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10 Feb 2016 | News

Assessing Nepal’s Hydropower Potential

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A joint initiative to aid the Government of Nepal (GoN) in developing internationally accredited environmental impact assessment (EIA) guidelines and procedures for the hydropower sector was launched 3 February 2016.Nepal’s Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) came together for Kathmandu event. With the support of ICIMOD’s Koshi Basin Programme and the Government of Australia, more than 60 representatives from various sectors, including the Ambassador of Australia, participated and contributed in the workshop.

In his opening remarks, chief guest of the workshop Australian Ambassador to Nepal HE Mr Glen White highlighted hydropower’s potential in the country’s economic development. Ambassador White said the consultative process would aid the development of internationally accepted EIA guidelines to promote sustainable hydropower in Nepal.

In her opening note, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Wendy Jo Werner highlighted the hydropower sector as a priority sector for IFC investment in Nepal, and said collaboration with the Government of Nepal and ICIMOD will help to promote international investment.

ICIMOD’s Laxmi Dutt Bhatta highlighted the need to balance ecosystem health with development in river basins to promote sustainable progress in Nepal and the larger region.

Mr Vijay Kumar Mallick, Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Population and Environment, chaired the opening sessions. In his opening remarks, Mr Mallick, on the Government’s behalf, assured all concerned that his ministry is committed to the effective implementation of EIA in all sectors, including hydropower, and asked for ICIMOD and IFC support to update EIA guidelines for hydropower sector. He also highlighted the dire need for energy in Nepal for overall economic development.

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