BELIZE Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) (P127338) CONTINGENT EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMPONENT (CERC) ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK (ESMF)

BELIZE Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) (P127338)

CONTINGENT EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMPONENT (CERC)

 ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK (ESMF)

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Submitted: June 17, 2020

Prepared by: CRIP Project Management Unit

 

Contents

1        Executive Summary. 5

2        Introduction and Background. 6

3        Objective and Application of the ESMF. 8

4        Scope of the ESMF. 8

5        Project Description. 9

6        Belize National Laws and Regulations. 11

6.1       National Regulation. 11

6.2       The World Bank Safeguard Policies. 14

7        Applicable World Bank Safeguard Policies. 16

8        Pertinent Environmental and Social Baseline. 20

9        Procedures to Address Environmental and Social Issues. 21

10     Procedures to Address Environmental and Social issues for the CERC Positive List 21

10.1         Step 1. Application of E&S Screening Processes. 22

10.2         Step 2: E&S Assessment, Preparation, Consultation and Disclosure of Safeguards Instruments. 22

10.3         Step 3: Review and Application of Safeguards Instruments. 22

11     Environmental and Social Management Measures applicable to the CERC EAP. 23

12     Monitoring, Supervision and Reporting. 23

13     Implementation Arrangements and Responsibilities. 23

14     Capacity Building. 26

15     Stakeholder Engagement and Disclosure. 26

16     Annex 1 Positive list of goods, services and works. 28

17     Annex 2 Negative List for CERC Expenditures. 29

18     Annex 3. Screening Form for Potential Environmental and Social Issues. 30

19     Annex 4. Environmental and Social Management Plan Template. 32

20     Annex 5. Guidelines forUsages of PPE for Prevention. 33

21     Annex 6. Helpful Resources for Covid-19 Planning and Management 34

 

List of Tables

Table 1. World Bank Applicable Safeguard Policies. 15

Table 2. Main National Legal Instruments relevance to the project and WB Triggered Policies. 19

Table 3. Implementation Steps, with Assigned Responsibilities, Associated with EAP. 24

 

List of abbreviation

 

BCRIP Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (P127338)
BCCAT Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer Programme
CERC Contingency Emergency Response Component
CRIP Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project
COVID 19 Corona SARS virus
DoE Department of Environment
EA Environmental Assessment
EAP Emergency Action Plan
ECP Environmental Compliance Plan
EHS Environmental Health and Safety
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
EMF Environmental Management Framework
EMP Environmental Management Plan
ESMF Environmental and Social Management Framework
ESMP Environmental and Social Management Plan
ESIA Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
E&S Environmental and Social
FM Financial Management team
GoB Government of Belize
GIIP Good International Industries Practice
GRM Grievance Redress Mechanism
IFC International Finance Corporation
MoA Ministry of Agriculture
MoFAI Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Immigration
MoFFSD Ministry of Forests, Fisheries and Sustainable Development
MoF Ministry of Finance
MoW Ministry of Works
MHDSTPA Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation
MNR Ministry of Natural Resources
OAS Organization of American States
0HS Occupational Health and Safety
OM Operations Manual
OP/BP Operational Policy/Bank Procedures
PMU Project Management Unit
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
PSC Project Steering Committee
RAP Resettlement Action Plan
RCCE Risk Communication and Community Engagement
SECP Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Plan
SI Statutory Instrument
SIF Social Investment Fund
WB World Bank
WHO World Health Organization

 

 

1         Executive Summary

The Government of Belize (GoB) and the World Bank have prepared the Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) (P127338) financed by a loan of US$30 Million. The objectives of the Project are: (a) to enhance the resilience of road infrastructure against flood risk and impacts of climate change; and (b) to improve the Borrower’s capacity to respond promptly and effectively in an Eligible Crisis or Emergency. The Loan Agreement stipulates the preparation and furnishing of an Operations Manual (OM) for Component 4: Contingent Emergency Response Component (hereafter referred to as “CERC”) to the World Bank for its review and approval. This document serves as the CERC  Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), based on the scopes of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) of the Operations Manual (OM) for these proposed emergency activities to be financed by the proceeds of the CERC, and also includes the coordination and implementation arrangements related to the programming and execution of said activities.  The specific activities to be financed by the funds reallocated to CERC are event and demand-driven. The activities selected shall be consistent with CERC’s purpose to provide short-term bridge financing exclusively for the immediate recovery needs related to an eligible emergency. The contents of this CERC-ESMF represent the framework by which CERC activities shall address the Environmental and Social Safeguards issues, that could be activated during its implementation as to comply with the World Bank and National policies and procedures as agreed with the World Bank.

 

Around US$13 million has been allocated to the MHDSTPA for a Social Protection Programme and specifically to fund a Vertical BOOST (Belize Conditional Cash Transfer) Programme and a Horizontal BOOST (Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer (BCCAT)) Programme. Under the Vertical BOOST Programme funds will be supplied to fund the original BOOST Programme (2804 households) for a year, including a temporary vertical increase in payments for six months to smooth consumption. Under the Horizontal BOOST Programme, (BCCAT) funds will be used to assist an additional 10,500 households for six months. The details for the selection of beneficiaries, payments, and payment systems for the BCCAT Programme are being finalized.  The CRIP PMU will be responsible for the overall implementation of the CERC and with the support of the MHDSTPA to implementing the EAP. Also a Project Steering Committee (PSC) was established,  with members from the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP) (Chair), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA), Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Immigration (MOFAI), and Social Investment Fund ( SIF) is responsible for execution and implementation of the CERC. The PSC will ensure the delivery of the EAP outputs, review EAP progress reports, assess all policy-related issues, and provide guidance as needed. An assessment of the sub-projects (BOOST and BCCAT) under the MHDSTPA Proposal did not reveal any potential environmental nor social impacts under the proposed implementation processes related to Cash Transfers, as well as do not pose special impacts/risks on Occupational Health and Safety

2         Introduction and Background[1]

The Government of Belize (GoB) and the World Bank have prepared the Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP) (P127338) financed by a loan of US$30 Million. The objectives of the Project are: (a) to enhance the resilience of road infrastructureagainst flood risk and impactsof climate change; and (b) to improve the Borrower’s capacity to respond promptly and effectively in an Eligible Crisis or Emergency, as required. Road segments and stream crossings that are susceptible to flooding and highly critical to maintaining effective and secure transport networks would be considered for retrofitting and rehabilitation. This is in order to build and enhance climate resilience and also improve disaster risk management in order to enabling sustainable national development. The application of an integrated and comprehensive approach to road infrastructure improvement would maximize the efficient use of resources.

 

The main geographical areas of priority are: a) Greater Belize City area, b) West of Belmopan, c) Northern Area around Corozal, and the d) Southern Area around Independence. The specific sub-projects will be located within one or more of these areas. These main geographical areas encompass primary and secondary roads and will bear no impact to critical natural habitats, protected areas, or reserves. The infrastructure activities (i.e., hydrological improvements that may include small-scale creek alignment straightening of ox-bows, cut and-fill, retaining walls along embankments, sizing of culverts to manage water flow better along the primary and secondary road networks, some replacement of culverts with small bridges; as well as road rehabilitation, road widening and shoulder improvement) are not expected to lead to pollution or degradation of the natural environment (soil, water, and air) nor disturbance to wildlife. In the event of environmental impacts, however minimal, appropriate mitigation measures will be adopted. The Project may include safety measures (such as speed bumps) in areas that are densely populated, near schools, or in the vicinity of protected sites (e.g., national parks and reserves, and key ecological habitats).

 

The GoB, in particular the Social Investment Fund (SIF) of the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP), was responsible for the preparation of the safeguard instruments required for the project preparation, in particular, an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) with its Environmental Management Process and Screening Procedures.This ensures that the Project applies the required World Bank Safeguards for the proposed activities and follows the GoB environmental guidance and builds capacity in-country for producing the required safeguard instruments.

 

On March 12, 2020 the World Health Organization(WHO), declared the Corona Virus COVID-19 as a global pandemic due to the rapid increase in the number of cases. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 detected in Belize was on March 23, 2020 in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, a person who recently returned from a visit abroad. The Corona COVID -19 virus is not restricted to a specific area and is a threat for the whole country. Special attention was paid to all the entry points (maritime entry and riverine ports, international highway entry gates) through the Country’s borders as well as the international entries and frontiers.

