Managing environmental and social impacts of hydropower in Bhutan

Development of Bhutan’s untapped hydro power resources has the potential to spur economic growth, rapidly increase export revenue, reduce poverty, and bring about sustained improvements in human development. The study has found that the main impacts of hydropower development in Bhutan relate to aquatic biodiversity and are cumulative, meaning that they are not of immediate concern but should get priority attention once the development of hydropower accelerates. This study has identified a number of gaps in the management of E&S impacts and ranked them according to relevance for Bhutan. Addressing the capacity constraints, and providing key institutions with the tools, structures, and skills necessary for proper E&S management of hydropower would benefit the sustainability of Bhutan’s natural and cultural values, as well as its hydropower and economic development.


World Bank. 2016. Managing environmental and social impacts of hydropower in Bhutan (English). Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) technical report. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.


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