The World Bank's IFC has signed an advisory services agreement with the government of Myanmar to help improve environmental and social risk management in hydropower projects waterpowermagazine.com reported on 6 October.
With IFC's support, Myanmar's Ministry of Electric Power and Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry will develop much-needed technical guidelines to address environmental and social risks in hydropower projects. Myanmar has recently approved a new electricity law and is finalizing the procedures for environmental impact assessment.
As part of the cooperation agreement, IFC and the government will commission a country-wide strategic environmental assessment of the hydropower sector. IFC will also provide policy guidance and training on other important areas, such as environmental flows management, benefit-sharing arrangements, and stakeholder engagement.
In Myanmar, 34 million people, or about 66% of its population, do not have access to electricity. To address this constraint, the government has set a target of increasing the electrification rate to 50% by 2020.