 

The Government of Belize, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, enacted Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 38 of 2020 on March 25, 2020 in an effort to mitigate the negative impacts that could result from a potential community spread of the deadly virus. This Order made by the Quarantine Authority of Belize, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by section 6 of the Quarantine Act, Chapter 41 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, outlines a set of immediate measures to be implemented by the Government that are deemed as necessary to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Order shall be valid until revoked by the Quarantine Authority

 

The CERC allocation

 

The Government of Belize, in anticipating this outcome, decided on an unemployment relief programme, enhanced food assistance and social protection programme to avoid people falling back into poverty and to ensure a resilient and energetic workforce to aid the recovery process as economic activities are resumed.  Hence, the GoB approached the World Bank and other funding Agencies to assist in the overall process of emergency preparedness and recovery providing unemployment assistance, food assistance and social protection to those in need.

 

In this regard, the GOB wrote to the Bank on March 23rd, 2020 requesting consideration in connection the reallocation of funds within the CRIP Project through re-categorization of uncommitted financial resources from Disbursement Category 1 to Disbursement Category 4 to implement activities which will be detailed in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and the corresponding revised Procurement Plan. The CERC Operations Manual (OM)   and the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) are being improved and updated to include new and additional information to reflect a more generic nature where the OM is concerned to inform the development of more specific EAP and the relevant supporting detailed documentation required to support the request for triggering the CERC.

 

Currently, the activities under components 1 and 2 of the project are suspended indefinitely and the undisbursed funds from those two components have been earmarked for transfer to the CERC component totalling the US $21 million (inclusive of US$1 million originally allocated to the CERC component 4) for use by the GOB to support COVID-19 related activities within the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation  (MHDSTPA).

 

Around US$13 million has been allocated to the MHDSTPA for a Social Protection Programme and specifically to fund a Vertical BOOST (Belize Conditional Cash Transfer) Programme and a Horizontal BOOST (Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer (BCCAT)) Programme. Under the Vertical BOOST Programme funds will be supplied to fund the original BOOST Programme (2084 households) for a year, including a temporary vertical increase in payments for six months to smooth consumption. Under the Horizontal BOOST Programme, (BCCAT), funds will be used to assist an additional 10,500 households for six months. The details for the selection of beneficiaries, payments, and payment systems for the BCCAT Programme are being finalized. (Proposal attached in the CERC-EAP)

 

This Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) is developed to support the environment and social due diligence provisions for activities to be financed under the current and possible future CERC activationsfor the BCRIP to address this COVID-19 emergency.

 

Coordination & Implementation Arrangements

 

As per the CERC OM (Section E, Page 10), the CRIP PMU will be responsible for the overall implementation of the CERC and with the support of the MHDSTPA in implementing the EAP.

 

The Project Steering Committee (PSC),  with members from the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP) (Chair), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA), Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Immigration (MOFAI), and Social Investment Fund ( SIF) is responsible for execution and implementation of the CERC. The PSC will ensure the delivery of the EAP outputs, review EAP progress reports, assess all policy-related issues, and provide guidance as needed.The specific implementation steps associated with the EAP and the assigned responsibilities are summarized in Table 1 on page 10 of the CERC OM.

 

3         Objective and Application of the ESMF

This CERC ESMF follows applicable World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and relevant GoB environmental laws and regulations.  The main objectives of the ESMF are to (a) ensure full compliance with the WB’s Safeguards Policies and (b) mitigate potential negative environment and social (E&S) risks and impacts during the implementation of the CERC activities. The ESMF provides principles and specific processes and technical guidance for BCRIP-PMU of the SIF, and their consultants to manage the E&S risks and impacts of the CERC activities. The ESMF is developed to apply to all activities included in the positivelist (annex 1) of eligible expenditures that could be financed under potential future CERC activations, as well as to the specific expenditures included under the EAP to be financed by this CERC activation as targeted financial assistance – Ministry of Human Development;

4         Scope of the ESMF

The specific objectives of the ESMF are to: (a) establish clear procedures for the E&S screening, review, approval, and implementation of CERC activities based on the positive list of eligible expenditures; (b) assess the potential E&S risks and impacts of the proposed EAP activities, and if needed, propose mitigation measures which will effectively address these risks/impacts; (c) specify appropriate roles and responsibilities, and outline the necessary reporting procedures, for managing and monitoring E&S issues/concerns related to CERC activities; (d) identify the training and capacity building needed to successfully implement the provisions of the ESMF; (e) address mechanisms for public consultation and disclosure of project documents as well as redress of possible grievances; and (f) establish the budget requirement for implementation of  the ESMF. The ESMF also requires social assessments to develop specific management measures depending on the nature, extent and coverage of CERC related activities now and in the future. The World Bank advocates specific measures to address vulnerable ethnic groups and/or affected peoples in such circumstances.

 

The following sections provides information on the Project description, then after follows the relevant policies and legal and institutional background and E&S baseline pertinent to the Project.  Also, there is a section that describes the procedures to assess and address potential E&S risks and impacts of CERC activities as well as the proposed mitigation and management measures specific to the EAP. Besides there are provisions for the requirements for Monitoring, Supervision and Reporting. Last sections describe the implementation arrangements and capacity building needs under the CERC. Finally, the Annexes include relevant E&S forms, templates, guidelines, as well as a collection of useful resources for COVID-19 planning and management based on Good International Industries Practice(GIIP).

 

The scope of the present document is to provide an effective and efficient E&S risk management specifically to the Direct Assistance to Beneficiaries activities to be financed underthe CERC activities. This ESMF will be revised at a later stage to address the other activities to be financed under the CERC.

5         Project Description

Project Components.

 

The BCRIP is financing climate resilience activities under thefollowing four mutuallyreinforcing components:

 

Component 1: Climate Resilient Infrastructure (US$21.500 million). This component will reduce physical vulnerability of critical infrastructure through the retrofitting andrehabilitation of existing infrastructure within the primary and secondary road network including associated drainage and flood mitigation systems in order to strengthen their resilience to naturalhazards and the anticipated impacts of climate variability. This component will also financestudies required to support engineering design options and final detailed designs solutions.

 

Component 2: Technical Assistance for Improved Climate Resilience Management(US$4.925 million). This component aims to strengthen the capacity of relevant technical lineministries, MoW and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), to mainstreamclimate resilience considerations into core physical and investment planning and assetmaintenance.The component will aim to strengthen the capacity available to the MNR andMoW throughtargeted training, as well as equipment and knowledge acquisition. Specifically,the proposed component will support:

 

Component 2A – Support to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).Thiscomponent will provide technical support for improved land-use and territorial planning, aswell as the development of an information baseline and complimentary data managementplatform. It will support the Land Information Center to consolidate existing geographicinformation system databases, to establish data sharing protocols and management platform,toprovide training programs tailored to the center and other staff needs for datamanagement. Inaddition, it will support the Physical Planning Unit in mainstreaming climate resilienceconsiderations and disaster risk information into land use and territorial planning.

 

Component 2B – Support to the Ministry of Works (MoW). Targetedtechnical assistance and training will be financed under this component to strengthen theministry’s infrastructure maintenance and asset management capacities. In particular,Component 2Bwill support the implementation of the RMS including specific measures toenhance the operations and maintenance capacity of the MoW, such as the operationalization ofthe RMU. In addition, this component will finance the development of technical standards forcapital investments to take into account climate risk and incorporate appropriate mitigationstrategies, which would be applied to all publicly financed capital investments.

 

Component 3: Project Management and Implementation Support (US$2.000 million). Activities under this component would support strengthening and developing, whereneeded,the institutional capacity for Project management, including: (a) strengthening the PMUandline ministries, through staffing, training, and operating costs; (b) preparation of Projectreports; (c) procurement and financial management; (d) coordination of participating lineMinistries; (e) compliance with social and environmental safeguards; (f) training of staff inProject management and implementation technical support; (g) monitoring and evaluation ofProject progress and results; and (h) related activities to support efficient Projectmanagementand implementation, through the provision of training, operating costs, andacquisition of goods.

