Training Cum Study Tour on Environmental and Social Safeguards in Laos

Upon the request from the National University of Laos (NUOL), a Training Cum Study Tour on Environmental and Social Safeguards was successfully organized by the Vietnam Learning Center on Environmental and Social Sustainability (LC) at the premise of the Asian Institute of Technology in Vietnam in Hanoi from 08 – 10 August, 2017. This is one of the capacity building activities of Laos’ Environmental and Social Project phase II (LEnS2), supported by World Bank through Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) from 2016-2020. The Training cum Study Tour was designed and delivered for a group of Social Experts and headed by the Vice President of NUOL. The main objectives of the training program were to provide the fundamental knowledge and understanding of the principles and procedure of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, especially the involuntary resettlement and income restoration program, applying the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) policy and guidelines through lectures, field visits, practical group works and interaction with the management and staff of a real development project and local authorities and communities who are affected by the project in Hung Yen province.

The training was designed in a form of a workshop where participants play an active role. A combination of training methods which include short lecturers, group/panel discussion and presentation, cases/case study analysis, and field visits was applied during this training workshop. Participants were very active in in-class training sessions and field visits, raising questions and sharing their own ideas and experiences as well as their country-specific cases and current issues related to Environmental and Social Safeguards.

The site visit in Tien Lu district, Hung Yen province was a highlighting event of the program where participants were enabled to learn about the resettlement and livelihood restoration program under the Irrigation University Project. The meeting with the relevant stakeholders was taken place in open atmosphere. Many questions were raised by the participants and well responded by the representatives of the Project Management Unit and district and communal People Committees, and affected peoples. They had shared many successful stories as well as the challenges that they are facing during the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the resettlement management plan and livelihood restoration program.

The delegates of National University of Laos (NUOL) and the Director of AITVN and the LC’s team also had a meeting to discuss about future cooperation opportunities in capacity building and research as well as consultancy in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment between two training centers. Contact points of both parties were assigned to work closely with each other on a more detailed cooperation plan.

Generally, the study tour was highly appreciated by the participants, especially for the practicality and usefulness of its program. For further information about the training course, please contact Ms. Nguyen Bich Diep, at her email or mobile: 0936 2626 84

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