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3. Environmental and Social Considerations (ESC)

Previous Answer

JICA respects the principles of internationally established human rights standards such as the International Convention on Human Rights, and gives special attention to the human rights  of  vulnerable  social  groups  including  women,  indigenous  peoples,  persons  with disabilities, and minorities when implementing cooperation projects.

In   order   to   implement   such   principles   into   individual   projects,   JICA   follows   the Environmental  and Social Considerations  Guidelines  which  describes  the  procedure  and requirements in mitigation in order to adverse environmental and social impacts from those projects.     JICA  expects  that  project  proponents,  etc.  will  meet  these  requirements. Depending on the nature of cooperation project, JICA provides support     and examines if project proponent are in accordance with Sections 2 and 3 of the guidelines. JICA confirms that projects do not deviate significantly from the World Bank`s Safeguard Policies.

JICA  has  also  established  the  Advisory  Committee  for  Environmental  and  Social Considerations   as   an   independent   council   composed   of   external   experts   with   the knowledge necessary to provide advice regarding support for and examinations of the ESC of cooperation projects.

Supplementary Explanation

a.Please explain the meaning of ESC.

As mentioned in JICA ESC Guidelines, "Environmental and social considerations" means considering environmental impacts including air, water, soil, ecosystem, flora, and fauna, as well as social impacts including involuntary resettlement, respect for the human rights of indigenous people, and so on.

b. How is ESC implemented to promote and protect human rights?

In JICA, appropriate environmental and social considerations are undertaken, according to the nature of the project, which cover but are not limited to social impacts, including migration of population and involuntary resettlement, local economy such as employment and livelihood, utilization of land and local resources, social institutions such as social capital and local decision-making institutions, existing social infrastructures and services, vulnerable social groups such as poor and indigenous peoples, equality of benefits and losses and equality in the development process, gender, children’s rights, cultural heritage, local conflicts of interest, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and working conditions including occupational safety.

c.What gaps are there between ESC and international human rights law?

JICA respects the principles of internationally established human rights standards such as the International Convention on Human Rights, and gives special attention to human rights of vulnerable social groups including women, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and minorities when implementing cooperation projects.

d.ESC guidelines(http://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/social_environmental/guideline/pdf/guideline100326.pdf) were updated in 2010 to improve the transparency and accountability of JICA’s projects and improve local residents’ living standards.

  1. What impact has this had on the ground?

In the new guidelines, JICA confirms that projects do not deviate significantly from the World Bank's Safeguard Policies, and refers as a benchmark to the standards of international financial organizations; to internationally recognized standards, or international standards, treaties, and declarations, etc.; and to the good practices etc. of developed nations including Japan, when appropriate. When JICA recognizes significant gaps between laws and regulations related to the environmental and social considerations of the project and the aforementioned standards and good practices, JICA encourages project proponents etc., including local governments, to take more appropriate steps through a series of dialogues, in which JICA clarifies the background of and reasons for the gaps and takes measures to mitigate the adverse impacts when necessary.

Also based on the new Guidelines, JICA has established the Advisory Committee for Environmental and Social Considerations as an independent council composed of external experts with the knowledge necessary to provide advice regarding support for and examinations of the environmental and social considerations of cooperation projects.

  1. Some development consultants who work with JICA suggest that in practice ESC guidelines are used primarily as to provide information in order to initiate projects without serious consideration of the relevant human rights issues. Does JICA share these concerns and, if so, what steps will you take to make the guidelines substantive and not just procedural?

In order to promote sustainable development in developing countries, JICA's principle is to avoid or minimize development projects' impacts on the environment and local communities, and to prevent the occurrence of unacceptable adverse impacts. JICA expects that project proponents, development consultants, etc., will meet requirements regarding environmental and   social   considerations   mentioned   in   the   guidelines,   in   order   to   meet       the above-mentioned basic principle.

At the same time, while project proponents etc. take the initiative to deal with the environmental and social considerations of projects, JICA provides support for and examinations of the environmental and social considerations that project proponents etc. implement in accordance with Sections 2 and 3 of the guidelines, depending on the nature of cooperation projects.

8. How does JICA deal with conflicts between governments and project recipients? We would appreciate examples of how such cases have been handled.

a.  The  Cambodian  government  calls  residents  around  some  JICA  project  sites "squatters" in order to justify the forced relocation of residents, while residents and local nongovernment  organizations  (NGOs)  and  lawyers  say  they  have  the  rights  to  ownership  or  possession  and  are  being  victimized  by  powerful  interests  and  an ambiguous land law.   How did the Japanese government deal with these situations?Under ESC guidelines, what steps will the Japanese government take to better protect rights?

Previous Answer

Regarding the involuntary resettlement in Cambodia, JICA has been conducting capacity development  to  the  Cambodia  Government  to  enhance  their  institutional  capacity  to implement  proper  resettlement  procedures.  JICA  will  continue  to  assist  the  Cambodian government.

When  conducting  any  JICA  projects,  JICA  conducts  surveys  in  line  with  the  ESC Guidelines. According to such surveys, JICA has advised and persuaded the Cambodian government  to  cope  with  ESC  issues  adequately.  JICA  will  continue  to  look  over  such issues cautiously and properly.

