The Guidelines on Public Participation in EIA in the Mekong Region
The Guidelines on Public Participation in EIA in the Mekong Region have been developed to address the shared concern for increasing meaningful public participation in development planning, in the context of increasing investment projects across the Mekong region. The Guidelines are intended to help stimulate more effective practices in public participation. These Guidelines are also playing an important role in informing the development of national level guidelines on public participation in EIA. This document is intended as a living resource and it is hoped that it will inspire the continued strengthening of EIA policies and practices in each country and across the region, as well as to advance greater regional collaboration and harmonization among Mekong and ASEAN nations.
Media Summary: Journalism supported by Mekong Partnership for the Environment
This booklet showcases stories by members of Mekong Matters Journalism Network, supported by Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE). MPE supports journalists to produce quality, independent work that helps decision-makers and the public understand the costs and benefits of regional development projects and related policy issues.
An Investor’s Guide to Responsible Development: An MPE Primer on Investing in the Mekong Region
Quality investment depends on everyone working together to ensure socially and environmentally responsible practices. There’s an increasing awareness among government, business and citizens that effective public participation is key to long-term prosperity. Everyone wants to reduce the risks of social or environmental harm, conflicts, delays, lawsuits and reputational damage that can occur when investment goes wrong. The evidence is clear that effective public participation is the best way to do that – particularly during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes required by law in all countries in the Mekong region.
Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) has been working with governments, civil society and the private sector to reduce the social and environmental impacts of large-scale development projects. MPE is supporting the development of Regional Guidelines on Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment, working with regional stakeholders to improve EIA and public participation policy and practices, and supporting banks to adopt clear sustainable lending practices.
Over the past year and a half, Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partner Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) has worked to build a platform for effective multi-stakeholder engagement on the impacts of mining activities in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri Province. DPA has worked to educate and empower community members to voice their concerns and provide input on mining activities, and has also facilitated productive and collaborative meetings between the mining companies, community members and local government. With DPA’s support, these stakeholders have established an increasingly trusting and transparent working relationship.
Research from two study sites shows that the potential benefits of women’s participation in EIA deliberations lie in their knowledge of environment and livelihood resources, and how these are being affected by infrastructure development. If women’s voices had been adequately heard and sufficiently allowed to influence decision making, resettlement plans might have been re-configured to prevent and reduce livelihood losses and threats to natural resources such as air and water quality. The report also includes recommendations for improving women’s participation in EIA policy and practice.
This report presents the main findings from an analysis commissioned by Cambodia’s National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) with funding and support from PACT from USAID. The report investigates the potential for Cambodia to diversify its power supply technology mix, for greater energy security and sustainability benefits. To date almost all Cambodian investment in the power sector has focused on large scale hydropower and coal-fired generation. A dramatic reduction in the cost of renewables means Cambodia should pursue energy security, access, reliability and affordability goals, at least in part, through increased investment in (non-large hydropower) renewable energy.
A Political Economy of Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mekong Region -Journal article from Water Alternatives, February 2016
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an issue of concern to governments, organized civil society groups, as well as business actors in the Mekong region. Through a political economy approach, we seek to understand the interests and incentives among key stakeholders in each of the five Mekong region countries and propose ways that EIA processes can potentially be improved, with reference to hydropower and other infrastructure and development projects. The analysis is based on a collaborative research process carried out under the auspices of the USAID -funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment project that aims to advance regional cooperation on environmental governance. We find that at present, EIA implementation is limited by numerous political economy constraints, some general across the Mekong region, others specific to one or more country contexts. Certain of these constraints can be addressed through a regional cooperative approach, while others will require longer term changes in social and political dynamics to encourage uptake and impact and avoid possible blockage from entrenched interest groups.
Report Recommends Actions to Increase Cambodia’s Renewable Energy Use
The Cambodian National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), in collaboration with Mekong Partnership for the Environment and its partners, launched a report today that highlights Cambodia’s need to set a formal target for renewable energy generation for sustainable and secure economic growth. The independent report entitled “Switching On: Cambodia’s Path to Sustainable Energy Security,” supported by the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) project, recommends that the Cambodian government clarify laws on renewables – such as rooftop solar power – to supply electricity.
MPE Symposium Report – MPE convenes over 170 regional experts to advance partnerships for sustainable investment
Mekong Partnership for the Environment and partners held their regional symposium on Shared Solutions: Safeguarding Sustainable Development in the Mekong Region August 25-17, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The participants in the symposium represented governments, academia, civil society and the private sector and other stakeholders in social and environmental safeguards, including development banks and regional organizations.
Mekong EIA Briefing examines EIA policies across the region
MPE has released a comprehensive new report “Mekong EIA Briefing: Environmental Impact Assessment Comparative Analysis in Lower Mekong Countries.” This report provides a comparative analysis of EIA laws, policies, regulations, and guidelines in the Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The aim is to determine existing regional harmonization, identify gaps, and recommend options for developing a set of standards that can accompany the EIA process in order to respond in a regional manner to social and environmental impacts from large-scale development and infrastructure projects.
Prospects for Regional Cooperation on Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mekong Region: Summary Recommendations and Findings
Pact inquired with ministries and other actors about the prospects for more effective EIA policy and practice and the role of multi-stakeholder cooperation at the regional level to improve EIAs in the five Lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). A team of country experts analyzed the relationships and interests involved in improving the state of EIA. Pact’s analysis indicates that there is strong support among government and non-governmental stakeholders alike for reform of national EIA pro-cedures, increased public participation, and development of a regional EIA standard. This four-page report summarizes findings.