 

Component 4: Contingent Emergency Response (US$1.000 million). This componentwill provide support for immediate response to an eligible crisis or emergency, as needed. Acrisisor emergency eligible for financing is: an event that has caused, or is likely to imminentlycause, a major adverse economic and/or social impact to the Borrower, associated with anaturalor man-made crisis or disaster. Rapid disbursement of funds will allow the GoB to request areallocation of project funds to partially cover emergency response and recoverycosts. Thiscomponent will be triggered if: (i) the GoB has determined that an eligible crisis oremergencyhas occurred and has furnished to the Bank a request to include said activities in the CERC foremergency response; (ii) the GoB has prepared and disclosed all safeguardsinstruments requiredfor said activities; (iii) the Borrower has adopted the CERC Operations Manual (OM) in form,substance and manner acceptable to the Bank. A specific OM for thiscomponent will beprepared detailing financial management, procurement, safeguards, andany other necessaryimplementation arrangements. While Components 1, 2 and 3 focus onpre-crisis disaster riskmitigation and climate resilience enhancement measures, Component4 will help to strengthen the GoB’s capacity to respond effectively to an eligible crisis or emergency.

 

The guidanceand procedures included in this CERC ESMF are aligned with the Emergency Response Operations Manual and EAP that were prepared as required to activate the CERC (Component 4) by GoB. They incorporate relevant World Bank E&S safeguard policies as applicable to CERC operations.

6         Belize National Laws and Regulations[2]

The Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project implementation will need to comply with the national legal framework of Belize. In Belize, protection of the environment from degradation is primarily the responsibility of the Department of the Environment (DoE) under the portfolio of the Ministry of Forests, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD). Notwithstanding this, environmental protection also lies within the purview of other agencies. The Forest Department has responsibility for protection of terrestrial ecosystems generally and provides management oversight through the issuance of licensing, monitoring and enforcement of the pertinent local laws. The Geology and Petroleum Department is legally tasked with oversight for dredging, mining and oil exploration activities.

 

The BCRIP subprojects will abide by the relevant laws, guidelines and licensing processes of each of these Government of Belize agencies and those of others that are required. Table 1 shows the main national legal instruments that are applicable to this project, and relates them to the relevant World Bank Environmental Safeguard Policies.

 

6.1        National Regulation

The Environmental Protection Act

This Act is the most comprehensive piece of environmental legislation in Belize. The law demonstrates, as stated in the preamble, the commitment of the Government of Belize (GoB) to the protection and preservation of Belize’s natural heritage to ensure that exploitation of the resources is consistent with maintaining ecological balance. The Department of the Environment (DoE) is given full control in regards to the prevention of pollution on land, water and air, prohibitions on dumping of waste, environmental impact assessment and the control of nutrients deposited into the environment.

 

The Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

The EIA process in Belize is comprehensive and follows internationally accepted stages: screening, scoping, EIA, reporting, public consultation, a review process, and the preparation of an environmental compliance plan (ECP). The EIA procedure is controlled by the DoE, which is responsible among other things for determining whether an EIA is required, reviewing, and approving the TOR prepared by the project proponent, determining procedures for public consultation, and directing the evaluation and approval of the EIA report.  A project for which a full EIA is mandatory includes under Schedule I – Infrastructure Projects: – (c) Construction of national highways and roads of more than 10 miles in length.

 

 

 

The Wildlife Protection Act

This Act aims for the protection and conservation of all wildlife species in Belize, especially those of conservation concerns. These species reside in but not limited to forests, lakes, rivers, fresh water, savannahs, and trees and maintain an integral part of ecosystems in regard to the balance of food chains and in turn aids to balance an ecosystem and its functions. Thus, it was deemed essential to implement the Wildlife Protection Act and putting into effect regulations for the use and limitation of use of wildlife and all that is contingent on for its survival.

 

The National Integrated Water Recourse Act

This Act aims for the monitoring and sustainable use of freshwater resources. As water is a finite resource, its likelihood to reduce is a key concern for Belize. These regulations aid in the controlled allocation of water resources.

 

The Land Utilization Act

This Act lays out the procedures to manage and regulate the sustainable use and development of land as well as conservation measures for land resources.

 

Pollution Regulations

These regulations developed the mechanisms to monitor and govern air, noise, water, and land pollution. These regulations prohibit the release of toxins, poisons, and chemicals into the environment.

 

The Forest Act

This Act provides for the protection and preservation of trees, forest products as it relates to felling of trees, grazing of cattle, hunting, shooting, clearing for cultivation, burning lime or charcoal, and collecting and removing forest products. This Act also enforces the protection of Mangrove Regulations, which arrange for the protection of mangroves, with restrictions on mangrove alteration and/or clearance. Forest reserves can also be declared under this Act.

 

The National Parks System Act

Allows for the designation of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, natural monument and nature reserves. The various categories of protected areas allow for varying uses of the different categories. In addition to the existing protected areas, a number of other areas have been proposed for declaration and for all practical purposes are considered within the system of protected areas.

 

The Nuisances Act

The Act provides that where any building or place or any activity of the contractors, whether by land or water, is a nuisance, a summary jurisdiction court may, if it thinks fit, order that the nuisance be abated either immediately after service of the order or within such time as may be reasonable according to the circumstances, and may also if it thinks fit, prohibit the recurrence of the nuisance.

 

 

The Public Health Act and Regulations

The Public Health Act regulates water supply, drainage, garbage collection and storage, infectious diseases, mosquito destruction, sanitation and prevention of nuisances in all spaces. Also, the Public Health Act makes provisions for ensuring that establishments providing food services are staffed by persons in receipt of Food Handlers Certificates from the Public Health Department and that these food establishments have sanitary toilet and washing facilities.

 

 

The Social Security Act

This Act requires that employers pay social security contributions for their employees to assist them in times of sickness or injury. Other benefits are provided for the worker under the Act.

 

The Protection against Sexual Harassment Act and Regulations

The provisions of the Protection against Sexual Harassment Act prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace by an employer or fellow employees.

 

The Labour Act and Regulations

Labour relations between contactors and their workers is governed by the Labour Act which makes provisions for recruiting employees, terms and conditions of employment, payment of wages, dispute resolution, among others.

 

The Workmen Compensation Act

The Workmen Compensation Act applies to workers who are involved with cases of accidents on the job or while being transported to the job. The Act makes provisions for the contactors’ liability for compensation, amount of compensation, conditions of compensation, insurance, insolvency, or bankruptcy of the contractor, etc.

 

The Family and Children’s Act and Regulations

The Act prohibits employing any child in a capacity where such employment or engagement in any activity that is detrimental to his/her health, education, or mental, physical or moral development.

 

The Village Council Act and Regulations

This Act establishes village councils for every village and mandates them with the good governance and improvement of the community including the sanitation of the village, drainage and sewage, the suppression and abatement of nuisances, ensuring sound environmental practices by all persons in the village, etc.

 

The Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act

This Act prohibits persons from driving work vehicles without licenses or authorizations, from driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, and from driving recklessly or carelessly on all public roads.

 

 

 

The National Institute for Culture and History Act

This Act makes provision with respect to the protection and conservation of ancient monuments and related matters. All ancient monuments and antiquities, whether upon any land or in any river, stream or watercourse, or under territorial waters of the country should not be destroyed and no person shall possess or have in custody any ancient monument or antiquity except under a license granted by the relevant Minister.

 

6.2        The World Bank Safeguard Policies

During project preparation (2013), six (6) environmental Safeguard Policies were triggered for theBelize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP). These policies are: OP/BP 4.01 EnvironmentalAssessment, OP/BP 4.04 Natural Habitats, OP/BP 4.11 Physical Cultural Resources, and OP/BP 7.60 Projects in Disputed Areas.

 

These policies have been applied to ensure that project funds are engaged in a manner consistentwith Bank Institutional Policies with respect to Environmental Protection and Management.

 

The Bank’s Environmental and Social Safeguards Policies pursue three objectives: a) to assure thatenvironmental aspects are evaluated in the decision-making process; b) to reduce and tomanage the risks and impacts of a program or project; and c) to provide mechanisms for consultation and information disclosure regarding project activities to interested and affected parties.SIF will adopt the World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards Policies in order to assure theenvironmental sustainability of BCRIP subprojects and assume compliance and monitoringresponsibility.

