Kate Lazarus

Lazarus_photo

Kate Lazarus

Kate Lazarus leads the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) hydropower advisory program in Asia. Since 2012, she has developed and managed an advisory program on environmental and social standards for the hydropower sector in Asia including Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. This program engages the private sector to help raise standards and lower development impacts. Kate was instrumental in developing the ground-breaking Hydropower Developers’ Working Group in Lao PDR, which will soon be established in Myanmar. Her expertise spans water and hydropowe r governance, multi-stakeholder dialogues, water resources management, cumulative impact assessment and management, human rights, and policy-level advice.
Kate has extensive experience working in the Mekong and Himalaya regions, with particular emphasis on China, having also worked for the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food; managed a program on advancing sustainable hydropower in the Mekong; coordinated the Mekong Program on Water Environment and Resilience (M-POWER); led the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Regional Water and Wetlands Program for Asia; and worked as a Regional Program Officer for Oxfam America. She is the editor of the book Water Rights and Social Justice in the Mekong ; lead author of the chapter Negotiating Flows in the Mekong in Politics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed: The Case of the Lower Mekong Basin; and co-author of the chapter Demarginalising the Mekong River Commission in Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region.

Keynote presentation: Effectively Governing the Hydropower Sector: A Call for a Basin-wide Perspective

To meet growing energy demands, countries worldwide are rapidly developing their untapped hydropower potentials creating new challenges for the management of their river systems. Faced with increasing environmental and social risks, there is an urgent need to improve policy and institutional frameworks in the hydropower sector that consider basin-wide or cumulative impacts and to build capacity.  Whereas there has been progress, there are still significant challenges in coordination between the public and private sector agendas and implementation between projects in basins where multiple projects exist.

Effective governance in the hydropower sector requires all stakeholders to play a role to ensure inclusivity and accountability.  This keynote address calls for action to improve governance of the hydropower sector through better public-private sector cooperation and effectively engaging all stakeholders including civil society. Through examples and lessons learned from hydropower sectors across Asia, the speaker will share how good governance of the hydropower sector requires a commitment to build capacity and how it can be achieved best through a holistic, basin-wide approach whereby the private sector plays a key role.

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