The Legacy of Hydro in Laos

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Hydropower projects developed over the past decade in Laos have left a legacy of destroyed livelihoods and damaged ecosystems. The five case studies in this paper point to the great difficulties in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects in Laos. These experiences raise fundamental questions regarding the Lao government’s institutional capacity and political will to ensure that infrastructure projects are adequately monitored, that compensation is fairly and fully distributed and that environmental issues are properly addressed.