 

Policy OP/BP 4.01 – Environmental Assessment (EA)

This policy is triggered if a project is likely to have potential (adverse) environmental risks andimpacts in its areas of influence. OP 4.01 covers impacts on the natural environment (air,waterand land); human health and safety; physical cultural resources; and trans-boundary and globalenvironment concerns. This project has been classified as Category B and environmentalassessments are required during preparation of the sub-projects. According to the Policy, aProject is classified as Category B if:“Its potential adverse environmental impacts on human populations or environmentallyimportant areas—including wetlands, forests, grasslands, and other natural habitats–are lessadverse than those of Category A projects.These impacts are site-specific; few if any of them areirreversible; and in most cases mitigation measures can be designed more readily than forCategory A projects. The scope ofEA for a Category B project may vary from project to project,but it is narrower than that of aCategory A Environmental Assessment (EA). As in a Category Aproject, the EA examines theproject’s potential negative and positive environmental impacts andrecommends anymeasures needed to prevent, minimize, mitigate, or compensate for adverseimpacts andimprove environmental performance.

 

Policy OP/BP 4.04 – Natural Habitats

This safeguard seeks to support the protection and rehabilitation of natural habitatsassociatedwith Bank-financed projects. The Natural Habitats Policy is triggered by any project with thepotential to cause significant conversion (loss) or degradation of natural habitats,whetherdirectly (through construction) or indirectly (through human activities induced bythe project).Natural habitats are land and water areas where most of the original native plant and animalspecies are still present. Natural habitats comprise many types of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal,and marine ecosystems. They include areas lightly modified by humanactivities, but retainingtheir ecological functions and most native species.The Natural Habitats Policy distinguishes between critical and other natural habitats.Critical naturalhabitats are those natural habitats which are either: (i) legally protected, (ii)officially proposed for protection, or (iii) unprotected but of known high conservation. Banksupportedprojects must avoid significant conversion or degradation of any critical naturalhabitats. Theenvironmental assessment process (OP 4.01) should identify any critical naturalhabitatswithin a proposed project’s area of influence. For other (non-critical) natural habitats,the Natural Habitats Policy requires avoiding or minimizing damage to natural habitats to theextent feasible. If significant conversion or degradation of a non-critical natural habitat isneeded to achieve a project’s key objectives, the project must include mitigation measuresacceptable to the Bank.The policy also states that, “wherever feasible, Bank-financed projects are sited on lands alreadyconverted (excluding any lands that in the Bank’s opinion were converted in anticipation of theproject). The Bank does not support projects involving the significant conversion of naturalhabitats unless there are no feasible alternatives for theproject and its siting, and comprehensiveanalysis demonstrates that overall benefits fromthe project substantially outweigh theenvironmental costs.”

 

The BCRIP subprojects will not affect or degrade any natural habitats because the civil works forthe infrastructural sub-projects will be undertaken along existing roads, and will not traversecritical natural habitats or Protected Areas or Reserves. Therefore, none of theproposed workswould result in significant degradation or conversion of natural habitats.Nevertheless, all will also include safety measures (such as speed bumps and speed limit signs)in areas that aredensely populated, near schools, or in the vicinity of protected areas and reserves. This safeguard is triggered based on the possibility that activities may affect natural habitats and the relatedmanagement measures to ensure rehabilitation of these areas.In addition, species of particular conservation concern such as the Jaguar and Baird’s Tapirrequire large areas of natural habitat for their survival and can be reasonably expected tooccasionally cross roads and highways in the four project locations. The endangeredYellow-headedParrot may also be seen as it flies over two of the project locations encompassed in itssizeable Belize home range. The endangered Central American River Turtle (Hicatee) occursmainly in large rivers and freshwater lagoons in Belize, and is more abundant in the BelizeRiver, and thus likely to occur in project locations that the Belize River traverses.

 

Policy OP/BP 4.11 – Physical Cultural Resources

This policy is intended to avoid or mitigate adverse impacts on physical cultural resources fromdevelopment projects financed by the World Bank. Physical cultural resources are defined (underthis policy) as “movable or immovable objects, sites, structures, groups of structures, naturalfeatures and landscapes that have archaeological, paleontological, historical, architectural,religious, aesthetic, or other cultural significance. Physical cultural resources may be located inurban or rural settings, and may be above ground, underground, or under water. Their culturalinterest may be at the local, provincial or national level, or within the international community.”The assessment and mitigation are done through theEnvironmental Assessment Process. ThisPolicy is applied to the project as a precautionary measure in case cultural resources areencountered as part of the environmental assessment process or during civil works. The BCRIP subprojects will not cause adverse impacts on knownphysical cultural resourcesbecause the civil works for the infrastructural sub-projects will be undertaken along existingroads. Any adverse impacts on physical cultural resources would have already been caused priorto the BCRIP. Nevertheless, chance finds procedures shouldbe incorporated into all sub-projectEMPs and civil works contracts. See Annex 3 for proposedchance find procedures wording.

 

 

Policy OP/BP7.60 – Projects in Disputed Areas

The territory of Belize has been claimed in whole or in part by Guatemala since 1940. In May2008, Belize and Guatemala signaled their acceptance of the OAS Secretary General’srecommendation to refer the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice subjectto thewill of the people of Belize and Guatemala. On the 8 December 2008, the Ministers ofForeignAffairs of Belize and of the Republic of Guatemala signed the “Special Agreement to SubmitGuatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court ofJustice” subject to the conduct of national referenda in both countries. The Referanda have been completed with the latest held in Belize on May 8th 2019. As a result of the existence of Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory, this policy is triggered asa precautionary measure.By supporting theBCRIP, the Bank does not intend to make any judgment on the legal or otherstatus of theterritories concerned or to prejudice the final determination of the competingparties’ claims.

7         Applicable World Bank Safeguard Policies

The parent Belize Climate InfrastructureProject (CRIP) was classified as a Category B project, as documented in the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) dated 2014, when six (6) Safeguards Policies were triggered, these were: OP/BP 4.01 Environmental Assessment;  OP/BP 4.04 Natural Habitats; OP/BP 4.11 Physical Cultural Resources; OP/BP 7.60  Projects in Disputed Areas, Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10 and Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12.These policies will be applied to ensure that project funds are engaged in a manner consistentwith Bank institutional policies with respect to environmental protection and management.The applicability of these Safeguards Policies under the CERC as well as the requested expenditures under the EAP aredescribed in table 1 and the relevant main national legal instruments and WB policies are listed in table 2.

 

Table 1. World Bank Applicable Safeguard Policies

Parent project CERC Expenditures included in the EAP
Environmental Assessment – OP/BP 4.01
The Project is a Category B – Partial Assessment, assigned to projects that are likely to have localized, limited, and reversible environmental impacts. The BCRIP subprojects will not affect or degrade any natural habitats because the civil works for the infrastructural sub-projects will be undertaken along existing roads, and will not traverse critical natural habitats or Protected Areas or Reserves. Therefore, none of the proposed works would result in significant degradation or conversion of natural habitats. Nevertheless, construction sites will be rehabilitated and re-vegetated with native shrubs and trees. The BCRIP will also include safety measures (such as speed bumps and speed limit signs) in areas that are densely populated, near schools, or in the vicinity of protected areas and reserves. This safeguard is triggered based on the possibility that activities may affect natural habitats and the related management measures to ensure rehabilitation of these areas. In addition, species of particular conservation concern such as the Jaguar and Baird’s Tapir require large areas of natural habitat for their survival and can be reasonably expected to occasionally cross roads and highways in the fourproject locations. The endangered Yellow-headedParrot may also be seen as it flies over two of theproject locations encompassed in itssizeable Belizehome range. The endangered Central American RiverTurtle (Hicatee)occursmainly in large rivers andfreshwater lagoons in Belize, and is more abundant inthe BelizeRiver, and thus likely to occur in projectlocations that the Belize River traverse

 

 

The Project remains classified as Category B. Activities that could be classified as Category A are not eligible for financing under the CERC. A negative list (annex 2), which contains indicative ineligible expenditures is included in this ESMF. All activities included in the positive list of the CERC-OM (annex 1) will require an Environmental and Social Screening Process, as indicated in the ESMF, to determine the appropriate environmental and social risks and identify potential mitigation measures as needed.

