added CELADA’s name to a statement that will be sent to The Board Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) Monday morning with the message that this draft is a non-starter for consultation and must be sent back for major revisions.

If you would like to learn more or voice your support as well, please contact David Pred at

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