Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for New IADB Standards Implementation

The InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) engaged Acorn International to develop a series of sector-specific Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments (SESA) to facilitate the Bank’s and its borrowers implementation of its new Environmental and Social Performance Standards (ESPS). The ESPS and the overarching Framework become applicable on October 31, 2021, providing borrowers direction on sustainability practices in 10 standards, including Gender Equity and Public Consultation. Acorn International is one of IDB’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework agreement consultants, and was selected by IDB for this work based on its strength in producing strategic solutions to environmental and social risks in investments throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region. Our work with IDB will generate three sector-specific SESAs that identify in advance the common impacts and mitigation requirements and establish pro-forma Environmental and Social Management Plans for forthcoming investments in each sector.

The result of this work will be to facilitate efforts by borrowers and IDB personnel to perform the studies, consultation and review required under the new ESPS and to expedite investment decisions by the Bank while continually de-risking its portfolio. Key risks addressed in the assessments include climate risk, biodiversity, indigenous rights and gender-based violence. Acorn International dedicated a multi-disciplinary team to produce three SESAs simultaneously in the span of three months, and will continue to support the Bank with implementation of the new standards after completion of the first three SESAs.

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