 

The CERC expenditures in the EAP,will consist of a Positive list of goods and services, being these the following:

Direct assistance to beneficiaries:

•                 Cash transfer assistance to beneficiaries identified by Ministry of Human Development

•                 Cash transfers and/or Voucher/certificate to beneficiary farmers as identified by Ministry of Food & Agriculture

Goods:

•                 Personal Protective Gears and Equipment for farmers (masks, gloves, etc.)

•                 Sanitization supplies

•                 Equipment, tools and supplies for agriculture.

•                 Feed and veterinary inputs (vaccines, vitamin tablets, etc.)

•                 Livestock, poultry

•                 Agricultural inputs such as Seeds, fertilizers etc.

Services:

•                 Consulting services related to emergency response including, but not limited to urgent studies necessary to determine the impact of the emergency and to serve as a baseline for the recovery and reconstruction process, and support to the implementation of emergency response activities.

Works:

•                 additional Bank policies and procedures may be applicable, and additional Bank authorizations may be required (see annex 2)

 

An assessment of the sub-projects (BOOST and BCCAT) under the MHDSTPA Proposal did not reveal any potential environmental nor social impacts under the proposed implementation processes related to Cash Transfers, as well as do not pose special impacts/risks on Occupational Health and Safety.

Natural Habitats – OP/BP 4.04
The BCRIP subprojects will not affect or degrade any natural habitats because the civil works for the infrastructural sub-projects will be undertaken along existing roads, and will not traverse critical natural habitats or Protected Areas or Reserves. Therefore, none of the proposed works would result in significant degradation or conversion of natural habitats. Nevertheless, all will also include safety measures (such as speed bumps and speed limit signs) in areas that are densely populated, near schools, or in the vicinity of protected areas and reserves. This safeguard is triggered based on the possibility that activities may affect natural habitats and the related management measures to ensure rehabilitation of these areas. In addition, species of particular conservation concern such as the Jaguar and Baird’s Tapir require large areas of natural habitat for their survival and can be reasonably expected to occasionally cross roads and highways in the four project locations. The endangered Yellow-headed Parrot may also be seen as it flies over two of the project locations encompassed in its sizeable Belize home range. The endangered Central American River Turtle (Hicatee) occurs mainly in large rivers and freshwater lagoons in Belize, and is more abundant in the Belize River, and thus likely to occur in project locations that the Belize River traverses. No civil works are expected under the CERC expenditures of the EAP. As a result, there is no impact or risks to critical natural habitats or protected areas. Any future CERC requests will be subject to further screening and assessment as described in this ESMF.
Physical Cultural Resources – OP/BP 4.11
Physical cultural resources may be located in urban or rural settings, and may be above ground, underground, or under water. Their cultural interest may be at the local, provincial or national level, or within the international community.” The assessment and mitigation is done through the Environmental Assessment Process. This Policy is applied to the project as a precautionary measure in case cultural resources are encountered as part of the environmental assessment process or during civil works. The BCRIP subprojects will not cause adverse impacts on known physical cultural resources because the civil works for the infrastructural sub-projects will be undertaken along existing roads. Any adverse impacts on physical cultural resources would have already been caused prior to the BCRIP. Nevertheless, chance finds procedures should be incorporated into all sub-project EMPs and civil works contracts. See Annex 3 for proposed chance find procedures wording. No civil works are expected under the CERC expenditures of the EAP. As result, there is no impact or risks to cultural sites. Any future CERC requests will be subject to further screening and assessment as described in this ESMF.
Projects in Disputed Areas – Policy OP 7.60
The territory of Belize has been claimed in whole or in part by Guatemala since 1940. In May 2008, Belize and Guatemala signaled their acceptance of the OAS Secretary General’s recommendation to refer the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice subject to the will of the people of Belize and Guatemala. On the 8 December 2008, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and of the Republic of Guatemala signed the “Special Agreement to Submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime Claim to the International Court of Justice” subject to the conduct of national referenda in both countries. The Referanda have been completed with the latest held in Belize on May 8th 2019. As a result of the existence of Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory, this policy is triggered as a precautionary measure. By supporting the BCRIP, the Bank does not intend to make any judgment on the legal or other status of the territories concerned or to prejudice the final determination of the competing parties’ claims. The CERC expenditures of the EAP will not support any activities that would result in activities that could impact or interfere use of land and livelihoods or involvement that could interfere, judge or legally refer on the territories concerned or to prejudice the final determination of the competing parties claim.
Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10
The main communities to be affected by the

project are those that are located on or next to theprimary and secondary roads considered as

critical in each of the four target areas. All of

these communities with the exception ofBelmopan are considered rural communities.

Indigenous communities that have been identifiedhave been included because they all fall withinthe projects zone of influence. Of all thecommunities that are likely to be affected by theproject, seven are considered to be indigenouscommunities. Six are made up predominantly byindigenous Mayas and one by the Garifuna. Theseare all found in the Stann Creek and Toledodistricts. For this reason, a CulturallyAppropriate Planning Framework was developed.Direct impacts on these communities are unlikelygiven that there are no community membersliving on the road reserve. However, in theunlikely case that impacts are foreseen in thesubproject design, action plans will be preparedby which the GoB will ensure that communities’free, prior and informed consultation leading tobroad community support is achieved beforesubproject implementation.

The actions of this CERC, will not promote or create any type of impacts on this Safeguard OP/BP 4.10
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12
The project is not expected to have major impacts on private land or livelihoods, especially given its focus on rehabilitation of existing infrastructure. However, it is possible that works such as river defense, drainage improvements, the rehabilitation and replacement of critical bridges and road improvements, could possibly elicit impacts such as (1) loss of property and assets due to displacements and relocation of individuals/families occupying road reserves related to road widening, diversion of  existing road and/or drainage purposes. Most of the encroachments on road reserves, and thus the highest proportion of related impacts, are inGreater Belize City Area; and (2) Loss of landand other assets (buildings, fences, crops, vendorstalls, driveways, signs etc.) from appropriation,removal, acquisition and demolition.The project’s involuntary resettlement policyframework has been prepared to guide thepreparation of resettlement plans in order tomitigate these impacts. As soon as subprojectsare identified and feasibility studies commence,the exact types and number of impacts will beestimated and a resettlement plan(s) will be

prepared and implemented based on theframework’s guidelines.

The actions of this CERC, will not promote or create any type of impacts on this Safeguard OP/BP 4.12

 

Table 2. Main National Legal Instruments relevance to the project and WB Triggered Policies

Name of Act Date Relevance Relevant WB/OP
Environmental Protection Act and EIARegulations Rev 2000 Control and prevention of pollution on land, water and air, prohibitions on dumping of waste, environmental impact assessment and the control of nutrients deposited into the environment OP/BP 4.01
National Integrated Water Resources Act 2011 Management, controlled allocation and the sustainable use and protection of the water resources of Belize OP/BP 4.01
National Institute for Culture & History Act Rev 2000 Protection and conservation of ancient monuments and related matters. OP/BP 4.11
National Parks System Act 1982, (Rev 2000) Allows for the designation of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, natural monument, and nature reserves. OP/BP 4.04
Wildlife Protection Act 1982 (Rev 2000) Protection for species of conservation concern. OP/BP 4.04
Public Roads Act Rev 2000 Authorizes the Chief Engineer to throw upon any lands adjacent or near thereto such earth, rubbish or materials as it shall or may be necessary to remove from the place of any work related to surveying, tracing, measuring, opening, constructing, repairing, altering, diverting, clearing, improving and excavating of any public road. OP/BP4.01
Mines & Minerals Act 1989 (Rev 2000) Controls activities such as dredging, prospecting and drilling OP/BP 4.01
Macal River HydroelectricAct 2003 Authorized the design, financing, construction and operation of the Chalillo Project OP/BP 4.37
Land Utilization Act Rev 1990 Provides for measures to govern use and development of land, and introduces measures for conservation of land and watersheds. OP 4.01 and

OP 4.04

8         Pertinent Environmental and Social Baseline

The location of the contingency activities under the CERC is national in scope, while the EAP under this CERC activation will be:

 

  • To allocate around US$13 millionto the MHDSTPA for a Social Protection Programme and specifically to fund a Vertical BOOST (Belize Conditional Cash Transfer) Programme and a Horizontal BOOST (Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer (BCCAT)) Programme. Under the Vertical BOOST Programme funds will be supplied to fund the original BOOST Programme (2804 households) for 14 months, including a temporary vertical increase in payments for six months to smooth consumption. Under the Horizontal BOOST Programme, (BCCAT) funds will be used to assist an additional 10,500 households for six months. The details for the selection of beneficiaries, payments, and payment systems for the BCCAT Programme are being finalized.An assessment of the sub-projects (BOOST and BCCAT) under the MHDSTPA Proposal did not reveal any potential environmental nor social impacts under the proposed implementation processes related to Cash Transfers, as well as do not pose special impacts/risks on Occupational Health and Safety.

