Cost of safeguard

Development professionals sometimes find safeguards to be burdensome and costly, especially when they do not sufficiently differentiate the risks across types of projects. Indeed for an individual project, the cost may seem unnecessarily high if safeguards prompt excessive scrutiny. But damages avoided (i.e. the benefits of having the system) across projects can more than offset the cost of having safeguards in place. The costs of safeguards are easy to estimate, but the benefits are hard to quantify, although individual cases suggest potential damages avoided. For example, in the Viet Nam Song Bung 4 hydropower project, safeguards supported relocating and restoring the livelihood of the affected Co Tu minority communities. They were also key for Weinan municipal government in the PRC to mitigate impacts on biodiversity. In a North-South road program in Armenia, safeguards helped preserve archeological sites... —