လက္ရွိအေျခအေနသည္အႀကိဳေလ့လာဆန္းစစ္မႈအဆင့္တြင္သာရွိေသးသည့္အတြက္ စီမံကိန္းဆက္ လက္လုပ္ေဆာင္ျဖစ္မည္၊မျဖစ္မည္ကိုဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ခ်မွတ္ထားျခင္းမရွိေသးပါ။အႀကိဳေလ့လာဆန္းစစ္မႈအစီရင္ခံစာအရ စီမံကိန္း၏အက်ိဳးသက္ေရာက္မႈေသာေဒသ(ေရဝပ္ဧရိယာ)တြင္ ၄င္းေဒသ၏ ျဖစ္တည္မႈ အေပၚ အျမဲတမ္းမွီခိုအသက္ရွင္ေသာသတၱဝါမ်ားႏွင့္လူမ်ားမွ်ေနထိုင္ျခင္းမရွိပါ။ အကယ္၍ စီမံကိန္းေၾကာင့္ထိခိုက္နစ္နာမႈမ်ားရွိလာပါကလည္း အဆင့္အျမင့္ဆံုးႏိုင္ငံတကာလမ္းညႊန္းခ်က္မ်ား ႏွင့္အညီအေကာင္း ဆံုးလုပ္ေဆာင္ေပးသြားမည္းျဖစ္ပါသည္။
လက္ရွိတြင္ေရကာတာေဆာက္လုပ္ျခင္းႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည့္ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ခ်မွတ္ျခင္းအဆင့္သို႔မေရာက္ရွိေသးပါ။ အလုပ္အကိုင္အခြင့္အလမ္းမ်ားရရွိႏိုင္ျခင္းႏွင့္ပတ္သက္ေသာအခ်က္အလက္မ်ားသည္ စီမံကိန္းဆက္လက္လုပ္ေဆာင္ျဖစ္မည့္အခါတြင္မွသာ ပိုမို၍သိရွိႏိုင္မည္ျဖစ္ပါသည္။
ေနာ္ေဝႏိုင္ငံတြင္ ေဘာကထေရအားလွ်ပ္စစ္စီမံကိန္းႏွင့္အမ်ိဳးအစားတူေသာေရအားလွ်ပ္စစ္စီမံကိန္း မည္မွ်ရွိပါသနည္း။
ေနာ္ေဝႏိုင္ငံ၏ ၉၀% ေသာလွ်ပ္စစ္မီးသည္ဤကဲ့သို႕ေသာစီမံကိန္းမွရရွိျခင္းျဖစ္ပါသည္။
သူးေလးကုမၸဏီႏွင့္ေကအဲန္ယူ မွစီမံကိန္းႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည့္ရံပံုေငြမ်ားကိုရွိထားျခင္းမရွိပါ။ ေနာ္ေဝး အစိုးရသည္ ဆန္းစစ္မႈမ်ားလုပ္ေဆာင္သည့္အဖြဲ႕မ်ားကို္သာရံပံုေငြမ်ားခ်ထားေပးပါသည္။ သူးေလး ကုမၸဏီ သည္ နည္းပညာပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာေထာက္ပံ့မႈမ်ားသာရရွိၿပီးရံပံုေငြကိုရရွိထားျခင္းမရွိပါ။
လက္ရွိတြင္ အႀကိဳေလ့လာဆန္းစစ္မႈအဆင့္တြင္သာရွိေနၿပီး အကယ္၍စီမံကိန္းဆက္ လက္လုပ္ ေဆာင္ မည္ဆိုပါက ေကအဲန္ယူႏွင့္ သူးေလးကုမၸဏီတို႔သည္ ေဒသခံမ်ားလွ်ပ္စစ္မီးရရွိရန္အတြက္ လုပ္ေဆာင္ေပးမည္ျဖစ္ပါသည္။
