Located in a rapidly developing watershed, the Upper Trishuli-1 hydro project is a proposed 216 MW run-of-the-river hydropower facility. Although preliminary environmental studies were completed, proposed financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) meant that the Project would need to meet international environmental and social standards.

ESSA was hired to assess compliance with IFC Performance Standards and provide recommendations for strengthening overall environmental and social risk management on the project. In particular, ESSA: (1) conducted a gap analysis of the current environment and social impact assessment (ESIA) against international standards; (2) completed additional environmental and social baseline studies in collaboration with a local firm;  (3) calculated the minimum ecological flow requirements for the diversion reach of the facility; (4) conducted GIS mapping and spatial analysis of vulnerability indicators; (5) completed a cumulative impact assessment for the basin; (6) developed an environmental management plan for construction; and (7) upgraded the ESIA to international standards.