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IRM Compliance Review. VLOR Ë THERMAL POWER GENERATION PROJECT April 2008. Background. €40m sovereign guaranteed loan, EBRD approved June 2004 (co-financed) WB EIA process and consultation under way prior to EBRD involvement

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Irm compliance review

IRM Compliance Review


April 2008


  • €40m sovereign guaranteed loan, EBRD approved June 2004 (co-financed)

  • WB EIA process and consultation under way prior to EBRD involvement

  • WB site selection study and consultation completed (October 2002) before EBRD Concept Review (June 2003)

  • Complaint received April 2007, EAR approved October 2007, CR approved April 2008

Grounds of complaint
Grounds of Complaint

  • EP Section I, paras. 1-3: ‘sustainable development’

  • EP Section II, para. 6: ‘precautionary approach’

  • EP Section II, para. 11 and Section III, para. 26: information disclosure and public consultation (Annex 2)

  • EBRD Policy on Cultural Property – World Bank OPN No. 11.03

Sustainable development
Sustainable Development

  • Article 2.1 vii EBRD Agreement; EP Section I, para. 2 – sustainable development

  • EP Section I, para. 2 – inter-generational equity

  • EP Section I, para. 3 – broad understanding of ‘environment’

  • Specific obligations re projects - EIA

Precautionary approach
Precautionary Approach

  • EP Section II, para. 6 – natural biodiversity resources

  • Conceptual (though uncertain) approach to environmental decision-making (standard-setting; clean technology, etc.)

  • Specific obligations re projects – EIA (EP Section III, para. 14 – ‘precautionary approach to assessment of env. Impacts’

    • (i) identification of risk / requirement for EIA

    • (ii) broadest possible range of impacts studied

Information disclosure and public consultation
Information Disclosure and Public Consultation

  • EP Section II, para. 11: ‘enabling dialogue with stakeholders’ – Aarhus Convention

  • EP Section III, para 26: meaningful public consultation re EIA projects, re design, location, technology, timing, etc. (Annex 2 – consultation at each stage of EIA)

Precedential issues
Precedential Issues

  • ‘material violation’: seriousness of consequences / significant harm

  • Determination of substantive / procedural requirements of general principles: sustainable development; intergenerational equity; precautionary approach; EIA

  • Relevance of interpretive decisions – ACCC interpretation of Aarhus Convention requirements

  • EBRD should take active steps to ensure adequacy of measures taken by co-financiers


  • Adequacy of EIA:

    • SEETAC Review of 2003 Final EIA; 2004 EIA Addendum; requirements of Albanian legislation; undertakings re EMP; EP Section III, para. 16; EU and intl. standards (WB / Espoo)

    • Scrutiny of impacts: tourism, fisheries, coral, cultural property, Narta Lagoon

    • Screening for EIA (300 megawatts)

    • Broad consideration of impacts (location, mercury


  • Public Consultation

    • EBRD relied on WB public consultation re plant location

    • ACCC concluded Albania failed to comply with Art. 6, paras. 3, 4 and 8 due to unclear circumstances re public meeting of October 2002 (announced, meeting records, etc.)

    • ACCC expressed further concerns re meetings of April 2003 and September 2003

    • ACCC determination: once decision taken (re location), public involvement in later stages of decision cannot meet requirements of Aarhus Conv

    • EBRD Env Dept Guidance re meaningful consultation

    • Material violation warranting remedial changes to EBRD practices and procedures (but not in scope or implementation of the Project)


  • Cultural Property

    • Little evidence provided of historical or religious significance of site

    • Issue not raised during scoping of EIA

    • Investigation by WB Inspection Panel – no evidence, monitoring of ‘chance finds’ during construction excavations only practical option

    • Appropriate for WB Inspection Panel to complete investigation (identical safeguard policy – OPN 11.03) – IRM RP 15 ‘avoid duplication’

    • ‘wait and see’ – material violation would not affect scope or implementation of Project; measures taken

Proposed remedial changes to ebrd practices and procedures
Proposed Remedial Changes to EBRD Practices and Procedures

  • Recruitment of necessary personnel prior to entry into force of new ESP

  • Guidance / procedures on cultural property

  • Requirements re records of public consultation

  • Guidance note re all aspects of ESP, incl. EIA

  • Mechanisms for inter-institutional communication in co-financed projects

  • Improved role of Resident Offices