Consultation on Pak Beng hydropower project continued
On 4 April 2017, representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam gathered in Oudomxay province for the second Meeting of the Joint Committee Working Group (JCWG) on the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) for the Pak Beng hydropower project. At the meeting, the participants discussed the First Draft Technical Review Report of the Pak Beng Hydropower Project by the Mekong River Committee Secretariat (MRCS) experts. In addition, Cambodia and Thailand shared views from their first round of National Information Sharing/Consultation Meetings.
In its initial review, MRCS experts found issues regarding the data and methodology used for planning and designing the project, the designs of the sediment transport, fish passage, navigation lock and dam safety structures, and made initial questioning and recommendations in order to further complete the MRC technical review report, which will be made available to the public before the 2nd Regional stakeholder forum to be organized on 5 May 2017 in Vientiane.
A site visit to Pak Beng Hydropower Project was organised on 5 April to for JCWG members to have first-hand experience and additional understanding about conditions of the project through direct interaction with the project developer, the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Lao PDR and local communities.
The starting date for the 6-month Prior Consultation was officially from 20 December 2016. The first meeting of PNPCA JCWG was organised in Vientiane on 12 January 2017 to inform and discuss several key issues that require attention and common understanding and agreement to ensure successful implementation of the six-month prior consultation process. The first Regional Stakeholder Forum conducted on 22 and 23 February 2017 in Luang Prabang was an opportunity for all interested stakeholders to get an overview of the proposed Pak Beng hydropower project and the intended assessment methodologies for the review of the submitted documents and to express and share views and opinions.
The final meeting of JCWG will be held in June 2017 to come up with recommendations for the Joint Committee.