The Lower Mekong region countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are currently seeing significant investments in infrastructure projects, with the aim to meet the needs of their growing populations and to stimulate economic growth. In particular, water and energy infrastructure development are regarded as essential investments to securing basic needs, such as storing water for urban use and irrigation, for food and energy production, and for managing flood risks. These types of infrastructure development - when built on a large-scale without sufficient planning or adherence to social and environmental safeguards - may result in significant adverse environmental and social impacts. Engaging effectively with relevant stakeholders throughout the project cycle - from planning through construction and operation – can contribute to reducing potential impacts, avoiding social conflicts, and resulting in more efficient projects with better development outcomes.
Implementation of specific stakeholder engagement approaches will be based on the particular context of the infrastructure project on a case-by-case basis and can become further complicated where there are transboundary implications. Different social and environment safeguard policies, standards, and guidelines applied by various institutions, financial organizations, and national governments are also generally not harmonized among each other. Thus, there is a need for building a more comprehensive understanding and common ground around the policy and practice of stakeholder engagement and its importance in sustainable infrastructure development planning in the Lower Mekong region.
To address these needs, the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) program is organizing a regional training workshop on “Stakeholder Engagement in Sustainable Infrastructure Development Planning in the Lower Mekong Region.”
1. To share knowledge and discuss the policy and practice of stakeholder engagement in large-scale infrastructure development and planning in the Lower Mekong region;
2. To increase knowledge and understanding of benefits and risks for effective stakeholder engagement; and
3. To gain experience in utilizing tools and best practices for stakeholder engagement, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups and gender equity.
The training workshop will target governmental agencies responsible for infrastructure planning, implementation and investment, impact assessment and related policy development, and international corporation, from the water, energy and biodiversity conservation sector from across the lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Approximately up to eight (8) representatives from each country will be invited, representing different government agencies and national institutes.
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