|The International Advisory Group in action at Ban Sop On, one of the resettled villages at Nakai Plateau.|
Over the last two weeks the Nam Theun 2 project received the 9th visit of the International Advisory Group (IAG), one of the Independent Assessment bodies assigned to the project.
The visiting group – Mary Racelis (pdf), Rob Laking (pdf) and Lennie Santos Borja (pdf) – held a series of meetings with the different Ministries and Agencies of the Government of Lao PDR and the Nam Theun Power Company; with organizations related to the project, like the World Bank, the Agence Française du Développement, the Asian Development Bank; and with other stakeholders like NGOs, regional organizations, and other members of the international cooperation community. The IAG also spent a full week in the field and at different areas of the project, visiting villages in the plateau, project lands, and upper and lower downstream areas along the Xe Bang Fai River. At times, the group decided to spend the evenings in the villages and stay overnight in villagers’ homes.
The IAG panel was established in 1997 to provide independent advice to the World Bank president and senior management on the NT2 project during the preparation and implementation phases. During implementation, the panel’s expanded mandate (pdf) is to advise with respect to overall progress in operations of the NT2 Project and in achievement of its poverty alleviation, national and local development, capacity building, and environmental and social objectives.
The focus of this recent visit has been primarily on the social and governance aspects of NT2, encompassing not only the livelihoods (pdf) issues but the income generation management aspects, like the Revenue Management Agreements (pdf), now that eligible programs have been selected. In addition, the IAG observed many other lessons that NT2 brings to planning, design and implementation processes of hydropower around the world. The IAG will issue a report based on its recent visit in which all these aspects will be elaborated in detail. Like the previous reports, the 9th will be in the public domain.