IFC Performance Standards
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. The IFC finances investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, and provides advisory services to businesses and governments. The IFC provides loans and direct investments to companies working in Africa and Asia and is a leader in developing environmental standards that are adopted by many of the largest banks in the world.
IFC PS6 & Apes
IFC's Environmental and Social Performance Standards (PS) define IFC clients' responsibilities for managing their environmental and social risks.
PS6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources focuses on addressing “how clients can sustainably manage and mitigate impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services throughout the project’s lifecycle.” (IFC 2012a).
PS6 (2012) and its associated Guidance Note (GN) have special instructions pertaining to apes as follows:
Image by 7103983 from Pixabay
GN73. Special consideration should be given to great apes (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos) due to their anthropological significance. Where great apes may potentially occur, GN17 the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group (PSG) Section on Great Apes (SGA) must be consulted as early as possible to assist in the determination of the occurrence of great apes in the project’s area of influence. Any area where there are great apes is likely to be treated as critical habitat. Projects in such areas will be acceptable only in exceptional circumstances, and individuals from the IUCN SSC PSG SGA must be involved in the development of any mitigation strategy.
The IFC has determined that any area where there are great apes is likely to qualify as Critical Habitat
GN73: Any area where there are great apes is likely to be treated as critical habitat. Projects in such areas will be acceptable only in exceptional circumstances, and individuals from the IUCN SSC PSG SGA must be involved in the development of any mitigation strategy.
PS6 17: In areas of critical habitat, the client will not implement any project activities unless all of the following are demonstrated:
No other viable alternatives within the region exist for development of the project on modified or natural habitats that are not critical;
The project does not lead to measurable adverse impacts on those biodiversity values for which the critical habitat was designated, and on the ecological processes supporting those biodiversity values;
The project does not lead to a net reduction in the global and/or national/regional population of any Critically Endangered or Endangered species over a reasonable period of time; and
A robust, appropriately designed, and long-term biodiversity monitoring and evaluation program is integrated into the client’s management program.
In such cases where a client is able to meet the requirements defined in paragraph 17, the project’s mitigation strategy will be described in a Biodiversity Action Plan and will be designed to achieve net gains of those biodiversity values for which the critical habitat was designated.
Forest canopy. Petite Savane Bai, Lobéké Natonal Park, Cameroon
Photograph Dirck Byler
The IFC Performance Standards are frequently adopted as the “gold standards” by other banks, and are referred to in the “Equator Principles," followed by 105 financial institutions in 38 countries. Equator Banks make up well over half of international project finance.