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IDB 2012 Sustainability Report Highlights Climate Change, Water Lending

IDB13 March 2013: The eighth edition of the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Sustainability Report indicates that, during the fiscal year 2012, the Bank surpassed its 2015 target of committing over one-fourth of its lending to projects dealing with climate change, sustainable energy and environmental sustainability.

The report, released ahead of the IDB Annual Meeting in Panama City, Panama, from 14-17 March 2013, includes a section highlighting environmental and social sustainability implications of water use and resources in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The Sustainability Report 2012 states that, in the fiscal year 2012, IDB approved 169 projects totaling US$11.4 billion, 45 of which, for a total of US$3.75 billion, supported initiatives dealing with climate change, sustainable energy and the environment. As a result, even though the percentage is down from the fiscal year 2011 high of 46%, the Bank continues to surpass the 25% target for 2015 set during the IDB's General Capital Increase approved in 2010.

The report features a special section devoted to discussing complexities and challenges in LAC facing water management, including basic sanitation, and the IDB role in tackling them. The section discusses the relationship in LAC between water and human well-being (including health), water and business productivity, water and energy production, water and food production, and how climate change affects these linkages.

As companion pieces to the Sustainability Report discussion of water issues, the Bank released four technical reports or "sustainability papers" on: climate change impacts on water in the tropical Andes; water security and services in the Caribbean; managing the freshwater impact of gold mining in LAC, particularly in northern South America; and hydroelectric development and ecosystem services in Central America.

Another section of the report examines: IDB's implementation of its Sustainability Action Plan; its work to develop and implement performance indicators; its focus on climate change adaptation in its water resources management work; its 30 projects approved during the fiscal year 2012 involving climate change mitigation and adaptation, including those focused on sustainable energy and transport; and its ten fiscal year 2012 projects contributing to biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The Sustainability Report also discusses the Bank's fiscal year 2012 implementation of its six environmental and social safeguard policies on natural habitats, pollution prevention, transboundary impacts, resettlement, indigenous peoples, disaster risk management, gender equality and information disclosure. The Report notes that 81% of IDB-backed projects with high environmental and social risks were rated as achieving satisfactory performance, putting it on-track to meet a target of 85% satisfactory performance by 2015. [IDB Press Release] [Publication: IDB Sustainability Report 2012] [Publication: IDB Sustainability Papers on Water Resources Management]