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1 Introduction
1.1 Project Context
This document presents the summary of the Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) for the CASA-1000 electricity trade project and is produced as a separate document to allow translation to the national languages and sharing amongst the stakeholder groups.
The development of the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM) is envisaged as a phased development of institutional arrangements and infrastructure to link Central Asia's surplus energy resources with South Asia's energy shortages and growing demand. It offers an opportunity to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world (such as Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan's border areas), contribute to stability and growth in Afghanistan, and boost inter-dependent prosperity in all the countries involved. Lessons from initial phases can serve to attract private investment to further develop the region's energy and mineral resources, and the necessary human and transport infrastructure, paving the way for a modern day revival of historical trade routes.
The proposed CASA-1000 project (Project) will facilitate the first electricity trade of 1,300 megawatts (MW) of existing summertime hydropower surplus between the two regions, involving Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan in Central Asia and Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia. Project preparation is advancing, building on guidance from the 4-country minister-level Inter-Governmental Council (IGC) with a Secretariat that was put in place in 2011 and through consultations with the 10-member Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Project is expected to consist of the construction and operation of transmission infrastructure in the four countries, associated technical assistance during implementation, and mechanisms for the sharing of benefits with communities along the transmission corridor. It is of strategic importance for both regions that would help alleviate power supply shortages in Pakistan and Afghanistan and enhance revenues and economic prospects in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan (and open up new and complementary electricity markets).
The CASA-1000 has been under preparation for a number of years and has therefore been the subject of several Environmental & Social (E&S) investigations.
1.2 Environmental & Social Assessments Reports to Date
The Project Environmental & Social (E&S) investigations and studies (Figure 1-1), include:
 Environmental and Social input to the initial Feasibility Study work;
 In December 2010, the World Bank awarded a contract to Integrated Environments (2006) Ltd. (IEL) of Canada to complete an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Environmental & Social Management Plan (ESIA/ESMP) of the Project;
 Project Feasibility Study Update by SNC Lavalin, February 2011 (updating previous studies by SNC);
 An Avian Risk Assessment and Management Study (ARAMS) by Normandeau;
 A Social Impact Assessment (SIA) undertaken in 2012, which reported on the social and community aspects through targeted consultation and early work around potential community benefit sharing initiatives; and
 A range of consultations have been undertaken on the project since its development concept; these are reported on in this REA and will be updated following consultations on the draft REA, for incorporation into the final version of the REA.

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