Launching event of HydroAsia 2016 at the French Embassy
The French Embassy hosted the welcoming diner of the International Conference on Water Resources and Hydropower Development in Asia (HydroAsia 2016) on the 1st of March 2016.
His Excellency Dr. Bounthavy SISOUPHANTHONG, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, and His Excellency M. Viraphonh VIRAVONG, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines attended the event that gathered more than 400 people at the French Residence. The reception was organized by Aquamedia international together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and sponsored by Andritz International.
For the occasion, the French Ambassador in Lao PDR, Ms Claudine LEDOUX gave a speech :
« As you all know, hydroelectricity is a key driver of the Lao economy. This is also an essential topic for French-Lao relations, as reflected in the number of key French stakeholders in all main professions of the hydroelectricity sector (EDF, Engie, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, Artelia, Alstom which has recently become General Electric Hydro, Mecamidi etc.), and their presence in my gardens tonight. I am very proud of the work they have been doing in this country.
Hydroelectricity is also unavoidable in the current debate about energy efficiency : Lao PDR’s contribution at the Conference of the Parties held in Paris in December last year focuses on hydropower development. We hope that the Lao government will make every effort to apply their contribution, starting by ratifying the Paris agreement reached in December.
Finally, we shall not forget that hydropower development cannot be fully successful without a global thinking on the environmental and social impacts of dams. A proper way of taking into account these aspects is to ensure transparency and dialogue among all stakeholders, even if their views are sometimes opposing. It is essential that institutional donors, as well as environmental and population advocates, open to dialogue, are fully involved in this debate.
To conclude, I want to thank the organizers for this beautiful ceremony, and to wish you all fascinating and enlightening discussions. »