3. Environmental and Social Considerations (ESC)
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/$FILE/afghanistan0812%20PDM.pdf
The Project on Support for Expansion and Improvement of Literacy Education in Afghanistan
Project information (Project Design Matrix)
The Project on Improvement of Literacy Education Management in Afghanistan (LEAF2) Project information (Project Design Matrix)http://gwweb.jica.go.jp/km/ProjDoc400.nsf/VW02040102/FE65442E8743B206492578F00030435B/$FILE/PDM 最新版(First%20JCC%20Meeting%20Minutes%20FINAL)p.6-7.pdf
Gender Mainstreaming 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）
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