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Mainstreaming the environment. The World Bank Group and the environment since the Rio Earth Summit, Fiscal 1995.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1995. xv, 301 p.Almost all countries of the world agreed with the idea of environmentally sustainable development at the Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit. This report summarizes World Bank activities that directly deal with improving the environment. Part 1 reviews World Bank activities during 1993-95 at the national, regional, and global levels and intellectual efforts toward making development environmentally and socially sustainable. Part 2 focuses on activities in the social sectors, followed by agricultural, energy, transportation, and urban development sectors, which comprise about 60% of Bank activity. Part 2 also discusses activities that did not specifically focus on the environment. Activities include education, health, and nutrition projects and other projects such as irrigation projects, which could adversely affect the environment. Some projects, such as energy projects, are trade-offs between protecting the environment and promoting economic development and poverty reduction. Part 3 illustrates the private sector's role in environmental protection and explains how the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) contribute to environmental sustainability. Both the Bank and the IFC screen operations for their environmental impact. Environmental assessments are available for some projects. The Bank's Public Information Center has since 1994 disclosed environmental information on its projects. This report includes the positive progress to date and discusses areas in need of improvement. The current approach of the Bank includes an emphasis on grassroots participation and implementation, on the incorporation of environmental issues into sectoral and national strategies, and on people and social structures.
EARTH TIMES. 1997 Jan 1-15; 10(1):5-7.During 1997, the international community will move from the five-year cycle of UN summit-level conferences to a phase in which the policy goals arising from these conferences must be implemented. The success of that implementation will depend upon the choice of starting points; the balance of finance, technology, and political courage; the ability to plan specifics while viewing generalities; and the ability to preserve global responsibility in the face of global economic competition. 1997 will be marked by new UN leadership, by whether the US places environmental issues on par with economic and international affairs, and by how the issue of funding Agenda 21 is resolved. In addition, more women are needed in positions of political and economic leadership at all levels to implement the goals of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Another concern which must be met in 1997 is the growing divide between the public discussions of the completed UN conference cycle and the private process embraced by the World Trade Organization, which may nullify the terms of many international environmental agreements. The most easily implemented agreement reached at the UNCED was the Climate Change Convention (which would control emissions) but the voluntary target has been effectively scrapped, and 1997 will see the adoption of a realistic goal or admitted failure in implementation. Additional issues include the codification of public policy goals in privatization contracts, stemming current weapons exportation, exposing and decrying unethical expedient alliances between northern fossil fuel industries and developing countries, and promoting wildlife protection.