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Japanese experts discuss integrated river development


 Japanese experts discuss integrated river development

Visiting Japanese experts have shared Japan's good practices in relation to integrated river development as well as discussed current issues on the comprehensive development and management of dams in Laos.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently joined with the Ministry of Energy and Mines to organise a seminar on “Integrated River Development in Vientiane.

Some 30 participants from the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Lao National Mekong River Commission Secretariat (LNMC-S), Electricite du Laos (EDL), EDL-Generation Public Company (EDL-Gen), and Ministry of Energy and Mines were in attendance.

During the seminar, JICA experts introduced several governing laws and acts designed to promote entire river development in Japan, with an emphasis on overall outcomes and benefits for multiple stakeholders.

The workshop took place with an emphasis on mutual communications and cooperation among concerned ministries, agencies and local authorities.

Concepts and procedures in relation to “multi-purpose dams” were also introduced at the seminar.

Multi-purpose dams can be designed to serve multiple interests at the same time, including hydropower generation, irrigation water supply, drinking water supplies, industrial water supplies and flood control.

Multi-purpose dam projects have been developed in Japan based on benefit sharing and cost sharing principles for the purpose of pursuing the most reasonable solutions for various beneficiaries of river water use as well as utilising hydropower potential as much as possible.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines issued a Policy on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Lao PDR (PSHD) in 2015 to be in line with the current legal and institutional frameworks and to ensure effective implementation of the policy and achievement of sustainable hydropower development .

The policy states that hydropower development should coordinate with all stakeholders in the management and utilisation of water and water resources for maximum benefits.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines and JICA also conducted a training course on sustainable hydropower planning to improve the abilities of energy officials and provincial energy and mines departments.

The two week course stretched over the periods from January 18 to 22 and January 26 to February 1.