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WILLIAM A. NITZE
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE
BUREAU OF OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL
AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS
JUNE 16, 1988
HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
HAZARDOUS WASTES AND TOXIC SUBSTANCES
COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE
Thank you Mr. Chairman and good morning.
I am pleased to
testify before your committee this morning on the subject of
applying the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
authorities to U.S. participation in actions of international
The U.s. plays a strong leadership
role in the multilateral development banks (MDBs), and has made
substantial financial contributions to them since their
Clearly, the MDBS play a critical, if not primary role, in
resource base may suffer permanent damage, that adverse health
effects may occur, and that future development may be
undermined and costs significantly increased.
Poor planning, often caused by the pressure for short-term
economic benefits, can cause irreparable damage to soils and
forests or result in projects which cannot be sustained.
is much scientific and economic evidence that truly sustainable
development can only be built on
a foundation of careful
resource management which integrates environmental
considerations into overall planning efforts.
The Congress, in response to growing public concern, has
recently passed legislation intended to make the MDBS more
sensitive to environmental concerns.
The State Department
strongly supports these efforts and is working closely with
congressional committees, the NGOs, and other federal agencies
to ensure that MDBs promote environmentally sound projects in
I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that there are a number of
international activities which show that there is strong and
growing momentum in this area.
We have begun to see results
from our efforts to increase awareness through discussions in
international fora and bilaterally with other countries to
influence bank policies, as well as with MDB officials
These efforts have been mounted on a number of
At the project level, A.I.D.'s Early Project Notification
(EPN) system alerts 53 A.I.D. missions and U.S. embassies
around the world to proposed MDB projects.
comes while these projects are still in the planning stages.
It is our conviction that this is the correct time and place to
begin assessing the effects of proposed projects.
A.1.D. and State to our colleagues in other agencies and to the
offices of our U.S. Executive Directors for their information.
meets weekly to identify problems and issues for resolution.
Through this process, the U.s. thoroughly assesses certain
categories of loans for adverse environmental impacts and
develops guidance to be followed by U.S. Executive Directors of
the banks in evaluating loan proposals.
A separate working
level inter-agency group meets weekly to coordinate the U.S.
Government's strategy on MDB reform.