The EDB, the ADB and the AIIB discuss environmental and social standards for operations in Central Asia

21 November 2023

Almaty, 21 November 2023. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) discussed environmental and social standards governing operations in the region at the EDB-hosted roundtable discussion entitled Promoting Sustainable Development in Central Asia.

Conrad Albrecht, Managing Director of the EDB’s Sustainability Directorate, highlighted the EDB’s commitment to not only implementing best sustainability practices but also promoting the highest benchmarks and standards among its borrowers and partners. The Bank is currently finalising its new Environmental and Social Responsibility Framework, aligned with best practices and approaches followed by international institutions.

“Financial institutions prioritising sustainable development and the preservation of environmental and social values can influence the choice of projects or at least the standards they must adhere to. However, as independentorganisations, multilateral development banks must factor in economic feasibility principles and their business priorities. Our new Environmental and Social Responsibility Framework addresses this mismatch,” he said.

Sona Poghosyan, Social Development Specialist, and Armine Edigaryan, Environment Specialist at the ADB, observed that ongoing practices in applying sustainable development standards in Central Asia predominantly focus on environmental aspects. The ADB is revising its operational policy in the region, integrating a robust social component to enhance its focus on people’s interests as well as its work with local communities and governments. 

Chaohua Zhang, Chief Environmental and Social Development Specialist and Team Leader at the AIIB, said that the latest version of the bank’s Environmental and Social Framework does not support projects related directly or functionally to coal. He also emphasised that the primary challenge in project execution is adapting global standards, practices and policies to client countries.

Additional Information:

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution promoting integration and development in its member countries. For more than 17 years, the Bank has worked to strengthen and expand economic ties and foster comprehensive development in its member countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Tajikistan. The EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. Its portfolio consists principally of projects with an integration effect in transport infrastructure, digital systems, green energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. The Bank’s operations are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles.

The EDB Media Centre:

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