Where do you find information on Nam Theun 2?

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ImageIf you’ve read any of the posts in my blog so far, you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned multiple times how much information there is on Nam Theun 2. One of the cornerstones (pdf) for the World Bank’s involvement on NT2 was that the project would be handled in a transparent manner, and that’s why all of the key reports on NT2 are publicly available. The aim of being transparent means that key documentation related to the project as it was being developed and now implemented is public, that the Bank proactively keeps people informed about what is happening (ahem, the blog for one), and that there would be continuous outreach to stakeholders including local and international consultations.

Assessment of impacts to fisheries, resettlement plans, environmental mitigation measures, economic studies, the famous Concession Agreement, independent assessments, semi-annual progress reports from the World Bank… they are all available on the web (see more below). Moreover open channels of communications are ongoing, meaning that -- for example from the World Bank side -- if you, reader, whoever you are, write to me with a question or comment, I will make sure to answer and point you to the relevant information, or put you in touch with one of my colleagues, or arrange a field visit if necessary.

Last year alone I did more than ten field visits with reporters, ambassadors and academics (and took part in bigger visits with NGOs as well)… and that’s just because they had directly contacted the World Bank. Usually, external visits to the site are hosted and arranged by NTPC (the Nam Theun Power Company), and they easily --and I’m not exaggerating-- undertake on average one visit by an external party to the site a week (which, on the other hand, means that they are heavily burdened as well, since they spend an inordinate amount of time is spent showing people around, answering questions, etc…) I should also say that a number of NGOs, journalists and others, visit the site by themselves on a regular basis.

In any case, are you looking for more information about NT2?

The first place I’ll point you to is the Lao Government’s website at http://www.poweringprogress.org. This website, from the Lao National Committee for Energy, has both general information about the Government’s involvement in the energy sector and specific information on Nam Theun 2. So here you’ll find information about the Government’s resettlement policy, the National Hydropower Policy (pdf) and other relevant legislation, a list of the current and planned hydropower projects (pdf), and more. More specifically on NT2, you’ll find the environmental and social impact assessment (pdf), various social and environmental plans, the cumulative impact analysis, consultation posters, video clips, and much more. Latest information (as of April 7, 2008) includes a progress report on activities taking place right now (1.2mb pdf) and independent monitoring reports. I highly recommend visiting it.

Then there is NTPC’s website at http://www.namtheun2.com which has all the specific project information ranging from the financing to the dam infrastructure, the social and environmental programs and impact assessments, and maps and charts to illustrate everything. Namely their site includes information about shareholders and the company’s organization, project financing, design of the project infrastructure, social and environmental plans – including resettlement action plans, studies on elephants and other wildlife and health reports –, impact assessments, independent assessments, photographs, posters, maps and videos.

And last but not least is, of course the World Bank’s NT2 website at http://www.worldbank.org/laont2 which is host to a lot of the previous information, as well as to some of the Bank’s own updates and reports. Here you will find overview information about the project, including links to the Project Appraisal Document, which explains why the World Bank is involved and what the financing is like. You’ll also find a list of Frequently Asked Questions and WB semi-annual Progress Reports to update stakeholders on how the project is being implemented, as well as reports from independent experts. You’ll also find photo slideshows and trip stories about the houses being built, women weavers and a trip I took to the NT2 Watershed, among others. And you’ll find the economic studies, the social and environmental plans, the outcome of international and local consultations, responses to letters, and more (feedback and suggestions are more than appreciated!)

So that should keep you entertained for a while! Feel free to post any questions or comments on this blog or email me directly at nt2feedback@worldbank.org.

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