Supplementary Explanation

JICA has supported the project on “Capacity Enhancement of Environmental and Social Considerations for Resettlement” from 2010 to 2012. The project aimed to improve the administrative capacity on resettlement through formulating standardized operating procedures named BRP (Basic Resettlement Procedures) which meets the international standard pursuing quality control in work steps, such as "Property Measurement Survey", "Public Consultation Meeting" and others. The project also supported strengthening the capacity of government officials in appropriate implementation of resettlement activities. Utilizing the fruit of the project and in accordance with JICA ESC guidelines, Cambodian Government  will  conduct  the  involuntary  resettlement  process  in  the  new  project   on “National Road No.5 Improvement Project” funded by JICA. JICA will monitor government’s efforts on the appropriate procedures and activities on involuntary resettlement.

Project information (in Japanese): http://www.jica.go.jp/project/cambodia/007/outline/index.htm

b. In JBIC's "Double-Double Track" project in Jakarta, Indonesia, which expanded the compendation than they actually received, lost considerable personal property   during evictions, and were intimidated by thugs prior to their eviction.  In one instance, the eviction  turned  violent.      The  consultation  between  JBIC  and  Indonesian  NGOs appears to have been insufficient.    How did the Japanese government respond once it learned about these problems?   What would the Japanese government do differently if this situation were to happen again to better protect rights?

Previous Answer

Regarding  the  points  in  your  report  "Condemned  Communities  Forced  Evictions  in Jakarta",  as  replied  in  the  letter  from  former  JBIC  on  September  4,  2007,  the  Study conducted  by  University  of  Indonesia  found  that  the  socialization,  payment  and  eviction process   was   properly   conducted   by   executing   agency   of   the   Project   and   related municipalities based on the government of Indonesia's rules and regulations.

In   April   2010,   JICA   issued   the   new   "Guidelines   for   environmental   and   social considerations" to encourage the host country to have more appropriate consideration for environmental  and  social  impacts  by  clearly  mentioning  the  importance  of  "stakeholder participation, information transparency, accountability, and efficiency" in the Basic Principle and "appropriate participation by affected people" in the articles.

Supplementary Explanation

Regarding the consultation between JICA and a recipient country or counterpart organization in relation with social consideration of JICA funded project, there is the following example.

 The cancell ati on of “C il i wung -Cisadane River Flood Control Project (I),

The Project (L/A signed in 1998) was originally planned to construct Ciliwung floodway and river channel improvement of Cisadane River to mitigate flood damages in DKI Jakarta and West Java Province.

In 2002, the Ministry of Public Works decided to modify the original Project’s scope to rivers channel improvement due to strong opposition from local governments and NGOs on the original plan due to land acquisition and resettlement.

In 2003, DKI Jakarta said that they were enforcing the relocation of illegal residents (approximately 2,000 households) who lived along the river sides.

In order to investigate the actual conditions at the site, JICA conducted its own study and concluded that the process taken by DKI Jakarta does not meet JICA’s guidelines on Environment and Social Considerations.

After a series of discussions between Indonesian Government and JICA, Indonesian Government requested the cancellation of the Project to JICA.

This case shows that JICA always tries to confirm the actual situation of project site to the possible extent and has been giving priority on social considerations

c. NGOs in Mozambique and Japan have been repeatedly calling on the Japanese government to review the ProSAVANA project in Mozambique, which may threaten the livelihood of small-scale farmers. A 2013 Human Rights Watch report (https://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/23/what-house-without-food) showed how weak governance and limited safeguards in Mozambique mean that large-scale development projects, especially those involving resettlement, can lead to negative human rights impacts on local communities’ access to food, water, and work.

Previous Answer

The  Project  on  “Support  of  the  Agricultural  Development  Master  Plan  for  the  Nacala Corridor in Mozambique” which is the Master Plan for ProSAVANA, aims to improve the livelihood of inhabitants of the Nacala Corridor, most of who are small scale farmers.  To ensure human rights due diligence, the undergoing Master Plan Project will propose the monitoring  and  evaluation  system  implemented  by  the  government  of  Mozambique  to prevent infringement of farmers’ rights.

In  terms  of  threat  to  livelihood  of  small-scale  farmers,  JICA  understands  that  the Mozambique government never forces the farmers to transform the farming system from shifting cultivation to continuous farming nor change their cultivation crop. The Project will respect farmers’ decision on selection of farming system and their cultivation crop.

To  ensure  to  prevent  land  acquisition   related  problems,  JICA  implements  Strategic Environmental   Assessment   considering   social   impacts   caused   by   land   acquisition, involuntary resettlement, etc.

In accordance with JICA Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations, JICA tentatively  classifies  the  Master  Plan  Project  into  the  category  B.  JICA  reviews  the categorization accordingly after priority projects have been identified.

After the Master Plan is finalized and then JICA decides to provide further assistance for some  priority  projects  based  on  official  request  from  project  proponents.  JICA classifies those projects assisted by JICA into the category again based on more detailed information, and then examine appropriate environment and social considerations.