9         Procedures to Address Environmental and Social Issues

The purpose of this ESMF is to ensure that the identified E&S risks under any CERC-financed activities are mitigated, controlled or eliminated through appropriate E&S risk management measures to be implemented throughout the life of Project. Specific E&S management measures will need to be followed depending on the activities to be financed under the CERC of the project. All potential activities included in the positive list of goods, services and worksof the CERC will need to apply the Environmental and Social Screening Process to determine the type of management measure needed. For the specific expenditures included under the EAP to be financed by this CERC activation, which consist mainly in the procurement as listed below:

 

Product / Material Definition Specification # of Units Method Justification Volume & Unit Rate
Vertical BOOST Providing cash transfers to 2804 beneficiaries 2804 NA Previous Experience For 14 months
Vertical Boost Providing cash transfers to 2804 beneficiaries 2804 NA Previous Experience For 6 months
BCCAT Providing cash transfers to 10,500 beneficiaries 10,500 NA New Electronic Means For 6 months
Communications Communications Strategy NA PMU/MHDSTPA direct contracting Internal and external messaging TBD

 

An assessment of the sub-projects (BOOST and BCCAT) under the MHDSTPA Proposal did not reveal any potential environmental nor social impacts under the proposed implementation processes related to Cash Transfers, as well as do not pose special impacts/risks on Occupational Health and Safety.

10      Procedures to AddressEnvironmental and Social issues for the CERC Positive List

The purpose of these procedures is to: (i) determine whether activities proposed under potential future CERC activations are eligible and likely to have potential negative environmental and social risks and impacts; (ii)  identify appropriate mitigation measures for activities with adverse risks or impacts; (iii) incorporate mitigation measures in the implementation of the activity; (iv) review and approve the management plan and (v) monitor application of management plans for those activities requiring E&S due diligence. The procedures consist of the following 3 steps as described below:

 

10.1    Step 1. Application of E&S Screening Processes

The BCRIP-PMU will screen potential CERC activities in relation to eligibility (positive and negative lists) and to identify potential E&S risks and impacts and will classify each subproject according to risk. A sample Screening Form is included in Annex 1.

 

The Screening process will allow the BCRIP-PMU to:

  1. Determine the level of environmental work required (i.e. whether an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) or other instrument is required; whether the application of simple mitigation measures will suffice; or whether no additional environmental work is required).
  2. Determine and incorporate appropriate mitigation measures for addressing adverse impacts.
  3. During the preparation of any sub-projects, the BCRIP-PMU will ensure that technical design can incorporate recommendations from the environmental and social assessment, including avoiding or minimizing environmental and social impacts, avoiding land acquisition.
  4. The BCRIP-PMU will retain a copy of the Safeguards Screening Summary for possible review by the Implementing Agency and the World Bank. The review, which may be conducted on sample basis, will verify the proper application of the screening process, including the scoping of potential impacts and the choice and application of instruments.

 

10.2    Step 2: E&S Assessment, Preparation, Consultation and Disclosure of Safeguards Instruments

If during the screening process it is identified that any of the activities to be financed under the CERC require E&S management measures, the BCRIP-PMUwill identify and assess in further detail the potential E&S impacts of the proposed activities, evaluate alternatives, as well as design and implement appropriate mitigation, management and monitoring measures. These measures will be captured in the ESMP (or other E&S management instrument) which will need to be prepared. The BCRIP-PMU will prepare the ESMPs in consultation with affected peoples and with relevant partners, as necessary. A sample ESMP template which can be used for individual CERC sub-activities once identified during the screening is included in Annex 2.

 

Due consultation and broad community support must be documented and confirmed as part of the stakeholder engagement process for this CERC. Consultations will be adapted to adhere to public health recommendations i.e. social distancing, potentially virtual consultations or consultations by text message/phone for those without internet access.

 

10.3    Step 3: Review and Application of Safeguards Instruments

If prepared by a third-party, the ESMP will be submitted to the BCRIP-PMUfor review, prior to the submission to the World Bank for approval. The BCRIP-PMU will supervise and monitor the overall safeguards implementation process and prepare a progress report on the application of safeguards policies throughout the subproject cycle. The BCRIP-PMU will also develop the reporting requirements and procedures to ensure compliance. Appropriate mitigation measures will be included in the bidding documents and contract documents to be prepared by the BCRIP-PMU, as necessary.

11      Environmental and Social Management Measures applicable to the CERC EAP

Based on these E&S screening procedures, the EAP expenditures to be financed under this CERC activation (not onlythe Direct Assistance to Beneficiaries activities) to respond to the COVID-19 emergency recovery in Belize have been assessed as low potential E&S and impacts.

 

The CERC ESMF is focusing on the following expenditures which will consist solely in:

 

  • To allocate around US$13 millionto the MHDSTPA for a Social Protection Programme and specifically to fund a Vertical BOOST (Belize Conditional Cash Transfer) Programme and a Horizontal BOOST (Belize COVID-19 Cash Transfer (BCCAT)) Programme. Under the Vertical BOOST Programme funds will be supplied to fund the original BOOST Programme (2804 households) for 14 months, including a temporary vertical increase in payments for six months to smooth consumption. Under the Horizontal BOOST Programme, (BCCAT) funds will be used to assist an additional 10,500 households for six months. The details for the selection of beneficiaries, payments, and payment systems for the BCCAT Programme are being finalized. An assessment of the sub-projects (BOOST and BCCAT) under the MHDSTPA Proposal did not reveal any potential environmental nor social impacts under the proposed implementation processes related to Cash Transfers, as well as do not pose special impacts/risks on Occupational Health and Safety.

12      Monitoring, Supervision and Reporting

The BCRIP-PMU already is committed to prepare and submit to the World Bank regular monitoring reports on the E&S performance of the CRIP Project, including but not limited to, stakeholder engagement activities and grievances log. For the current CERC activities monitoring protocols require verification by the PSC that GIIP around COVID-19 OHS and agricultural and animal husbandry waste Management is being properly applied in relation to CERC financed activities and share such measures with both the BCRIP-PMU and World Bank. The format of this reporting is flexible and should be summarized at least quarterly. If there is additional CERC activation this process will be revisited to ensure action commensurate with the E&S risks and impacts.

13      Implementation Arrangements and Responsibilities

The Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (CRIP) Management Unit (PMU) of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) is the coordinating lead entity of CERC within the GOB. PMU is responsible for the preparation of the EAP and monitoring its day-to-day implementation with the support provided by other partners. PMU is also responsible for the overall implementation of CERC and shall be the focal point for all aspects related to procurement, financial management, disbursement, monitoring & evaluation, and safeguard compliance. Other GOB Ministries that possess the technical expertise to implement specific activities as agreed in the EAP will be required to support the PMU with the implementation and monitoring of all activities funded by CERC.

