BANGKOK July 30, 2004 - International stakeholder workshops on the proposed Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project in Lao PDR will get underway next week, August 31, 2004 with the first workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshops, sponsored by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are intended to provide an opportunity for public comment and discussion on issues relating to the proposed project and to specifically comment on the series of safeguard documents which have been made public in draft form since May 2004.
Following Bangkok, the technical workshops will move to Tokyo (September 3); Paris (September 7); Washington DC (September 10); and Vientiane (September 24).
The safeguard documents, available on-line at the NTPC website, provide the technical background to the workshops, which are being organized at different international venues to facilitate discussion throughout the international stakeholder community of the proposed project's potential impacts and benefits.
The aim of these international workshops is to allow an open and well-informed discussion that can in turn inform decision making related to the project and capture specific comments and ideas related to the safeguard and other project documents which are currently in draft. These workshops are intended to hear about the concerns and views of interested stakeholders, with a view to providing feedback to the Government of Lao PDR and the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) as they complete the project documentation covering environmental and social safeguards, economic analysis and revenue management arrangements of the proposed project in order to comply with the policies of the World Bank, the ADB, and other international financial institutions.
To ensure that the process is transparent, meaningful, and balanced, an independent moderator will lead the discussions at each of the venues and prepare a summary of the feedback and recommendations arising from the workshop, which the organizers will share with the participants.
These international stakeholder workshops complement the local consultations with project-affected communities, which are ongoing since May 2004. Local consultations have also been held previously in the project affected areas. A summary of the latest round of consultations will be shared at the international workshops and be discussed in separate sessions at each workshop.