Safeguard Policy Review

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

Public Comment Period for the Draft ESF is Closed

The draft Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) provides comprehensive requirements that promote sustainable development outcomes, and is comprised of the following parts:

  1. Vision;
  2. Environmental and Social Policy (E&S Policy);
  3. Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs); and
  4. Prohibited Investment Activities List.

The draft ESF was developed based on analytical and benchmarking studies, with feedback from governments, civil society organizations, private sector clients, and project-affected people during the regional and in-country consultations (Phase 2) held from June 2021 to March 2023.

A new round of consultations and solicitation of public comments are being conducted to further enrich the draft ESF. The draft ESF was disclosed on 7 September 2023 and made available for public comments until 6 May 2023. Stakeholder consultations (Phase 3) are being held between November 2023 and May 2024.Due to the expected feedback volume, ADB will not be able to respond to all comments individually. Stakeholder inputs from the consultations and feedback received through various platforms will be documented, and summaries will be disclosed accordingly.

Consultations with Project-Affected People


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

  • 7 September 2023

    Disclosure of the Draft Environmental and Social Framework on ADB website

  • September 2023-May 2024

    Public Comment and Stakeholder Consultations on the Environment and Social Framework

  • Q3 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)

  • 9 August 2023

    Informal Board Seminar on new Environmental and Social Framework

  • 27 October 2023

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

  • Q3 2024

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

Photo: Asian Development Bank

Review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012)

ADB has initiated an external review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012) to provide ADB with important perspectives to consider ahead of the launching a formal review of the policy. Additionally, to guide future policy design and implementation, ADB is undertaking a cost and benefits study required under paragraph 212 of the Accountability Mechanism Policy.

  • Completed

    What ADB Has Done

    Phase 1:
    Initial Consultations and Outreach

      June 2020 - May 2021

    Phase 1 was completed with launching of the Safeguard Policy Review and Update process, sharing of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan and conduct of Preliminary Information Sessions and initial outreach​.

  • Completed

    What ADB Is Doing

    Phase 2:
    Series of Consultations

      June 2021 - March 2023

    Analytical and benchmarking studies were undertaken, and findings were presented and discussed during consultations to seek feedback from stakeholders.

  • Ongoing

    What's Next

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

      September 2023 - May 2024

    Feedback from stakeholders will be analyzed and the draft policy prepared and disclosed for public comment. Consultations on the draft policy will be undertaken and findings used to update and finalize the policy.

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