သူးေလးကုမၸဏီသည္လူထုမ်ား၏ယံုၾကည္မႈကိုတည္ေဆာက္ႏိုင္ရန္ႏွင့္ လူထုမ်ားအတြက္ အက်ိဳး အျမတ္ခြဲ ေဝသည့္ပံုစံကိုတည္ေဆာက္ ႏိုင္ရန္ ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာျခင္းရွိမႈသည္မည္မွ်အေရးပါသည္ကို သိနားလည္ထားပါသည္။လက္ရွိတြင္လည္းေနာ္ေဝးအစိုးရဘက္မွႏိုင္ငံ တကာမွပါဝင္မႈမ်ားရွိေနၿပီး စီမံကိန္းသည္လည္း IFC ၏စည္းမ်ဥ္းစည္းကမ္းတစ္ခုျဖစ္သည့္ ပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာျခင္းရွိရမည္ဆိုသည့္ အခ်က္ကိုလိုက္နာေဆာက္ရြက္လွ်က္ရွိပါသည္။ ထို႔အျပင္ IFC ၏သတ္မွတ္ထားသည့္ ႏႈန္းထား ထက္ပင္ေက်ာ္လြန္၍ ေဒသခံမ်ား အရပ္ဖက္အဖြ႕ဲအစည္းမ်ားႏွင့္ ညိႈႏိႈင္းလုပ္ေဆာင္မႈ အစည္းေဝး မ်ားကိုလုပ္ေဆာင္လ်က္ရွိပါသည္။
ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတြင္စြမ္းအင္ရရွိရန္အရင္းအျမစ္မ်ားလိုအပ္မႈျမင့္မားသည့္အတြက္ေၾကာင့္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္အစိုးရမွ စြမ္းအင္းႏွင့္သက္ဆိုင္သည့္ အစီအစဥ္ကိုစတင္အေကာင္အထည္ေဖာ္လ်က္ရွိပါသည္။ ေရအားလွ်ပ္စစ္သည္ေရရွည္တည္တံ့မႈရွိေသာစြမ္းအင္းတစ္ခုျဖစ္ေသာ္လညး္ ေနစြမ္းအင္ကဲ့သို႔ေသာ အျခားေသာစြမ္းအင္ထုတ္လုပ္မႈမ်ားလည္းရွိပါသည္။ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံအစိုးရသည္ ေရအားလွ်ပ္စစ္တစ္ခုတည္းသာ မဟုတ္ပဲ အျခားေသာစြမ္းအင္မ်ားထုတ္လုပ္မႈမ်ားေဖာ္ေဆာင္ရန္လည္းလုပ္ေဆာင္လ်က္ရွိပါသည္။
သူးေလးကုမၸဏီႏွင့္ ေကအဲန္ယူသည္ ဤစီမံကိန္းတြင္ေဒသခံျပည္သူမ်ားႏွင့္၄င္းတို႔၏အသိပညာမ်ားသည့္အေရးၾကီးသည့္အခန္းက႑ တြင္ရွိေၾကာင္းသိရွိနားလည္ထားပါသည္။ အၾကိဳဆန္းစစ္ေလ့လာမႈလုပ္ေဆာင္ရာတြင္လည္းကရင္လူမ်ိဳးမ်ား ခန္႔အပ္ထားၿပီး သူးေလးကုမၸဏီ၏ဝန္ထမ္းအမ်ားစုမွာလည္း ကရင္လူမ်ိဳးမ်ားသာျဖစ္ ၾကပါသည္။
အႀကိဳေလ့လာဆန္းစစ္မႈအစီရင္ခံစာကိုဇြန္လတြင္ထုတ္ျပန္မည္ျဖစ္ၿပီး ေဘာကထ Web Site တြင္ဖတ္ရႈႏိုင္မည္ျဖစ္သည္။
FAQs from Consultation in May 2017
How would affected people be compensated?
