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Panel Issues Notice of Registration in Sri Lanka Ecosystem Management Case

The Inspection Panel on December 9, 2019, issued a Notice of Registration in response to a Request for Inspection of the Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project in Sri Lanka.
The Request was submitted on October 21, 2019, by two individuals representing 106 community members from around the Kudawa area in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka.
The project development objective is to “improve the management of ecosystems in selected locations in Sri Lanka for conservation and community benefits.” The Requesters, who requested confidentiality, allege that the project is causing harm to the natural environment and community livelihoods through road construction activities in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a World Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. They express concern over the adverse impact of the road construction on several endemic species of fauna and flora and local livelihoods, and also claim a lack of consultation and disclosure of information.
The Panel’s registration implies no judgment concerning the merits of the Request. Bank management must provide the Panel with a response to issues raised in the Request by January 14, 2020. After receiving the response, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors as to whether the matter should be investigated.