On June 23 and 29, 2016, respectively, the Inspection Panel received two Requests for Inspection of the Río Bogotá Environmental Recuperation and Flood Control Project. The Requests were submitted, respectively, by the "Mesa Cuidadana Cortijo Tibaguya", a neighborhood association that represents the residents of the UPZ 72 community and "Fundación Colectivo Somos Uno", who represents members from the El Cortijo neighborhood in Bogotá. They asked the Panel to keep their identities confidential. At the time, the Panel did not register the Requests to provide Bank management with the opportunity to address the concerns.
On September 30 and October 5, 2016, the Panel received additional Requests from the same Requesters raising similar concerns, and stating that they were not satisfied with Bank management's actions. The Requesters claim environmental, health and social harm as a result of the improvement and expansion of the Salitre Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Bogotá. They allege negative environmental impacts on the wetlands and ecosystems of the area. They also question the analysis of alternatives, and claim that the project in its current location and form is not technically, environmentally and socially viable. In addition, the Requesters complain about lack of consultation and access to information.
On December 22, 2016, the Panel submitted to the Board of Executive Directors its Report and Recommendation. On January 18, 2017, the Board approved the Panel’s recommendation to not carry out an investigation into the alleged issues of harm and related potential non-compliance with Bank policies. In making its recommendation the Panel has taken into account: (i) Management’s commitment to address the consultation issues raised by the Requesters through the continuation of the UPZ 72 Roundtable and (ii) Management’s commitment to completing several actions outlined in its Response and Addendum, which aim specifically to address the potential harm raised in the complaints. The recommendation does not preclude the possibility of a future complaint based on new evidence or circumstances not currently known.