Working group on Laos hydropower sustainability launched

Radio Free Asia
9 December 2013

The private sector lending arm of the World Bank says it has teamed up with business groups to ensure that hydropower projects are developed and operated in a sustainable way in Laos, which has come under fire from green groups for building dams with little regard for the environment.

Under the new partnership, and over the course of the next year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce will host a series of seminars to introduce hydropower companies to sustainability standards, tools, and best practices in a bid to get dam-builders to adopt them.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding last week in Vientiane to launch the Hydropower Developers Working Group in a ceremony attended by representatives from the government, hydropower developers, and business and development partners.

The IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, said in a statement that the collaboration is aimed at providing a “dialogue platform” between the business community and the government in Laos, which has more than 70 dams planned on its rivers.

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