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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bioenergy and Renewable Energy needed for Rural Development and Poverty Reduction in Laos

(KPL) More than 80 per cent of the population of Lao PDR lives in rural areas, with the vast majority relying on traditional fuel wood for lighting, cooking and heating.
It is a fact often overlooked, but access to efficient, reliable, and clean energy services is a basic requirement for social and economic development. Many emerging small-scale bioenergy and renewable energy technologies aim to make effective use of the biomass materials available to rural communities. Hence, it displaces the need for traditional wood fuel utilisation. These technologies may also bring additional environmental and health benefits and some have already been adapted by local communities and businesses operating in Lao PDR. However, delivering these energy technologies on a large scale, in a way that will benefit the vast majority of Lao people living in rural areas, still presents a significant challenge.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), SNV Netherland Development Organisation (SNV) and the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (LIRE) have joined with the Lao Government's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to address this challenge and look for ways to deliver more modern bioenergy and renewable energy technologies for the benefit of rural communities in Lao PDR. To be effective in this task, these organisations would first like to consult and engage knowledgeable and motivated, locally based experts to chart a path forward. As a result, representatives from FAO, SNV, LIRE, MEM and other Lao-based rural energy and development experts will organise a one-day meeting on 1st of October 2009, at Lao Plaza Hotel, to develop a concrete plan of action to enhance and expand the delivery of efficient, reliable and clean bioenergy and renewable energy technologies in Lao PDR for the benefit of rural communities and the rural poor.
The anticipated outcomes from the meeting will be:The establishment of priority areas for action to improve delivery of bioenergy and renewable energy technologies for the benefit of rural communities and the rural poor and;
The plan of action to address priority areas including clearly defined activities that can be adopted by meeting partners and other public and private organizations
The common understanding of challenges and opportunities associated with providing efficient, reliable and clean bioenergy and renewable energy technologies to rural communities in Lao PDR.