The procedural standard “Environmental Assessment” and the qualitative standards of the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) have gained additional significance in the environmental risk analysis of multilateral banks since they were compiled into the system of “Safeguard Policies” in 1998. Their position in international lending was further consolidated by the strict application of the Safeguard Policies in the EIA for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project which was approved in June 2000 by the Board of the World Bank. Finally, the largest internationally active commercial banks (e.g. WESTLB [Germany] CITIBANK [USA]) in 2003 voluntarily committed themselves to compliance with the World Bank standards in major projects. The “test project” for compliance with this voluntary standard is the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which is being financed by both multilateral and commercial banks. The presentation concentrates on the application of the Safeguard Policies in pipeline projects during the planning and implementation phases. Using the example of the the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the requirements established under Operational Directive (OP) 4.01 Environmental Assessment are discussed on the basis of selected criteria, and certain developments in the area of “best practice” are demonstrated. A further main focus of the presentation is the discussion over recent tendencies in the application of the Safeguard Policies and the demand of further developments and research.

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