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IDB approves $5mn loan for environmental management

Jun '07
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of a $5 million loan for modernization of environmental management and planning in Uruguay.

The program, financed under the Sector Facility for institutional strengthening, will support modernization of institutions and mechanisms for environmental management in order to improve the country's competitiveness and environmental quality.

"The Uruguayan economy is undergoing significant changes that have modernized it and clearly require efficient environmental management. Sectors such as mining, forestry, pulp, fisheries and tourism have been developing so rapidly that they have now surpassed agricultural production, which dominated the economy until 1990," said Helena Landázuri de Piaggesi, IDB team leader.

Along with the economy, sources of investment have also diversified. Foreign investment in Uruguay is expected to grow to some 20 percent of GDP in 2007, a volume unprecedented in the history of the country.

This growth will translate into new investment projects that will have to be assessed and overseen to ensure that they help improve the environmental competitiveness of the country and do no have any adverse environmental impact, said Landázuri de Piaggesi.

The IDB-funded program is designed to improve public sector capacity to fully meet its obligations with respect to environmental management, to give more transparency and consistency to procedures for environmental authorizations and permits, and to expand outreach to civil society in the resolution of environmental problems.

The Uruguayan government will use the loan proceeds to reengineer the main environmental management mechanisms, in order to improve efficiency in environmental impact assessment and control for development projects.

It will also set up a National Environment System run by a modern, efficient institution, with the participation of government agencies and private institutions.

Inter-American Development Bank

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