World Bank Growing Sensitive to Environmental Impact of Projects / Growth Must Allow Environmental Protection, Says President

By Philip Shabecoff, N. Y. T. N. S. | THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 5, 1986 | Go to article overview

World Bank Growing Sensitive to Environmental Impact of Projects / Growth Must Allow Environmental Protection, Says President


Philip Shabecoff, N. Y. T. N. S., THE JOURNAL RECORD


WASHINGTON - The World Bank and other international development institutions are coming under increasing pressure to s top financing what critics, including the Reagan administration, complain are environmentally destructive projects.

The big banks are starting to display sensitivity to the criticism and to make promises of change. In his first major speech as new president of the World Bank, Barber Conable said recently that the bank must ""balance growth with environmental protection.''

As he spoke, environmentalists from five continents demonstrated nearby to protest what they said were the environmentally destructive lending policies of the World Bank and other international development institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Bank and the African Bank.

This month, an international consortium of conservation organizations, led by the Environmental Defense Fund, sent Conable a report condemning a World Bank-financed project in Indonesia that is seeking to resettle hundreds of thousands of people from the island of Java to more sparsely settled areas in the Indonesian portions of Borneo and New Guinea. The report said the project would destroy millions of acres of virgin rain forest while placing the emigrants in an environment that would not sustain long-term development.

Bruce Rich, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the Indonesian project ""is only the latest example of systematic World Bank environmental negligence that has been documented in 17 congressional hearings over the past three years.''

The Reagan administration, members of Congress and environmental groups are now putting heavy pressure on the development banks to finance only environmentally sound projects.

These critics say many loans by these multilateral banks are actually blocking economic progress in some poor countries because the projects they support often help destroy natural systems like forests, farmland and watersheds that are essential for sustainable development. The large-scale, capital-intensive projects often displace local populations and can destroy their culture, the critics say.

Earlier this year, for example, there were strong protests when the World Bank announced, over the objections and dissenting vote of the United States, approval of a $500 million loan to Brazil fora series of large-scale hydroelectric projects. The loan was the first of three, totaling over $1 billion, that the bank is planning for hydroelectric projects in Brazil.

Hugh W. Foster, the alternate U.S. executive director of the World Bank, in opposing the loan at the board meeting, used words like ""folly'' and ""environmental disasters'' to describe the power projects the bank proposes to finance.

Environmental groups said they were ""dismayed and distressed by the environmental negligence which characterizes this loan.''

They said hundreds of square miles of vital tropical forest would be flooded and indigenous people displaced.

The bank's vice president for operations, S. Shahid Husain, said last month that the power projects in Brazil were already well advanced and that the bank's participation would help ""mitigate'' environmental damage.

Rich said loans for environmentally destructive projects by the big development banks were ""a critical issue.'' Noting that the multilateral institutions make development loans totaling over $20 billion a year and that these loans generate twice again as much development money from public and private sources, he said the activities of the World Bank and other development banks ""are very important.''

""They can determine the ecological health of two-thirds of the world,'' he said.

The Reagan administration, acting under legislation passed by Congress late last year, is pressing the development agencies to make environmental concerns a more central part of their planning and lending activities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

World Bank Growing Sensitive to Environmental Impact of Projects / Growth Must Allow Environmental Protection, Says President
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.