Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

Safeguard Policies

CEPF appraises projects not only on their technical merit, but also on their environmental and social ramifications. Therefore, procedures for addressing environmental and social issues are included in the project cycle management process. A driving principle of CEPF is to prevent and mitigate any harm to people and thus to incorporate environmental and social concerns as an intrinsic part of project cycle management.

This section explains the CEPF environmental and social assessment processes. It also includes an Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework and a Process Framework to further elaborate safeguards specific to Indigenous Peoples and when a project may result in restriction of access to natural resources.

Environmental and social safeguards will be tracked during all stages of the project cycle with the main objective of ensuring that supported activities comply with the policies and guidelines laid out in the Operational Manual and with the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies. This includes confirming that measures are incorporated into the project design to prevent, minimize and mitigate potential adverse environmental and social effects of individual projects.

The CEPF Project Cycle Management Approach describes a project cycle of design, implementation and evaluation. CEPF addresses environmental and social issues within this cycle as follows:

- Inquire on, and assess, environmental, and social guidelines
- Discuss with project designers and study any reports as requested
- Prepare comments and requests for additional information
- Advise on any specific requirements for compliance
- Review and assess for approval and/or any special measures required

- Continue to inquire and review environmental and social safeguard issues
- Prepare any comments and requests for new information
- Review and advise on implementation of any special measures required

- Ensure inclusion and review environmental and social safeguard issues in final project reporting as well as any lessons learned
- Post all related information and documents on www.cepf.net for global learning


Environmental and Social Safeguard Assessment Process

The CEPF project proposal forms seek out several elements of the basic project design including objectives, performance indicators and sustainability issues. Within these applications are a series of safeguard questions that must be answered based on the World Bank’s standard Environmental Assessment. For each, grantees are asked to provide a supporting statement to justify their answer.

CEPF will assess these during the initial proposal review. This review may be deemed satisfactory, or may involve further discussion with the potential grantee. In some cases, additional information may be required for further review and discussion. Throughout the review process, CEPF will maintain contact with the potential grantee to obtain clarification on information provided and request any additional information and documentation needed. In conducting the preliminary evaluation, CEPF will focus on analyzing the materials provided by the potential grantee to determine the following aspects related to the environmental and social effects of the project:

  • Compliance with CEPF and World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies
  • Potential for the project to cause adverse environmental impacts
  • Potential for the project to cause adverse social impacts
  • Capacity of the applicant to implement any required safeguard-related measures during the preparation and implementation of the project.

At the conclusion of the initial screening, CEPF will identify any environmental and social effects of the project and define any safeguard requirements necessary. For projects above $20,000, a more detailed Project Proposal Application is required, and safeguard requirements may be further elaborated and defined. The grantee is responsible for implementation and monitoring of any required safeguard instrument or other required measures to address Safeguard Policies.

This process is then tracked throughout project implementation similar to the tracking of performance toward project objectives. At each performance reporting stage, grantees will revisit the safeguard policy issues to reconfirm their status, adjust any that may have changed during implementation, and make necessary mitigation steps as needed. In cases where grantees are implementing mitigation actions, they will report on the progress of such implementation similar to that which they are doing for other project elements. The intent of this process is to ensure that the environmental and social safeguard issues are continually monitored and mitigated throughout project implementation.

The final step is to evaluate the environmental and social issues at project completion. Any related documents and lessons learned will be shared via www.cepf.net to help in the design and mitigation of negative environmental and social impacts in future projects.


Safeguard policy and Project cycle framework

PCM Phase Process Steps Responsibility Safeguards Decision(s)
  • CEPF application
  • Review process & discussion
  • Applicant
  • CEPF
  • Environmental & social screening, assessments, frameworks
  • Free, prior and informed consultations for Indigenous Peoples
  • Approve
  • Develop mitigation steps
  • Decline
  • CEPF project performance monitoring report
  • Review process & discussion
  • Applicant / Grantee
  • CEPF
Environmental & social safeguards measures Monitor and re-assess safeguards
End of Project Evaluation Final project completion report
  • Grantee
  • CEPF
Environmental & social measures Evaluate, document lessons learned


Applicable Safeguard Policies

Not all of the World Bank’s safeguard policies or all aspects of those policies are relevant to CEPF activities; however, the following are of particular interest:

Environmental assessment (OP 4.01): CEPF will address priority conservation objectives and is thus expected to have a highly positive environmental impact. Activities supported by the program are not expected to have any significant adverse environmental effects. Resources will be directed to the most important biodiversity issues while ensuring minimum adverse environmental effects. Screening criteria are also in place to identify projects with potential adverse impacts at the grant proposal stage.

