Nam Ngiep 1 Power acknowledges the environmental impacts a hydropower project can have and is committed to minimising these impacts. The company has set up an Environmental Management Office to ensure project activities follow the Lao law in terms of environmental performance and that all environmental risks are properly identified, assessed, managed and mitigated. NNP1 is committed to achieving the environmental management standards required for ISO 14001 (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso14000) and is also bound by ADB Safeguards (http://www.adb.org/documents/safeguard-policy-statement).
Company strategy is to tackle each environmental risk through the following order of approaches:
- Avoiding risk at source
- Abating the risk on site
- Abating the risk where it is manifested
- Repairing any damage caused
- Compensating for damage caused
Therefore if, for example, disturbance to biodiversity occurs despite all efforts to avoid it, the company will invest in actions to enhance biodiversity and its protection in other areas as an off-set measure.
Nam Ngiep 1 Power undertakes to maintain a transparent process of information disclosure and consultation on environmental matters and also to continually improve its performance in this vital field of project development.
The Environmental Management Office currently works in three main fields:
- Survey of project area
- Biodiversity offsets
- Construction monitoring
The company’s policy and planning for environmental management are contained in the project Environmental Impact Assessment, which also gives a thorough description of the project area.