 

Technical Input:  The Line Ministries will provide technical assistance to the PMU in terms of monitoring the EAP implementation activities. PMU will be responsible for coordinating with the Line Ministries in accordance with the procedures described below:

 

  • Each Line Ministry will provide the technical specifications, the scope of work, estimated budget, schedule and other requirements associated with activities included in the EAP, and will participate in the subsequent evaluation activities;
  • PMU will review specifications, the scope of work, budget, schedule, terms, and conditions of employment, and prepare procurement documents according to the procurement plan specified in the EAP;
  • PMU can include, in the EAP, technical assistance in the form of consulting services for (i) developing the technical specifications, the scope of work, estimated budget, schedule, and other requirements, if the “in-house” capacity of the Line Ministries needs to be supplemented; and (ii) supervision of works and other activities included in the EAP. The technical consultants will work closely with the Line Ministries but report to PMU, as implementation coordinating agency of the CERC;
  • The Line Ministries shall provide reports related to safeguards compliance and all the other information required to monitor and evaluate the EAP implementation; and
  • If required, the PMU will bolster its EAP implementation supervision capacity through the engagement of technical consultants who would support the Line Ministries in the finalization of bidding documents and site supervision of activities as needed. The technical consultants will work closely with the Line Ministries but report to the PMU. The technical officials may be located within the SIF Main Office to support the PMU if necessary.

 

The Project Steering Committee (PSC), established under the auspices of the SIF, and composed of representatives from key Line Ministries is chaired by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum (MEDP). The members of the PSC for the purpose of execution and implementation of EAP upon activation of this CERC are 1) MEDP; 2) Ministry of Finance (MOF); 3) Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA); 4) Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Immigration (MOFAI); and 5) SIF. The PSC should be available for meetings within twenty-four hours’ notice when necessary

The key responsibilities of the PSC are as follows:

 

  • Ensure the delivery of the EAP’s outputs and the attainments of outcomes by facilitating coordination amongst the Line Ministries and Institutions participating in the EAP and by addressing coordination issues as they arise during the implementation of the EAP;
  • Review EAP progress reports as submitted by the Project Coordinator and make a decision thereon; and
  • Assess all policy-related issues and guide as needed

 

Below is a table that summarizes the specific implementation steps associated with the EAP and the assigned responsibilities:

 

Table 3. Implementation Steps, with Assigned Responsibilities, Associated with EAP

Step Actions Responsible
1 The decision to Trigger Component 4 (Disbursement Category 4): In the event of a Declaration of Emergency, and following the preparation of a rapid need’s assessment, the MEDP/MOF will decide whether to trigger Component 4 – the CERC. MEDP/MOF
2 Preliminary Identification of Activities: Following MEDP’s decision to trigger Component 4, the PMU will coordinate with the line ministries to prepare a list of potential activities (CT, critical imports/subprojects) based on the results of the rapid needs assessment and annexed to the EAP.

Summary information on proposed activities, including the nature and amount of critical imports, the location, and type of the proposed emergency subprojects and their preliminary technical specifications, estimated costs, and safeguard implications would be produced and documented in the EAP.

2 weeks

PMU / Line Ministries (MHDSTPA)
3 Review of Eligibility of Proposed Activities: The PMU, with support from internal/ external safeguard specialist(s), will review the proposed activities for financing to ensure their eligibility in accordance with the criteria and safeguard policies as defined in the Loan Agreement and to apply safeguards screening processes as defined in the OM.

1 week

PMU
4 Selection of Activities for EAP: Based on the list of eligible activities reviewed, the PMU will finalize the EAP for submission to, and approval by, the Project Steering Committee (PSC).

1 week

PMU / PSC
5 Submission to the World Bank:  Once approved by the PSC, the EAP will be submitted to the World Bank for endorsement on a “no objection” basis.

1 week

MEDP / MOF / PMU
6 Approval by the World Bank: The Bank will review the trigger package and inform the Government on the approval to trigger the CERC.

2 weeks

WB
7 Procurement: Major activities under this step include, inter-alia, (i) finalization of technical specifications and bills of quantities for critical imports (supplies/ equipment) (ii) recruitment of a consultant/consulting firm for design/supervision of emergency subprojects or to perform other services relating to the emergency; and (iii) recruitment of contractors for implementation of emergency subprojects. PMU / Line Ministries
8 Implementation of EAP Activities:  Activities should be initiated within 10-15 days after the agreement or contract signing.

 

PMU / Line ministries for supervision
9 Financial Management (FM) and Progress Reporting: The PMU will follow the agreed-upon FM and reporting procedures for the EAP, as defined in the Loan Agreement and detailed in the OM. EAP FM reporting requirements will be harmonized with existing reporting procedures to limit the additional burden borne by the PMU.

Monthly monitoring and quarterly reporting

PMU
10 Monitoring and Evaluation: The oversight and reporting mechanisms established for the CRIP will also be applied to the EAP. An annually external financial audit firm will audit the annual financial statements of the whole Project, including those financed by Disbursement Category 4.

Annual Audit Report submitted in July of each year

PMU

14      Capacity Building

Worldwide the governments health sectors and related institutions have gained experience in infection prevention and control, healthcare waste management, communication and public awareness for emergency situations. As found across most countries, the capacity to manage risks associated with COVID-19 is a monumental challenge as the healthcare and other government servants and related professionals may not have the detailed know-how on the infectious risk management in diagnostic testing, quarantine and isolation centers for COVID-19 treatment and general care. Additionally, the communication process with the public or in and in handling social concerns around COVID19 as well as related measures, including quarantine is a catch-up process globally. By implementing the EAP under the CERC, the project will provide assistance and capacity building to support these critical initiatives and build upon international expertise to achieve international best practices on these matters

 

All project personnel must be trained on general awareness of EHS issues and specific procedures aimed at the avoidance of environmental damage as well as human health and safety. New staff, contractors, and visitors will be given basic induction training and follow Project EHS procedures. In lieu of this COVID-19 CERC activation, a set of trainings need to be targeted for the E&S due diligence around the CERC-PSC COVID-19 programs. Such targeted trainings must be focus on Infection Prevention and Control, general and health waste management and other OHS matters. To provide for other similar disaster situations a short training will also be dedicated to overall ESH issues for any other anticipated emergencies.

15      Stakeholder Engagement and Disclosure

The BCRIP EMF contained in itssection 6, a Dialogue and Disclosure Mechanism, that must be implemented into a more interactive Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Plan (SECP). This SECP must be emplaced by the BCRIP-PMU of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), in order to engage and communicate with stakeholders over the span of the World Bank Project. This consultation process is in place in order to interact and incorporate the viewpoints of Affected Parties. Special consideration is also directed to vulnerable groups, including with relation to engagement and consultative activities.

 

In terms of the CERC COVID-19 activation, the BCRIP-PMU mist follows the guidance provided in WHO “Pillar 2: Risk Communication and Community Engagement” including, among others, existing guidance on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), guidance for preventing and addressing social stigma associated with COVID-19 and key messages and actions for COVID-19 prevention and control.

 

Overall, the activities of engagement for the BCRIP are guided by Good International Industry Practice (GIIP), as well as all applicable laws and regulations in Belize. The stakeholder engagement objectives continue to:

  • Promote the development of respectful and open relationships between stakeholders and the Project sponsors and other relevant parties across all phases of the project,
  • Identify Project stakeholders and understand their interests, concerns and influence in relation to Project activities, particularly during the construction phase,
  • Provide stakeholders with timely information about the Project, in ways that are appropriate to their interests and needs, and also appropriate to the level of expected risk and potential adverse impacts,
  • Support alignment with financing standards and guidelines for stakeholder engagement, as necessary; and
  • Record and resolve any grievances that may arise from Project-related activities through a Grievance Mechanism.

 

These processes are directly applicable to this CERC activation and will apply to both BCRIPT-PMU and the PSC

 

 

16      Annex 1 Positive list of goods, services and works

Item
Direct Assistance to Beneficiaries
  • Cash transfer assistance to beneficiaries identified by Ministry of Human Development
  • Cash transfers and/or Voucher/certificate to beneficiary farmers as identified by Ministry of Food & Agriculture
Goods
·       Personal Protective Gears and Equipment for farmers (masks, gloves, etc.)

·       Sanitization supplies

·       Equipment, tools and supplies for agriculture.

·       Feed and veterinary inputs (vaccines, vitamin tablets, etc.)

·       Livestock, poultry

·       Agricultural inputs such as Seeds, fertilizers etc.

Services
·       Consulting services related to emergency response including, but not limited to urgent studies necessary to determine the impact of the emergency and to serve as a baseline for the recovery and reconstruction process, and support to the implementation of emergency response activities.