Indeed, in the Master Plan Project, the consultations with local stakeholders in total more than 50 times with about 2500 participants have been implemented in order to take into consideration  their  opinion  to  the  Master  Plan.  The  consultation  will  continue  until  the finalization of the Master Plan formulation process.

Supplementary Explanation

Why is this large-scale agricultural development project not a category A project, requiring a strict assessment by JICA, despite the significant risk of deeply adverse impacts on local communities?

The Project on “Support of the Agricultural Development Master Plan for the Nacala Corridor in Mozambique” which is the Master Plan for ProSAVANA, aims to improve the livelihood of inhabitants of the Nacala Corridor most of who are small scale farmers.

At present, this project is classified as category B, since it is not likely to have significant adverse impact on the environment and society based on the current project contents. JICA reviews the categorization accordingly after priority projects have been identified.

What steps are being taken to ensure human rights due diligence with this project? How will this project be monitored? How will JICA ensure open and regular dialogue with affected communities?

The undergoing Master Plan Project includes the proposal of monitoring and evaluation system implemented by the government of Mozambique to prevent infringement of farmers’ rights.

As far as this, the Mozambique government never forces the farmers to transform the farming system from shifting cultivation to continuous farming nor change their cultivation crop. The Project will respect farmers’ decision on selection of farming system and their cultivation crop.

In the Master Plan Project, the consultations with local stakeholders in total more than 50 times with about 2500 participants have been implemented in order to take into consideration their opinion to the Master Plan. The consultation will continue until the finalization of the Master Plan formulation process

How will JICA ensure that ESC guidelines will be useful in preventing and addressing all land acquisition related problems?

In accordance with JICA Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations, for the Master Plan Project, JICA implements Strategic Environmental Assessment considering social impacts caused by land acquisition, involuntary resettlement etc..JICA tentatively classifies the Master Plan project into the category B based on adverse impacts of each proposed priority project on the environment and society.

After the Master Plan is finalized and then JICA decides to provide further assistance for some priority projects based on official request from project proponents,JICA categorizes again those projects assisted by JICA based on more detailed information, and then examine appropriate environmental and social considerations.

Can you explain JICA’s policy on resettlements and how it will be implemented in this case?

Involuntary resettlement and loss of means of livelihood are to be avoided when feasible by exploring all viable alternatives. When, after such an examination, avoidance is proved unfeasible, effective measures to minimize the impacts and to compensate for losses must be agreed upon with affected people.

With regard to concrete actions on involuntary resettlement caused by this project, please see above the answer for 8.c.iii.

Additional Question. What measure does JICA implement regarding gender issue in conflict affected region?

Through implementation of following projects, JICA assist conflict affected country/regions’ initiative for the protection of women’s rights. JICA is exploring the possibility of expansion of such gender projects in response to the Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Sixty-Eighth Session of The G.A of The United Nations.

Protection

Project on Strengthening Multi-Disciplinary Teams for Protection of Trafficked Persons in Thailand.

Project information http://www.jica.go.jp/project/thailand/0800136/outline/pdf/outline_eng.pdf

Project in conflict affected country

Poverty Reduction for Chronically Poor Women in Afghanistan

Through projects contributing to the improvement of socioeconomic situation of chronically poor women, administrative capacity development of the officials of related ministry (i.e. ministry of women's affairs, ministry of labor, etc.) are conducted. Through such capacity development, those officials are enabled to both plan and operate policy and projects based on gender perspective.

Project information (in Japanese)http://gwweb.jica.go.jp/km/ProjDoc400.nsf/VW02040102/C16ABF3225469050492575F500081912/$FILE/afghanistan0812%20PDM.pdf

http://www.jica.go.jp/publication/j-world/1205/pdf/tokushu_05.pdf

The Project on Support for Expansion and Improvement of Literacy Education in Afghanistan

Project information (Project Design Matrix)

The Project on Improvement of Literacy Education Management in Afghanistan (LEAF2) Project information (Project Design Matrix)http://gwweb.jica.go.jp/km/ProjDoc400.nsf/VW02040102/FE65442E8743B206492578F00030435B/$FILE/PDM 最新版(First%20JCC%20Meeting%20Minutes%20FINAL)p.6-7.pdf

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusion Project in Nepal             

As the project executed as part of democracy assistance, when choosing mediator from the village community, social inclusion is included as one of standards. This standard includes perspective of gender along with caste system, ethnic groups, and etc. Indeed, three in one newly trained meditator are women. We have identified the case where meditators including women have improved his/her self-esteem and pride through being elected and arbitrating between local residents as mediator.

Project information (Project Design Matrix)http://gwweb.jica.go.jp/km/ProjDoc060.nsf/VW02040102/3692AD213AA571E9492575F5 (in Japanese)

http://www.jica.go.jp/project/nepal/0800392/outline/index.html

In order to promote better understanding of gender consideration or environmental & social consideration, JICA has been providing consultants and JICA experts with the following skill development programs. JICA is planning to organize a seminar on RBA in near future.

Skill development training program for consultants & JICA experts   

Training program on Agriculture/ Community Development & Gender 10 person / annually   

Training program on ESC for consultants         25person / annually

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