Livelihood impacts of hydropower projects on downstream communities in central Laos and mitigation measures

Sivongxay, Amphone, Greiner, Romy, and Garnett, Stephen T. (2017) Livelihood impacts of hydropower projects on downstream communities in central Laos and mitigation measures. Water Resources and Rural Development, 9. pp. 46-55.

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We examine the social impacts of reservoir construction and management on communities located downstream from four hydropower projects in central Laos using the sustainable livelihoods framework to categorise and quantify impacts across environmental, financial, physical, human and social domains. Hydropower projects had profound impacts on the livelihoods of riparian households living downstream of the case study dams. Many were positive. Employment, social programs and infrastructure development were direct benefits. Indirect benefits included improvements in tourism and hospitality facilities as a consequence of hydropower project infrastructure such as access roads. For most case study households, these beneficial impacts outweighed adverse impacts on riverine fisheries. Minimising negative impacts and maximising the potential benefits requires that the construction, operation, and direct and indirect relations of the project operator with the communities meet appropriate standards of social responsibility. Policy implications of the research for hydropower policy in Laos, such as conditioning development, are discussed.

Item ID: 48290
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-6082
Keywords: empirical study; social impacts; natural capital; household survey; Nam Ngum 1; Theun Hinboun
Funders: Charles Darwin University, Research Institute of the Environment and Livelihoods
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 23:44
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 20%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 80%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics @ 80%
85 ENERGY > 8505 Renewable Energy > 850503 Hydro-Electric Energy @ 20%
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