Natural Habitats (OP 4.04) and Forests (OP 4.36): The CEPF approach is fully consistent with the World Bank’s Natural Habitats and Forest policies. It would not cause, nor facilitate, any significant loss or degradation of forests or other natural habitats. By design, CEPF would finance activities that promote conservation of natural habitats and threatened species. CEPF aims to prevent or reduce habitat loss or degradation by providing strategic assistance to engage NGOs, community groups, and other civil society partners in conservation in biodiversity hotspots.

Project activities will focus on conservation and more sustainable management of forests and other natural habitats and all project activities will be consistent with conservation priorities. Projects are expected to promote positive environmental benefits and conservation of biodiversity through creation of new protected areas, strengthening of protected area management, promoting sustainable use and management of natural resources and creation of conservation partnerships for more effective management both within protected areas and important biological corridors. It is expected that any activity funded by CEPF would be consistent with existing protected area management plans or other resource management strategies applicable to local situations. Beyond the selection criteria for identifying project activities, it is not anticipated that any additional measures will be required under this policy.

Socioeconomic impacts: As of March 2007, CEPF has supported more than 1,000 civil society partners in 15 regions, ranging from international and national NGOs to local communities, indigenous groups, and the private sector. In order to give explicit attention to social safeguards issues, a desk review was undertaken on current CEPF projects with the objectives to assess their potential social impacts, to consider measures to address such impacts, and to consider eligibility criteria for the screening process for future projects. Eighteen projects were reviewed along with the Operational Manual and other documents.  This review informed a set of recommendations for revisions that have been incorporated into the Operational Manual to address the requirements of the World Bank’s current social safeguard policies, particularly the Indigenous Peoples Policy (OP 4.10) and the Involuntary Resettlement Policy (OP 4.12).

  • Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12): This policy covers both impacts from activities that require resettlement or land acquisition, and projects that result in restrictions of access to legally designated parks and protected areas. Activities involving resettlement or land acquisition are not allowed under the CEPF program. Restrictions of access to resources are addressed through preparation of a Process Framework that describes the process and principles for determining restrictions and mitigation measures with the participation of affected persons. All project applications will be assessed for potential to reduce access to resources. See the process for preparation of an Involuntary Restriction Framework (PDF - 46 KB), where necessary.

  • Indigenous Peoples (OP/BP 4.10): Many of the world’s remaining areas of high biodiversity overlap with lands occupied and utilized by Indigenous Peoples. CEPF-funded activities could overlap with indigenous communities in several hotspots. CEPF will explicitly encourage proposals that support Indigenous peoples and other local communities in community-based conservation and activities that enhance local communities’ tenure and sustainable resource management. Additionally, all projects proposed for CEPF funding would demonstrate that they have made provisions for evaluating the potential impacts on indigenous communities and site-specific action plans may be required. See Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework (PDF - 57 KB) for further information about this policy and requirements for related projects.

Should the grant applicant or grantee be required to develop an assessment, Indigenous Peoples Framework, Process Framework, or action plan with regard to one of the safeguard policies, World Bank disclosure policies will be followed. These require that all such reports and/or plans be provided in a timely manner prior to consultation and in a form and language understandable and accessible to the groups being consulted. In addition, these documents will be provided to CEPF and made available at www.cepf.net.

Physical Cultural Resources (OP 4.11):  CEPF will not fund any activity that involves the removal or alteration of any physical cultural resources (defined as movable or immovable objects, sites, structures,  and natural features and landscapes that have archeological, paleontological, historical, architectural, religious, aesthetic, or other cultural significance). These may, however, be present in project areas and measures should be put in place to ensure that they are identified and adverse effects avoided. This is particularly relevant for projects that support development of management plans and other land and natural resource use planning.

Pest Management (OP 4.09): CEPF may support investments related to agriculture extension services or invasive species management. These investments may include the procurement, handling, storage and use of pesticides. No pesticides that are  unlawful under national or international law will be supported under the project. Special  due diligence will be required to finance any activities that apply pesticides under Categories Ia, Ib or II as described in the WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard (2005).​​ Please refer to CEPF’s Pest Management Plan for more information.​​​​​​​​​​​

  • CEPF Best Practices on Stakeholder Engagement
    English (PDF - 294 KB)

  • Pest Management Plan
    English​ (PDF - 660 KB)

  • Environmental and Social Management Framwork
    English (PDF -
     244 KB)


Right-click the links below to save the templates.
Examples of grievance mechanisms
See Also

Politicas de salvaguardia
Politiques de sauvegarde

Further information on these Safeguard Policies can also be found on the World Bank website​ at go.worldbank.org/WTA1ODE7T0