IWMI Working Paper – 175
Munch-Petersen, J. 2017. Public participation in environmental impact assessment of hydropower plants in Nepal: a context-specific approach. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 32p. (IWMI Working Paper 175). [doi: 10.5337/2017.215]
This paper investigates the public participation (PP) process in environmental impact assessments (EIA) of three large-scale hydropower plants (HPs) in Nepal, and looks at how the process can be improved to include the interests of citizens impacted. It is the theoretical standpoint of this paper that improvements to the PP process can be implemented only within a given context, wherein the proponent (owner of the HP) allows sharing of decision making with citizens. By comparing the PP process as it is written in the Nepali EIA law, execution of it by proponents and citizen experience with its execution, discrepancies are identified and analyzed to ascertain the difficulties that are experienced and what this implies in terms of decision making. Recommendations for improving the PP process as experienced by citizens are proposed by seeking solutions to overcome the discrepancies identified and also through new methods and timing of PP.