In January, the World Bank announced in a statement that the Nam Theun 2 Environmental and Social and Project had closed on December 31. The ESP, a component of the US$1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in central Laos, was established in 2005 to manage the environmental and social impacts of the NT2 dam. In closing the ESP, the World Bank formally handed over responsibilities for managing the project’s impacts to the government of Laos, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) and a livelihoods project financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). In sharing the news of the closure, the World Bank’s statement details achievements of NT2 and lauds it as a “modern, environmentally and socially sustainable hydropower project aimed at generating power and opportunities for the people of the country.” The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia – directly to your inbox But the celebratory tone of the statement glosses over major and ongoing misgivings regarding the NT2 project’s persistent failures to reach sustainability targets. A contested process The closure of the ESP was a fraught and contested process. The NT2 project led to the involuntary resettlement of 6,200 indigenous people, and to widespread impacts on downstream communities – especially in… Read full this story
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