Safeguard Policy Review

A source for the latest important information on the environmental and social safeguard policy review, development, and consultation process.

In the Spotlight

Modernizing the Safeguard Policy Statement

ADB is conducting a comprehensive review and update of its 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.

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

Message from the Managing Director General

Managing Director General Woochong Um encourages stakeholders, including civil society, to take part in the consultation opportunities during the review of ADB's environmental and social safeguard policy.

Indicative Timeline of Updating

  Overall schedule

  • June-December 2020

    Internal preparations

  • June 2020-May 2021

    Initial consultation and stakeholder outreach (Preliminary Information Sessions) (online)

  • September 2020-September 2022

    Background studies (Findings and Recommendations)

  • November 2021-February 2023

    Stakeholder Consultations on Analytical Studies

  • June 2023

    Expected Disclosure of the Draft Environmental and Social Framework on ADB website

  • August-December 2023

    Public Comment and Stakeholder Consultations on Draft Policy Paper (W-Paper with Environment and Social Framework)

  • Q1 2024​

    Final Policy Paper (R-Paper with Environment and Social Framework)

  Board engagement schedule

  • 31 August 2020

    First Informal Board Seminar on the SPS update approach (Completed)

  • 22 April 2021/10 June 2021

    Deep Dive with ADB Board of Directors (Completed)

  • 26 April 2022

    Second Deep Dive Board Seminar with ADB Board of Directors (Completed)

  • 20 June 2023

    Informal Board Seminar on new Environmental and Social Framework

  • Q3 2023
    (to be confirmed)

    Board consideration of the Draft Policy Paper (W-Paper)

  • March 2024

    ADB Board consideration of the Final Policy Paper (R-Paper)

  • What ADB Has Done

    What ADB Has Done

    Phase 1:
    Initial Consultations and Outreach

      June 2020 - May 2021

    Completed with the launching of the Safeguard Policy Review and Update process, sharing of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan and conduct of Preliminary Information Sessions and initial outreach.​

  • What ADB Is Doing

    What ADB Is Doing

    Phase 2:
    Series of Consultations

      June 2021 - March 2023

    Analytical studies are being prepared and finalized, comparing ADB’s current safeguard policy provisions and procedures with other multilateral financing institutions to understand similarities and differences, and where it needs to go further to meet evolving and emergent safeguard issues. Consultations are almost completed.

  • What's Next

    What's Next

    Phase 3:
    Analyze, Draft, Revise, and Finalize the Policy

      December 2022 - March 2024

    Focus on analyzing, drafing, revising, and finalizing the revised environmental and social safeguard policy standards based on stakeholder feedback and recommendations.

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, involuntary resettlement, and Indigenous Peoples.

Outdoor Class


Staff Instructions on Integrating Environment and Social Dimensions in Projects