IDB Meets in Guayaquil, Ecuador amid China-US Tensions, Safeguard Revision

Leaders from across the Americas and beyond are gathering in Guayaquil, Ecuador today for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank. The meeting comes at a crucial juncture for the bank. As its leaders converge, the IDB is undertaking a major revision of its environmental and social safeguards, while also seeking to heal internal divisions that led to the cancellation of the annual meeting originally planned to take place in Chengdu, China in March of this year. 


Today, GDP Center postdoctoral fellow Rebecca Ray writes in an Op-Ed for Diálago Chino that this year’s meeting is expected to have a more subdued, private character, without as much participation from business and civil society as in years past. That approach is understandable after the public rift surrounding the cancelled meeting, in which China and western IDB members disagreed over which Venezuelan representative to recognize. However, given the crucial role of civil society consultations surrounding the safeguard revision, the bank would be wise to embrace every opportunity for public dialogue.


With China’s presence in Latin America as a backdrop to this year’s meetings, the GDP Center is proud to have collaborated with partners at the Chicago Field Museum, the China-Latin America Sustainable Investments Initiative, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Paulson Institute on the multi-year project China in the Amazon: Toward a Framework of Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Risks in Infrastructure Development. This report incorporates lessons from workshops, webinars, and case studies with stakeholders across Amazon-basin countries. It seeks to integrate China’s capacity to finance much-needed infrastructure in the region with the unique environmental and social sensitivities inherent to the Amazon basin. 


The GDP Center has a wide range of resources available on multilateral development banks, the role of environmental and social safeguards, and the rise of China as an important partner in development finance in Latin America. 


Link to the Report
IDB meets quietly in Guayaquil after China dispute
Rebecca Ray in Dialogo Chino
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Aligning G20 Infrastructure Investment with Climate Goals & the 2030 Agenda
Amar Bhattacharya and Minji Jeong, Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution
Kevin P. Gallagher, Miquel Muñoz Cabré, and Xinyue Ma, Global Development Policy (GDP) Center , Boston University
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Standardizing Sustainable Development? Development Banks in the Andean Amazon (Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese)
Rebecca Ray, Kevin Gallagher, and Cynthia Sanborn
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Development Banks and Socio-Environmental Risk: In search of an improved prognosis for sensitive development projects
By Daniel M. Schydlowsky
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Managing Risk in Chinese Overseas Development: Lessons for the Andean Amazon
By Rebecca Ray, Kevin P. Gallagher, and Cynthia Sanborn
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Who Controls Multilateral Development Finance
By Rebecca Ray
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Ecuador (WP) – Evading Sustainable Development Standards: Case Studies on hydroelectric projects in Ecuador
By Maria Cristina Vallejo, Betty Espinosa, Francisco Venes, Victor Lopez and Susana Anda
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Bolivia (WP) – The effectiveness of the safeguards in place for three highway projects in Bolivia
By Lykke E. Andersen, Susana del Granado, Agnes Medinaceli and Miguel Antonio Roca
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Peru (WP) – Financing infrastructure projects in the southern Amazon of Peru: its relation with environmental and social safeguards
By Juan Luis Dammert B.
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Brazil (WP) – Safeguarding Sustainable Development: BNDES, Fundo Amazonia, and Sustainable Development in the Northwestern Brazilian Amazon
By Julie Michelle Klinger
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Greening Development Lending in the Americas: Trends and Determinants
By Fei Yuan and Kevin P. Gallagher
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The Political Economy of World Bank Lending: An empirical analysis of environmental and social safeguards at the World Bank
By Kevin P. Gallagher and Christopher Kilby
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