Legal plurality: An analysis of power interplay in Mekong hydropowerDiana Suhardiman and Mark GiordanoInternational Water Management InstituteGWSP Conference “Water in the Anthropocene”Bonn, 21-24 May 2013
Structure of the presentation• Mekong hydropower• Legal plurality: inconsistent policies and institutional discrepancy• How to best pursue the path of sustainable hydropower development?
Mekong hydropowerRapid development (36 dams in operation, 110 planned)Benefit and concerns about its potential impactsCurrent effort to promote sustainable hydropower development
National policies and legal framework• National Policy of Sustainable Hydropower (2006)• Government Decree on Compensation and Resettlement of PeopleAffected by Development Projects (2006)• Formal guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessment (2011)• Draft of National Water Resources Strategy (2010)
International donors’ role in national policies formulation• National Policy of Sustainable Hydropower: translating lessonsfrom the Nam Theun 2 project (World Bank)• Guidelines on EIA review (Ministry of Natural Resources andEnvironment, SIDA and DANIDA)• Draft National Water Resources Strategy (ADB)
Legal achievement and institutional challenges• Policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation andenforcement• Synergizing the roles of environmental and sectoralministries
Policy inconsistency in land-water-environment• Sectoral versus cross-sectoral approaches• National Policy on Sustainable Hydropower and ElectricityLaw• Draft National Water Resources Policy and WaterResources Law
Institutional discrepancyLand use planning (MoNRE and MAF) and land concession (MEM)
General interpretation of policy inconsistencies and institutionaldiscrepancy• The problem of lack of capacity• Increasing policy consistency through capacity building
Alternative interpretation of policy inconsistencies andinstitutional discrepancy• A reflection of power interplay in Mekong hydropower• Understanding factors that creates and sustain legal plurality
Analysis of power interplay• The incorporation of socio-environmental standards byinternational donors• The positioning of hydropower development for revenuegeneration• Emerging importance of private sector actors
Conclusion:Lack of capacity is not a driving force behind the current state oflegal plurality
How to best pursue the path of sustainable hydropowerdevelopment?• Creating a space for critical discussion• Topics of interests include: linking revenue generation with redistributionof state funds; state’s budgeting priorities, etc.
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