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Lao PDR development report 2010 : natural resource management for sustainable development - hydropower and mining (Inglês)

Lao PDR is endowed with natural resources that could make a major contribution to the country's long-term economic development. The most important of these resources are forests, agricultural land, hydroelectric potential, and minerals. In this Lao PDR Development Report, the author quantifies the value of these resources based on the data that are available to date. The author note that, with more than 100 mines and hydropower stations in the pipeline, tapping into these resources is likely to accelerate in the near future. Drawing on international experience, the author makes some policy recommendations on how to best manage this expansion, taking into account Lao PDR's unique circumstances. In this report, the author recommend following principles as the basis for selecting and designing specific natural resource projects: 1) maintaining a strategic approach that takes into account administrative capacity will help to ensure that projects are selected that are financially viable and that have few manageable environmental and social effects. This can be achieved by paying careful attention to the cumulative effects of multiple projects on the environment and social landscape; 2) strong governance is the key to ensuring that resource extraction has a positive impact on growth and socioeconomic development, including effective accountability, transparency, and public participation in the management of all natural resources; 3) global experience suggests that tapping into natural resources has not automatically translated into gains for local communities. In fact, it has in many cases caused harm and has disturbed people's lives and the local environment; 4) doing projects well is the key to sustainable natural resource exploitation. In particular, the government's oversight and monitoring need to be strong and well-informed. In addition, incentives should be created to encourage developers to plan ahead and to include environmental and social impact assessments and mitigation measures in the design of their projects; and 5) global experience also suggests that large exports of natural resources tend to inhibit manufacturing growth. Therefore, how quickly the resources are developed and the amount and kind of spending from resource revenues affect the country's long-term growth and employment.




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