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Panel Registers Requests for Inspection of Flood Management Project in Poland

The Inspection Panel on September 17, 2019, issued a Notice of Registration for seven Requests for Inspection of the Odra-Vistula Flood Management Project in Poland.

The Panel received the Requests 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” – between June 21, 2019, and September 4, 2019, from several non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and other institutions.

The first five Requests are similar in nature and allege that project activities on the Odra River at the German-Polish border cause potential harm to biodiversity, increase flood risks and have transboundary impact on Germany. The sixth Request adds concerns about hydro-engineering works on the Vistula River and claims that the project will undermine and destroy Natura 2000 habitats and sites, and lead to economic losses. The seventh Request concerns environmental issues relating to the project’s dry basins in the Klodzko Valley.

For reasons of economy and efficiency, the Panel has decided to process the seven 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 Requests by October 18, 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.