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Safeguard Policy Review

This page is the source of important information in the environmental and social safeguard policy development and consultation process.

Modernizing the Safeguard Policy Statement

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is conducting a comprehensive review and update of the 2009 Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS). In the 10 years of the policy’s implementation, ADB has improved the capacity of developing member countries and private sector clients to manage social and environmental risks. With the changing contexts in countries and regions, the SPS needs to be updated to remain relevant and robust in responding to evolving development needs. Read the Background Information Paper on the Safeguard Review Process and its brochure.

The review process will be informed by the findings and studies conducted under the following:

Independent Evaluation Department evaluation reports

Technical assistance projects supporting the review and update

Accountability Mechanism reports


Managing Director General’s message

Managing Director General Woochong Um launches the Safeguard Policy Review Website and encourages stakeholders, including civil society to take advantage of this platform and the consultation opportunities during the review of its environmental and social safeguard policy.

Indicative Timeline of Updating

Overall schedule

Key milestones Timetable
Internal preparations June-December 2020
Initial consultation and stakeholder outreach (online) June 2020-May 2021
Background studies (Findings and Recommendations) September 2020-January 2022
Draft and final policy paper February 2022-March 2023

Board engagement schedule

Key milestones Timetable
First Informal Board Seminar on the SPS update approach 31 August 2020 (completed)
Deep Dive with ADB Board of Directors April 2021
Second Deep Dive Board Seminar January 2022
Second Informal Board Seminar (on W-Paper) June 2022
ADB Board meeting on the W-Paper October 2022
ADB Board meeting on the R-Paper March 2023

Stakeholder Engagement

ADB is committed to ensuring meaningful consultations throughout the policy review process to build on and learn from experiences and inputs from stakeholders across many perspectives and backgrounds. The review will include a series of internal and external stakeholder consultations with member countries, development partners, governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, project affected people, indigenous peoples, and vulnerable groups. Public feedback is welcomed, and everyone is encouraged to share their experiences in implementing the current policy and recommend areas for enhancement.

Stay updated and get involved

Subscribe to ADB Safeguard’s regular mailing list by filling out this form

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Your feedback matters

Share your feedback on the current Safeguard Policy by filling out the feedback form


The consultation process will be conducted in three phases.

In the first phase, ADB will launch the review, share the consultation and communications plan, and lead a first round of external consultations to discuss the consultation plan and understand their main concerns.

During the second phase, ADB will discuss the findings of the analytical studies with stakeholders and its implications on policy revision.

The final stage will look at outstanding issues and areas where ADB needs additional information and solicit comments on the working paper.

View the draft stakeholder engagement plan.

Phase 1
(June 2020 - May 2021)

Phase 1 will focus on the launch of the review, introduction to the website, and share the stakeholder engagement plan.

A series of outreach meetings and focus group discussions will be conducted online given the current pandemic state in many of our DMCs. Phase 1 started in June 2020 with informal discussions with key civil society organizations. Phase 1 consultations are expected to run through to May 2021. Further information on meetings, dates, and processes for Phase 2 and 3 will be posted as schedules are finalized.

Completed Meetings

Date Meeting Meeting Documents Presentation/Recording
12 April 2021 Preliminary Information Sessions for civil society organizations in Asia and the Pacific
13 April 2021 Preliminary Information Sessions for civil society organizations North America and Europe
18 May 2021 Preliminary Information Session for Government stakeholders from DMCs of Central and West Asia, and South Asia
19 May 2021 Preliminary Information Session for Government stakeholders from DMCs of East & Southeast Asia and Pacific

Phase 2
(June 2021 – January 2022)

Phase 2 will draw on the findings of different analytical studies on key topics like safeguard policy architecture, safeguard classification, use of country safeguard systems and cross-cutting thematic issues. Study reports will be shared on the webpage and key findings will be presented during consultations to seek feedback from stakeholders. Smaller consultations can be organized for thematic areas, on the basis of geography, and other issues or topics be identified. This phase will also draw on input from affected people. Consultations will be organized with stakeholders on the basis of relevant focal issues, enabling them to make contributions based on their primary expertise.

Given the constraints imposed by COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, the consultations during this Phase will take place mainly through videoconferencing, but offline platforms for consultation are being considered.

History of ADB’s Safeguard Policy

ADB's environmental and social safeguards are a cornerstone of its support to inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability in Asia and Pacific. The SPS consolidated three previous policies on environment (2002), involuntary resettlement (1995), and Indigenous Peoples (1998).



Staff Instructions on Integrating Environment and Social Dimensions in Projects