The International Finance Cooperation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Lao PDR to improve laws and regulations as well as their enforcement, according to the Lao news agency KPL.

The partnership also aims to implement integrated water resources management in the country and ensure that hydropower will be developed and operated in sustainable ways that protect the environment and local people’s livelihoods. It will also support socio-economic development in the country.

KPL quoted Vice Minister of Finance Santiphab Phhomvihane as saying at the signing of the cooperation agreement with IFC that the partnership with IFC marks the commitment to promoting integrated water resources management and best practice environmental and social standards in the hydropower sector through revising laws and regulation as well as improving our capacity to enforce them.

IFC and the World Bank have been helping the Lao PDR revise its water resource law by providing consultation support and technical input to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. This aims to ensure that the new law meet the needs of all water users for many years to come.

Under the partnership, IFC will also provide training and technical assistance to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the relevant people in select river basin to help them better anticipate, evaluate, and manage the water resources in support of sustainable hydropower investments.-VNA