To improve the road condition, safety, and climate resilience of the south section of the National Road 13 (Section 3).
The Project comprises the construction/rehabilitation of a 78 km section of the existing 2-lane NS13S highway from km 190 to km 268 and implemented through a 10-year Output and Performance-Based Road Contract (OPBRC) under Design, Build, Maintain, Operate and Transfer (DBMOT) methodology. AIIB will finance civil works for construction/rehabilitation and Government of Lao (GoL) will finance O&M under the OPBRC.
The proposed project is part of a larger government program of rehabilitation and maintenance of the 275 km long National Road 13 south (NR13S), comprising a two-lane section, from km 71 Vientiane Capital to km 346 Khammouane Province. The program consists of four sections of the NR13S. A separate World Bank (WB)-supported project will cover Section 1, and a European Investment Bank (EIB)-supported project will cover Sections 2 and 4 including the construction supervision of all four sections. GoL will finance the operation and maintenance of all sections.
AIIB’s Environmental and Social Policy (ESP), including the Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs), and Environmental and Social Exclusion List (ESEL), is applicable to the Project. ESS 1 (Environmental and Social Assessment and Management), ESS 2 (Involuntary Resettlement) and ESS 3 (Indigenous Peoples) also apply to the Project. Based on the due diligence, the Project has been identified as Category B on the basis that the anticipated Project environmental and social (ES) risks and impacts will be localized and temporary and can be mitigated through effective ES management.
Based on the Environmental and Social Management Framework, Resettlement Policy Framework, and an Ethnic Groups Engagement Framework, all prepared in in 2019 in accordance with WB safeguard policies, the client has prepared three ES instruments. An Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) has been prepared to address the potentially negative ES impacts of the Project. Similarly, to address any economic displacement and resettlement impacts of the Project, the client has prepared a Resettlement Plan (RP). In addition, an Ethnic Groups Engagement Plan (EGEP) has also been prepared for this Project since ethnic minorities exist in the area. A Gender Action Plan (GAP) will also be prepared for the Project, in coordination with partner MDBs, covering the entire corridor.
The Project is expected to create positive impacts on the people and environment by improved travel conditions and road safety, reduced transportation costs and travel time. The negative environmental impacts of the Project are expected to be limited since the existing alignment will be used for the road improvement under the proposed Project. The ESMP includes assessment of the likely negative impacts, appropriate mitigation measures to reduce if not eliminate these impacts, monitoring mechanism to ensure that mitigation measures are effectively implemented, training and capacity building arrangements, reporting and documentation requirements and most importantly institutional setup to implement all these requirements. The RP defines the eligibility and entitlement of the affected people subjected to the above resettlement impacts, and includes the list of affected persons, compensation estimates, implementation and monitoring mechanism and reporting requirements.
The initial consultations on the ES documents were conducted in 2019. Further consultations have been carried out during the development of the EGEP and updates of the ESMP and RP were carried out in May – June 2020. In addition, the client will also conduct a process of Free, Prior, and Informed Consultations (FPICon) with the affected ethnic minorities in accordance with the GoL regulations and ESS 3 provisions. The draft ES documentation and their executive summaries in Lao have been disclosed online and made available in hard copy in the Project area. The documents in English and their executive summaries in Lao were posted on the client’s website on July 9, 2020 and the Bank’s website on July 13, 2020.
A multi-tier Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) has been proposed at the village, district, province, and national levels for all four sections of NR13S, described in ESMP, RP and EGEP and will be implemented by the client. Communities and individuals who believe that they are adversely affected by the Project may submit complaints to the project-level GRM.
Senior Investment Operations Specialist
Deputy Director General, External Finance Department, Ministry of Finance
Director General, Department of Road, Ministry of Public Works and Transport
Lao People’s Democratic Republic