The Mekong River Commission’s 5th Regional Stakeholder Forum was held in Vientiane on Sep 20-21 to open opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss, review, and influence the plans for the newly proposed Pak Lay hydropower project.
The proposed Pak Lay hydropower project is undergoing prior consultation as required by the MRC’s Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA).
The PNPCA are a key obligation under the Mekong Agreement, which was established by the MRC member countries in 1995, and they are intended to further transparent and well-informed decision making on the proposed project.
I hope that this forum will provide a meaningful and valuable opportunity for everyone to discuss, review and debate the plans for the proposed Pak Lay hydropower project and ongoing initiatives to strengthen basin planning and environment management, said Ms Bounkham Vorachit, Vice Minister of Natural Resource and Environment.
We believe that inclusion and consideration of diverse views and interests serve to strengthen water cooperation in the basin, and we strongly encourage all interested parties to contribute to the discussion, said Dr An Pich Hatda, Officer-in-charge, and Planning Division Director, Mekong River Commission Secretariat.
“The Mekong Regional Commission’s (MRC) Vision for an Economically Prosperous, Socially Just and Environmentally Sound Mekong River Basin is mirrored in our slogan, Meeting the needs, keeping the Balance,” said Dr An Pich Hatda.
We cannot meet the needs without knowing what those needs are; nor can we keep the balance without understanding what underpins the balance between economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Stakeholder involvement is reflected in the MRC’s Strategic Plan for 2015-2020; it is the seed of our Public Participation Strategy and implemented through our regional stakeholder engagement mechanism.
While the most visible and noticeable part of our engagements focuses on discussing and exchanging views on planned hydropower projects on the Mekong mainstream, the MRC also needs your participation in a range of other initiatives.
More recently is had been observed in the Lao Prime Minister’s remarks at the World Economic Forum.
He noted that hydropower development in Laos must be based on a well-studied and well-planned approach, that projects must comply with international standards and that they must be based on scientific information and expert views.
The two-day meeting also provided its participants the opportunity to discuss the Joint Action plan for the Pak Beng Hydropower Project, the review of the design changes for the Xayabouri Hydropower Project, the update of the Preliminary Design Guidance, and the Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy, among others.
Source: Lao News Agency