Vientiane Times, December 6, 2013
The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are set to promote environmental and social risk management in Laos.
IFC and the chamber signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday which focuses on driving best practice among hydropower developers, ensuring projects contribute to the sustainability of the sector.
The partnership aims to provide a dialogue platform between the Lao government and the business community to guarantee 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,” LNCCI President, Mr Sisavath Thiravong, said
As a global standard-setter on environmental and social practices, IFC will provide local hydropower developers with knowledge and experience to effectively manage the sustainability risks of their projects.
Throughout 2014, IFC and the chamber will organise a series of seminars to introduce to hydropower companies a set of standards, tools and best practices that help develop hydropower projects in an environmental and socially sustainable manner.
The companies will also have the opportunity to i nteract with the Lao government on industry challenges through the Lao Business Forum, a public-private sector structured dialogue mechanism facilitated by the chamber.
IFC Sustainable Business Advisory East Asia and the Pacific Manager, Mr Ian Crosby, said the project would share IFC’s expertise on environmental and social best practices with local hydropower companies.
“We want to improve the sustainability standards in the sector as a whole and increase the share of the new hydropower projects that follow good
international industry practices,” he said.
IFC has been working with the Lao government and the private sector over the last decade to help reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth.