Asian Development BankThe Asian Development Bank (AsDB) was founded in 1966 and is based in Manila, the Philippines. It promotes economic and social progress in the Asia and Pacific region. At the start of 2002 the bank reorganized in order to deliver its development agenda more effectively. In 2003 the bank had 61 members - 44 from the region and 17 developed countries. AsDB operations in its developing member countries are based on country strategies reflecting country needs, constraints and policy environments, and AsDB's own priorities and concerns. AsDB¿s five strategic objectives are:
- reducing poverty;
- promoting economic growth;
- supporting human development;
- improving the status of women;
- protecting the environment.
In 2001, loan approvals amounted to US$5.3 billion and equity investments to US$110 million. Loans from ordinary capital resources (OCR) accounted for US$3 94 billion and those from the soft window Asian Development Fund (AsDF) totalled US$1 36 billion. Most financing is designed to support specific projects but the bank also provides program, sector and multiproject loans.
Loans from OCR are generally made to countries in the region that are further up the development ladder. These loans carry a variable interest rate reflecting the cost of the Bank's borrowed funds from the capital markets. Loans from AsDF are made on highly concessional terms and almost exclusively to the poorest borrowing countries, with low per capita GNP and limited capacity to repay debts. These are interest-free loans, repayable over 35 to 40 years with a service fee of 1% per year.
AsDB provides technical assistance to developing member countries, especially to smaller and less-developed countries where there are substantial gaps in technical expertise. Technical assistance is used inter alia to:
- identify, formulate, implement or operate development projects;
- improve the capability of institutions;
- formulate development strategies, plans and programs;
- undertake studies;
- promote technology;
- foster regional cooperation by helping prepare regional studies, or participate in or organize regional conferences.
Priorities related to the forestry sector
The new AsDB policy for the forestry sector (published in March 1995) is based on three imperatives: protection, production and participation. Accordingly, the following guiding principles have been outlined for operations in this sector:
- the multiple and complementary uses of forests for their economic, environmental and social values should be borne in mind;
- the renewable character of forest resources should be capitalized on;
- forest development strategies should recognize and support the identity, culture and rights of forest-dwelling communities, and involve the recent encroacher in a constructive way;
- the vital role of forests in maintaining biodiversity, acting as a global carbon storage area, reducing air pollution and mitigating global warming should be recognized.
The policy has identified several priority areas for the AsDB's operations in the forestry sector. These include the improvement of developing member country policy and regulatory frameworks for forestry development; support for technological, policy and valuation research; public consultation in forestry development; the development of investment strategies; and raising the capability of forestry agencies for sector analysis, planning, regulation, enforcement and monitoring.
Different strategic approaches will be followed in respect of developing member countries that are forest-rich and those that are now net importers of wood products. In the case of the former, the emphasis will be on maximizing the area to be kept as functioning forests and ensuring that adequate areas are set aside for harvesting, catchment protection, plantations and forest-dwelling communities. In the case of the latter, the objective will be to increase domestic wood supplies through plantations and better forest management. In both cases, the bank will encourage the use of wood substitutes and alternative fuel energy sources to reduce the demand on forest resources.
Activities in the forestry sector
In 1995, out of 19 agriculture and agroindustry loans totalling US$897 million, two financed forestry projects for a total amount of US$66 million, and seven technical assistance grants totalling US$3 8 million were specifically directed to the forestry sector.
Forestry projects follow the same preparation process as other projects. In the case of AsDB, the second stage (formulation) is called fact-finding and is usually contracted out to consulting firms - either from developed or developing countries - or sometimes to the FAO Investment Centre. In the latter case, 30% of project formulation costs are borne by FAO and the remaining by the AsDB. Identification and appraisal are always carried out by AsDB staff. From an agricultural/forestry project proposal to loan effectiveness, the process takes from one to two years.
Lending and technical assistance operations are the responsibility of two Vice-Presidents for operations in charge of geographic departments - South Asia, Mekong, East and Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific department. These geographic departments are complimented by departments for strategy and policy, economics and research, regional and sustainable development, and the private sector.
How to present a request
Any project proposal should fit the AsDB's strategic objectives and policies. It also has to be included in the pipeline of projects defined by the AsDB's programming missions (undertaken by the two programme departments) in close coordination with developing member country authorities. These missions generally visit each developing member country twice a year. A forestry project must be ranked as a high priority by developing member country authorities - to which AsDB lends- and by the AsDB. Direct contact should be made with AsDB officials at resident missions.
Contact DetailsHeadquarters street address:
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue
0401 Mandaluyong City
P.O. Box 789
Manila Central Post Office
Tel: (632) 632-4444
Fax: (632) 636-2444
Web site: http://www.adb.org