Considering Social Impacts of Investments

December 22, 2013

The World Bank has what we call ‘Safeguard’ policies which call upon us to minimize and mitigate the negative environmental and social aspects of our projects. When working with the government designing the Tuvalu Aviation Investment Project we had an issue with building a fence around Funafuti runway. There is a serious problem with dogs on the runway endangering aircraft so ideally we should put a fence around the runway. However, this is the only large open area on the island and is a centre of recreation. In the end we decided that the negative impact of a fence from a social point of view was too great and are working with the government to have other mechanisms to control dogs. 

I was interviewed on this issue by a Dutch team who were there doing a documentary on football—two Tuvaluan players are in Holland. They sent me through the video below which shows the challenges we face really well. Note the dog running across the screen as the plane lands!