There has been no decision to proceed with the project yet, as we are only at presfeasibility stage. According to the prefeasibility study, there are no inhabitants living in the potential areas of flooding and thus they would not be affected by the dam.If any people are affected by any dam that is built, they will be compensated according to the highest available international guidelines.
What kind of job opportunities will be created?
There has been no decision yet regarding the dam. More information about job creation for local people would become available if the decision is made to proceed with the project.
How many hydro power projects of this type are there in Norway?
90% of Norway’s electricity is produced by this kind of hydropower.
How much of the funds have Thoolei and the KNU received?
Neither Thoolei nor KNU have received any funding in relation to this project. Funding has been provided by Norway to the consultants involved in this study. Thoolei Company has received technical assistance and training, but no funding
Will there be local electrification of people residing in Karen homeland?
We are currently at a prefeasibility stage, but were the project to go ahead, both the KNU and Thoolei Company are committed to providing local electrification for people residing in Karen homeland.
How can transparency be guaranteed in this project?
Thoolei Company understands how crucial transparency is for strengthening trust in the public and for building a successful benefit sharing model for the community. There is international involvement from the Norwegian Government and the project is following International Finance Corporation (IFC) guidelines, which include commitments to transparency. In addition, there have already been a number of consultations involving local communities and civil society, which have exceeded the IFC regulations.
Why focus on hydropower when there are many other types of renewable energy?
There is a need for more energy sources in Myanmar, which is why the Myanmar Government has introduced an energy master plan. Hydropower is one source of sustainable energy, but there are others, such as solar power. The Myanmar government is looking to develop multiple energy sources – not just hydropower – to increase electrification in the country.
Can you explain how Karen Nationals are involved in the development of this project?
Company and the KNU recognise the importance of local stakeholders and local knowledge in the development of this project. Karen Nationals have been employed as consultants on the pre-feasibility studies, and the majority of Thoolei Company is staffed by Karen people.
When will the prefeasibility report be published?
The final report will come out in June and will be available for viewing on the Bawgata website.
Is a dam going to be built at Bawgata?
We don’t know until we do a careful study. A pre-feasibility study is currently being undertaken. Based upon the results of this study, which includes consultations with local communities and other stakeholders, as well as technical assessments of the potential for a dam, only then could the project proceed to feasibility stage, which includes much more detailed assessments of environmental and social impact, and commercial viability. The likelihood of proceeding from pre-feasibility stage to actual dam construction depends on the unique social, environmental, and commercial considerations in each project.
Who decides whether or not the project proceeds?
As agreed in its memorandum of understanding with the Myanmar Government, Thoolei Company will decide whether the project proceeds from pre-feasibility stage to feasibility stage. The decision will be based upon the results of the scoping study conducted during the pre-feasibility stage, which includes consultations with project affected communities and other stakeholders. Thoolei Company, which is owned by the Karen National Union, has vowed not to proceed with the project without the support of local communities and Karen civil society organisations.
How does Thoolei Company relate to the Karen National Union (KNU)?
Thoolei Company was formed by the KNU Economics Committee and is fully owned by the KNU. The KNU is in the process of structuring the Thoolei Company so that its directors are a Board of Trustees that are respected by Karen communities and civil society organisations. The Board of Directors shall receive no personal benefit from their role as Board members.
How long will the Bawgata Hydropower Project take?
The memorandum of agreement between Thoolei Company and the Myanmar Government provides two years for the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages of this process to take place. Pre-feasibility studies typically only require about eight months to conduct, depending on the project’s circumstances. If the decision is made to proceed to the more in-depth Feasibility Study, we can anticipate that phase taking at least one year.
If a decision is made to proceed to detailed design and construction of a dam, that process would likely take an additional 3-5 years, possibly more. If the project moves through all the stages to completion, it is likely that it will take 7-10 years before a dam would be operational.
Who are the stakeholders in the Bawgata Hydropower Project?
