Vientiane, Lao PDR, December 5, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Lao National Chamber
of Commerce and Industry to promote environmental and social risk management
best practices among hydropower developers for them to better contribute
to the sustainability of the sector.
Under the memorandum of understanding signed today between IFC and the
chamber, the partnership aims to provide a dialogue platform between the
Lao government and the business community to ensure that hydropower projects
will be developed and operated in a sustainable way that protects the environment
and local people’s livelihoods.
“The collaboration with IFC marks our commitment to developing a hydropower
focused working group that channels the sector wide issues and challenges
to the government,” said Sisavath Thiravong, President of the Lao National
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “As a global standard-setter on environmental
and social practices, IFC will provide the local hydropower developers
with knowledge and experience to effectively manage the sustainability
risks of their projects.”
Throughout 2014, IFC and the chamber will organize a series of seminars
to introduce to hydropower companies a set of standards, tools and best
practices that help develop hydropower projects in a environmentally and
socially sustainable manner. The companies will also have opportunity to
interact with the Lao government on industry challenges through the Lao
Business Forum, a public-private sector structured dialogue mechanism facilitated
by the chamber.
“By sharing our expertise on environmental and social best practices with
the local hydropower companies, we want to improve the sustainability standards
in the sector as a whole and increase the share of new hydropower projects
that follow good international industry practices,” said Ian Crosby, IFC’s
Sustainable Business Advisory Manager for East Asia and the Pacific. “One
of IFC’s strategic priorities is helping the Lao government harness the
country’s natural resources as a significant driver of economic growth,
while ensuring the protection of communities and the environment.”
IFC has been working with Lao government and the private sector over the
last decade to help reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth.
In Lao PDR, IFC’s advisory work is implemented in partnership with Canada,
Finland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.