Panel Registers 8th Request for Inspection of Flood Management Project in Poland
The Inspection Panel on September 26, 2019, issued a Notice of Registration for an eighth Request for Inspection of the Odra-Vistula Flood Management Project in Poland.
The Panel received the Request for Inspection of the project – which is intended to “increase access to flood protection for people living in selected areas of the Odra River and the Upper Vistula River basins and strengthen the institutional capacity of the borrower to mitigate the impact of floods more effectively” – on September 20, 2019, from members of the Save the Rivers Coalition.
The Requesters raise concerns about the project’s impact on biodiversity, including protected species, in protected areas in Poland and in the transboundary Odra region. They claim that the project will increase flooding risks, that the planned river regulation is excessive and that public participation and consultation with citizens and experts were insufficient. The Requesters are concerned that the earlier-abandoned work plans affecting the Międzyodrze wetland would be taken up again under this project. They also express concern about involuntary resettlement in the Klodzko Valley and in some locations in the Upper Vistula area and argue that the construction of dry reservoirs in the Klodzko Valley significantly interferes with the local landscape, cultural values and the integrity of some towns.
The Panel had registered seven earlier Requests for Inspection of the project from several non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and other institutions on September 17, 2019. For reasons of economy and efficiency, the Panel plans to process the eight Requests jointly.
The Panel’s registration implies no judgment concerning the merits of a Request for Inspection. Bank management must provide the Panel with a response to issues raised in the Request by October 30, 2019. After receiving the response, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors as to whether the matter should be investigated. More