Postcards from the Hallways: Sustainable Hydro in Lao PDR



Stretching 485 km from the Chinese border to the Mekong, the Nam Ou River Basin is one of Lao PDR’s key waterways. It has several hydro projects in operation and under development. But until recently, knowledge of the area’s people and environment was limited, making it hard for companies to operate sustainably.

IFC is helping.

Supported by Japan and Australia, we have worked with the World Bank since 2013 to strengthen the Lao government’s sustainable hydro development skills. Our 2017 environmental and social profile of the Nam Ou will help policymakers and companies improve their planning. We have also shared insights from IFC’s Performance Standards, which support solutions that are good for business, investors, the environment, and local communities.

Earlier this year the Lao National Assembly passed a Water and Water Resources Law drawing on IFC and World Bank-supported advice and stakeholder consultation. As investor interest continues to grow, the new law sets a basis for integrated water-resources management and development on the Nam Ou.


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