[ Partnership information ] Summary of the Consultation Workshop
A training workshop on EIA report review under the Twinning Partnership between Lao PDR and Japan was held between 17-18 September 2014 at the New Rose Hotel, Vientiane. Sixteen officers from Head Office of the Department of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (DESIA), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental, participated in the training workshop. On 17 September, there were lecture sessions and one group discussion session focusing on EIA report review with special reference to hydro power sector taking the Theun Hinboune expansion project, Lao PDR, as a case study. On 18 September, the participants had an excursion to visit the Theun Hinboune expansion project. Mr. Yohei Suzuki and Mr. Manabu Sakaguchi, Consultants from the Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Japan, as mentoring organization, were the trainers for the training workshop. On Day 1, the workshop was commenced by opening remarks by Mr. Thavone Vongphosy, Deputy Director of the DESIA. Next Mr. Thongsamlit Onmanisone presented the basic information of the Theun Hinboune expansion project which was used as a case study for the training. The project is an expansion of existing 220MW Theun-Hinboun Hydropower project (THPP). A copy of a summary EIA report of the project in Lao was circulated among the participants. After that Mr. Suzuki explained a checklist for hydro power projects developed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) as well as International Finance Corporation Performance Standard (IFC PS) which was designed to protect environment and society from negative impacts associated with development projects. Then Mr. Sakaguchi presented an example of Xe Katam Hydropower Project in Lao PDR. The purpose of this presentation was to show impacts caused by the project and a monitoring system. For the group discussion session, the participants were divided into 3 groups to review the EIA report of the Theun Hinboune expansion project. After the discussion, the participants presented the discussion results on various aspects of the impacts associated with the construction and operation of the project including water, natural environment, and social and environmental management plan and monitoring. On Day 2, the participants had a field visit to the Theun Hinboune expansion project. At the site, project officers briefly presented background of the project as well as the conduct of environmental management activities. The project officers took the participants to visit the reservoirs and a relocation site. Overall, the participants were satisfied with the training content as well as the filed visits. They viewed that the training workshop provided them new experience and knowledge from the trainers. Meeting with other officials from the DESIA was a great opportunity for them to exchange experiences on EIA reviews.