Thoolei Company, which is owned by the KNU, has a memorandum of understanding with the Myanmar Government to conduct a feasibility study for the Bawgata Hydropower Project. The KNU, on behalf of the people of Kawthoolei, is the developer and main stakeholder in this project. The KNU is directly accountable to the local communities and the broader inhabitants of Kawthoolei.
The Norwegian Government is paying for this pre-feasibility study as part of a larger program they have are supporting for responsible development of hydropower in Myanmar. The Norwegian
Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is a state-owned enterprise of the Norwegian Government, which is providing technical assistance to the development of sustainable hydropower in Myanmar. NVE has contracted Norconsult, a Norwegian engineering consultancy, to conduct the pre-feasibility study on behalf of the client – Thoolei Company. During the pre-feasibility study the perspectives of local stakeholders – including local communities and Karen civil society organisations – are instrumental in determining whether or not the project proceeds to a feasibility stage.
Norconsult will conduct the pre-feasibility study according to IFC standards.
What are International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards?
IFC standards were developed to ensure that projects requiring international investment meet strict standards for environmental and social responsibility. Approximately 80% of international lenders to projects like these require IFC compliance. These standards require extensive consultations and technical assessments which take into account the potential positive and negative environmental and social impacts before recommending whether or not projects should proceed. The cost versus benefit of the project under IFC standards concerns much more than simply whether the project would be profitable for shareholders. These standards will be applied throughout this project, beginning in the pre-feasibility study (PFS).
What is a pre-feasibility study?
A pre-feasibility study (PFS) is the first of three stages in developing natural resources projects according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards for good environmental and social practice. The two further stages are feasibility study and construction.
What is Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)?
ESIA is a type of research that studies how the environment and local stakeholders (including local communities and other concerned parties) will be impacted by a proposed project. ESIA measures
the environmental and social costs, which is used to assess whether or not projects should proceed to the next stage. There is an initial ESIA during the pre-feasibility stage, and a full ESIA during the feasibility stage. Projects can be stopped because the environmental or social impacts of a project are too high. If projects do proceed to construction phase, the ESIA helps produce a management plan to mitigate risks to the environment and community.
What is the role of the Myanmar Government?
The Myanmar Government has agreed a memorandum of understanding that allows Thoolei Company to conduct a pre-feasibility and feasibility study for the Bawgata Hydropower Project. The Myanmar government does not decide whether or not the project proceeds to a later stage. If the project does proceed, the Myanmar government could potentially help finance the project or buy electricity for the country’s development needs.
How will local people and civil society organisations be consulted?
Preliminary discussions have been held between KNU/Thoolei and local community representatives and CSOs in May 2016, both in Kyaukkyi and Mae Sot. Further consultations were held in mid-June at the Thoolei Office in Yangon with local community and CSO representatives.
Norconsult will hire a Myanmar organization to assist with the ESIA. Thoolei Company directed Norconsult to select a Myanmar organization that can demonstrate language/cultural sensitivity in order to ensure that the voice of local communities and CSOs are properly represented in the pre-feasibility study.
How can I get more information in relation to this project?
Please see https://bawgataproject.com/contact/
Why is the Norwegian government supporting hydropower development?
Norway has a large multiyear support program to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) on sustainable hydropower in Myanmar. This support is aligned with the Myanmar government’s desire to provide more electricity to promote development in the country. Norway has no commercial interest in developing the Bawgata project. Norway only seek to contribute to the development of the first hydropower project in Myanmar to the highest international standards.
What is the NLD policy towards the Bawgata project?
The NLD has stated that it is concerned about the environmental impact of large hydropower projects, but will encourage the construction of smaller hydro projects to provide household electricity. Furthermore, it has stated its interests in renewable forms of electricity (which includes hydropower), rather than non-renewable sources.
How could local people be affected by the Bawgata Hydropower project?