·

Works[3]

 

17      Annex 2 Negative List for CERC Expenditures

Negative List of goods and services
·       Activities of any type considered as projects – new construction without detailed ESIA/ESMPs

·       Activities that have potential to cause any significant loss or degradation of critical natural habitats whether directly or indirectly.

·       Activities that could adversely affect forest and forest health.

·       Activities that could affect sites with archaeological, paleontological, historical, religious, or unique natural values.

·       Activities that will result in the involuntary taking of land, relocation of households, loss of assets or access to assets that leads to loss of income sources or other means of livelihoods, and interference with households’ use of land and livelihoods.

·       Use of goods and equipment on lands abandoned due to social tension / conflict, or the ownership of the land is disputed or cannot be ascertained.

·       Use of goods and equipment to demolish or remove assets, unless the ownership of the assets can be ascertained, and the owners are consulted.

·       Uses of goods and equipment involving forced labour, child labour, or other harmful or exploitative forms of labour.

·       Uses of goods and equipment for activities that would affect indigenous peoples, unless due consultation and broad support has been documented and confirmed prior to the commencement of the activities.

·       Uses of goods and equipment for military or paramilitary purposes.

 

18      Annex 3. Screening Form for Potential Environmental and Social Issues

This form is to be used by the BCRIP – Project Management Unit (PMU) to screen for the potential environmental and social risks and impacts of a proposed subproject. It will help the PMU in identifying the relevant Safeguards policies, establishing an appropriate E&S risk rating for these subprojects and specifying the type of environmental and social assessment required, including specific instruments/plans. Use of this form will allow the PMU to form an initial view of the potential risks and impacts of a subproject. It is not a substitute for project-specific E&S assessments or specific mitigation plans.

 

Subproject Name
Subproject Location
Subproject Proponent
Estimated Investment
Start/Completion Date

 

 

Questions Answer Safeguards Policies Relevance Applicable

Instruments

Yes no
Does the subproject involve civil works including new construction, expansion, upgrading or rehabilitation of healthcare facilities and/or waste management facilities? ESIA/ESMP
Does the subproject involve land acquisition and/or restrictions on land use? RAP
Does the subproject involve acquisition of assets for quarantine, isolation or medical treatment purposes?
Is the subproject associated with any external waste management facilities such as a sanitary landfill, incinerator, or wastewater treatment plant for healthcare waste disposal? ESIA/ESMP
Is there a sound regulatory framework and institutional capacity in place for healthcare facility infection control and healthcare waste management? ESIA/ESMP
Does the subproject have an adequate system in place (capacity, processes and management) to address waste?
Does the subproject involve recruitment of workers including direct, contracted, primary supply, and/or community workers?
Does the subproject have appropriate OHS procedures in place, and an adequate supply of PPE (where necessary)?
Does the subproject have a Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) in place, to which all workers have access, designed to respond quickly and effectively?
Does the subproject involve transboundary transportation (including Potentially infected specimens may be transported from healthcare facilities to testing laboratories, and transboundary) of specimen, samples, infectious and hazardous materials? ESIA/ESMP
Does the subproject involve use of security or military personnel during construction and/or operation of healthcare facilities and related activities? ESIA/ESMP
Is the subproject located within or in the vicinity of any ecologically sensitive areas? ESIA/ESMP
Are there any indigenous groups (meeting specified ESS7 criteria) present in the subproject area and are they likely to be affected by the proposed subproject negatively or positively? Indigenous Peoples Plan/other plan reflecting agreed terminology
Is the subproject located within or in the vicinity of any known cultural heritage sites? ESIA/ESMP
Does the project area present considerable Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) risk? ESIA/ESMP
Is there any territorial dispute between two or more countries in the subproject and its ancillary aspects and related activities? OP7.60 Projects in Disputed Areas Governments concerned agree
Will the subproject and related activities involve the use or potential pollution of, or be located in international waterways[4]? OP7.50 Projects on International Waterways Notification

(or exceptions)

 

 

Conclusions:

  1. Proposed Environmental and Social Risk Ratings (High, Substantial, Moderate or Low).

 

Provide Justifications.

 

  1. Proposed E&S Management Plans/ Instruments.

 

 

19      Annex 4. Environmental and Social Management Plan Template

Depending on the result of the Screening Process, the PMU will need to develop an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), setting out how the environmental and social risks and impacts will be managed through the project lifecycle of a CERC financed activity. This ESMP template includes several sections to identify key risks and set out suggested E&S mitigation measures. The PIU can use the matrix to assist in identifying risks and possible mitigations.

 

The ESMP should also include other key elements relevant to delivery of the subproject, such as institutional arrangements, plans for capacity building and training plan, and background information. The PIU may incorporate relevant sections of the ESMF into the ESMP, with necessary updates.

 

The matrices illustrate the importance of considering lifecycle management of E&S risks, including during the different phases of the project identified in the ESMF: planning and design, construction, operations and decommissioning.

 

The WBG EHS Guidelines, International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the WBG technical guidance documents and other GIIPs set out in detail many mitigation measures and good practices, and can be used by the PIU to develop the ESMP. Proper stakeholder engagement should be conducted in determining the mitigation measures, including close involvement of medical and healthcare waste management professionals.

 

Key Activities
Potential E&SRisks and Impacts
Proposed Mitigation Measures Responsibilities Timeline Budget
During activity

Preparation

         
During activity

Implementation

         
During activity

Supervision

         
During activity

Decommissioning

         
         
         

 

20      Annex 5. Guidelines forUsages of PPE for Prevention

Sequence for adequate donning and removing PPE[5]

 

21      Annex 6. Helpful Resources for Covid-19 Planning and Management

WHO Guidance

Advice for the public

WHO advice for the public, including on social distancing, respiratory hygiene, self-quarantine, and seeking medical advice, can be consulted on this WHO website: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

 

Technical guidance

Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected, issued on 19 March 2020

 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: rights, roles and responsibilities of health workers, including key considerations for occupational safety and health, issued on 18 March 2020

 

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Action Plan Guidance COVID-19 Preparedness and Response, issued on 16 March 2020

 

Considerations for quarantine of individuals in the context of containment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), issued on 19 March 2020

 

Operational considerations for case management of COVID-19 in health facility and community, issued on 19 March 2020

 

Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), issued on 27 February 2020

 

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19, issued on 19 March 2020

 

Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus, issued on 23 April 2020

 

Safe management of wastes from health-care activities issued in 2014

 

Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in healthcare settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, issued on March 19, 2020

 

Preparation of National Health-Care Waste Management Plans in Sub-Saharan Countries, issued on 2005

 

How to Put On and Take Off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), issued on 22 April 2020

 

WORLD BANK GROUP GUIDANCE

ESF/Safeguards Interim Note: COVID-19 Considerations in Construction/Civil Works Projects, issued on April 7, 2020

 

Technical Note: Public Consultations and Stakeholder Engagement in WB-supported operations when there are constraints on conducting public meetings, issued on March 20, 2020

 

Technical Note: Use of Military Forces to Assist in COVID-19 Operations, issued on March 25, 2020

 

Technical Note on SEA/H for HNP COVID Response Operations

 

Interim Advice for IFC Clients on Preventing and Managing Health Risks of COVID-19 in the Workplace, issued on April 6, 2020

 

Interim Advice for IFC Clients on Supporting Workers in the Context of COVID-19, issued on April 6, 2020

 

IFC Tip Sheet for Company Leadership on Crisis Response: Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic, issued on April 6, 2020

 

Environmental, Health, and Safety General Guidelines

 

Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Health Care Facilities

 

ILO GUIDANCE

ILO Standards and COVID-19 FAQ, issued on March 23, 2020 (provides a compilation of answers to most frequently asked questions related to international labor standards and COVID-19)

 

OTHER GUIDANCE

CDC Group COVID-19 Guidance for Employers, iss

[1]As described in Project Appraisal Document (Report PAD712). July 9, 2014

[2]Information from EMF BCRIP, 3/20/2014

[3]Bank Safeguard apply to the implementation of all activities under the CER Component. In the event of financing works under any given Emergency Action Plan, additional Bank policies and procedures may result applicable, and additional Bank authorizations may be required.

[4] International waterways include any river, canal, lake or similar body of water that forms a boundary between, or any river or surface water that flows through two or more states.

 

[5] Available at:  https://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/putontakeoffPPE/en/

 

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