7345. Champasak Bridges - Laos - DRIVE

The Lao PDR Government and Janson Bridging International BV are seeking to re-construct 12 bridges in the Champasak / Saravane province. The project is under consideration for DRIVE financing. An earlier EIA drafted in 2017 was updated in order to gain RVO approval. The NCEA conducted a review of the draft updated ESIA, where it concluded that the ESMS does not include enough details to be sure that negative impacts will be properly mitigated.  

Advisory reports and other documents

14 Aug 2020: Advisory review
Advisory Review on ESIA and ESMS for the turn-key re-construction of 12 Bridges Champasak and Saravane

Significant details

In August 2020, the NCEA published its review of the ESIA. In general, the NCEA notes that for the proposed project, direct impacts are likely to be appropriately managed if the mitigation measures provided in the report annexes are implemented. However, based on the current document, the NCEA cannot confidently confirm that this is indeed the case, nor can it confirm that significant long-term impacts are unlikely. The ESIA presents a generic Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS), to be followed by detailed site assessments and further impact mitigation decision-making at a later stage. In essence, this means that the ESIA report does not yet provide sufficient basis to decide whether the level of environmental and social performance of the project is likely to be acceptable.

he NCEA recommends addressing the following shortcomings in the ESIA:

  • Key information is missing or presented in an incomplete manner. This includes the executive summary, project description, boundaries and environmental and socio-economic baseline of the defined area of influence as well as good quality maps.
  • The responsibilities for managing the ESMS are not clearly defined. Procedures to deal with impacts as they arise should be improved.
  • An assessment of the indirect impacts of the project is lacking, most notably impacts of increased traffic density and increased access to rural areas. Also, a discussion on responsibilities for monitoring and management of these indirect impacts is missing.
  • There are no references to key international environmental and social standards regarding the construction and operation phase that the project can be held to (air quality standards, noise standards, etc.), or if and how relevant standards will be met.
  • The social baseline is not detailed enoughand the site-specific assessmentsthat will be conducted later needto be supplementedwith questionsonthe social baseline at community level. The stakeholder engagement with the locally affected parties has not been updated since 2016.
  • An assessment of the expected effects of climate change, specifically on the trends regarding the frequency and intensity of flooding, is missing.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Nick Skinner, M.Sc., B.Sc.
Roel Slootweg
Hilde Van Vlaenderen, PhD

Technical secretary: Stephen Teeuwen, MSc

Further details

Country: Lao PDR; Southeast Asia

Last modified: 24 Mar 2022