As of 2016, the Bawgata project is only subject to a pre-feasibility study. In pre-feasibility and feasibility stage, the only impact on local communities is related to participation in consultations. If the project proceeds to construction phase, the impacts on local communities would be greater – potentially both positive and negative impacts. The impact on local communities will be carefully
considered in deciding potential project designs and whether or not the project proceeds to construction.
How large is the area that could be affected by this project?
It is not yet decided that the Bawgata hydropower project will proceed. Whether or not it does proceed is based on a decision of the KNU through its company Thoolei, with full consultation with communities and CSOs according to IFC standards. If the project did proceed, a number of options are possible that would have varying impact on the local environment. These would be
considered as part of the environmental and social impact assessments undertaken during the development process. Until the pre-feasibility study is conducted it is not possible to say if any area would be flooded and, if so, how large that area might be.
What are the potential benefits of the Bawgata Hydropower Project?
The consultations associated with the pre-feasibility and feasibility stage provide opportunities for the KNU, Karen communities, and Karen CSOs to engage in dialog and policy development in relation to sustainable economic development in Karen areas. This process provides the KNU with an opportunity to develop transparent and accountable business practices, and to develop economic policy in consultation with its constituents. Longer term, the benefits of this project that might be realized if the dam is actually constructed include electricity for local communities and other people in Myanmar, improved infrastructure and land-mine clearance in local areas, and revenue for the KNU that will be used to improve services for Karen communities.
The KNU is committed to developing transparent and responsible economic governance policies, mechanisms and procedures that ensure that projects like these provide benefits for future
generations and respect social and environmental concerns.
How might the project affect the presence of land-mines in the local area?
If the project proceeded to construction phase, the potential of land-mines would have to be surveyed and cleared in the project area, including around access roads.
Who will be responsible if any problems arise with this project?
The KNU, as the owner of Thoolei company, is ultimately responsible for any issues that arise in relation to this project. Any concerns that arise should be communicated in the first instance to Thoolei Company’s communication manager at 09770663864 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the BHP is completed, what will the power be used for?
The possibilities for power use and sale of the power will be studied and discussed as part of the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies. The options will be studied and openly discussed with local communities and with CSOs.
How will the project will benefit the community and in what ways?
This hydro power project is very different from Shwe Gyin and all other projects conducted up to this time. This project would be based on cooperation between the KNU, community, and CSOs. This is the first time it has been done this way in Myanmar. We have to think thoroughly about how to benefit the community. The benefit sharing will be decided with the community.
Will there be a legal document asserting the community’s decision making authority?
The PFS will last for 8 months. In this time we can decide together whether we proceed or not. The whole process we will work together with the community, other environmentalists and some experts will work with us. We can discuss during this time, what documents of understanding we need between us to be clear about our expectations and understanding.
How much level of decision-making authority does the community have? The community does not know about their rights. The leader has to make workshops for capacity building in every village. To let the community know about their rights and environmental issues in detail. If this does not happen, they can’t accept.
We, the KNU, accept this proposal. To build a democratic society, we have to build community capacity. We will do the workshops and will work together and initiate some other development
programs. We will work with CSOs and CBOs to do this.
Can the KNU/Thoolei disclose documents related to the project?
This website is the place where the public can find all available documents and information on the progress of the studies. Because documents are being translated into S’gaw Karen, Burmese, and English, sometimes it will take a little while to post the documents on the website. However, the KNU is committed to sharing transparently all information that is available.
What’s the role for the community to participate in the project? Please give details of our space and role. Trust-building is very important.
We need to set up mechanisms that the communities feel comfortable with in order to build trust. This kind of consultation process did not take place under the former government. This kind of consultation is a part of trust-building between the community and KNU. For the community role, this kind of consultation is one form of participation, the role for the community is another.
But we also need to involve experts, the community will need to be educated with capacity building programs. We will provide this to enable more participation opportunities: engineering, environmental, human rights etc. We will select the youth to build their capacity for the future.