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Updated On: Sunday, 22 September 2019

Costa Rica hosts IDB’s Regional Policy Dialogue on Environmental Permitting and Compliance

Content by: Inter-American Development Bank

Escazú, Costa Rica – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit, June 18-20 will hold the VII Regional Policy Dialogue (RPD) to help Latin American environmental agencies strengthen their environmental permitting and compliance systems.

This interactive dialogue will give participants a chance to share experiences and get up-to-date information from equivalent regional agencies working on environmental permitting and compliance issues, providing officials from countries with less environmental governance knowledge and/or experience an opportunity to learn from colleagues who have faced difficult situations in the past.

“Both research and experience have shown that good social and environmental project management can be an effective way to anticipate and mitigate risks,” IDB Representative in Costa Rica Fidel Jaramillo said. “Therefore, focusing on boosting the adequate knowledge and capabilities and on the implementation of environmental permitting and compliance can be extremely beneficial to the region.”

The central topic of this seventh RPD meeting will be the strengthening of economic, spatial and political tools for decision making. The articulation of permitting and compliance –two interwoven elements of the process– is crucial to meet expectations and to ensure observance of social and environmental obligations. Sharing best practices and implementing the best means to ensure feedback will strengthen not only the environmental permitting process but also its future monitoring and enforcement.

A variety of experts will head the interactive sessions where participants will increase their knowledge of best practices. Issues that were identified as primary both at the previous RPD and by the countries that took part in the planning committee include:

  • Economic appraisal of current and potential environmental damages.
  • Change of trends in order to close the development projects’ social impacts gap.
  • An outline of the future of the environmental and social permitting and compliance system, including an assessment of progress made over the past 60 years and how the IDB has escorted regional countries along this path.

Regional Political Dialogue participants will be urged to use the Virtual Community of Social and Environmental Safeguard Practices in Latin America (VCOP). This communications platform allows officials to share common interests to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental management and protection.

Since 2015, the IDB has held six rounds of Regional Political Dialogue on environmental permitting and compliance, where senior officials from regional countries have discussed their common problems and shared implemented solutions.

The IDB also carries out other activities to strengthen the environmental and social safeguards systems of its member nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including an online training program with courses on biodiversity and on environmental assessment review and approval that also serves as a source of reference that stakeholders can use to clear subject-related doubts.

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