Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Hydropower Sector in Myanmar

October 13, 2016

In partnership with the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM), MIID will undertake over the coming year a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Hydropower Sector in Myanmar for the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The aim of the SEA for the hydropower sector is to identify and achieve broad consensus on a balanced, equitable and sustainable development pathway for hydropower in Myanmar over the next 20 years. The first step will be to provide adequate baseline environmental and social information, involving stakeholders in establishing development priorities. Then, the team will screen pipeline hydropower proposals and analyse potential impacts. From this analysis, ICEM and MIID will frame a preferred sustainable hydropower development pathway. The SEA is required as the initial step to provide a basin-wide context to the rapidly expanding list of power project proposals in Myanmar.

MIID’s contribution will focus on the social impact on communities of hydropower in Myanmar.

The key expected outcomes of the SEA are:

  1. A more informed and improved dialogue between stakeholders;
  2. A greater understanding by decision makers and other stakeholders of the range of stakeholder values and priorities that need to be taken into account in formulating the sustainable hydropower development pathway;
  3. An environmental and social rating of pipeline project proposals;
  4. A shared development pathway that accounts for stakeholder priorities;
  5. Clear recommendations on policies, procedures and plans required to plan hydropower, trading off different values and outcomes; and
  6. Clear recommendations and additional baseline data gathering required to fill key information gaps.

The SEA will include a clear indication of the preferable river stretches or sub-watersheds for medium/large-scale hydropower, as well as of those to retain in their existing state, enabling new projects to be sited to avoid significant adverse environmental and/or social impacts.

The final report will be delivered in the third quarter of 2017.