Affected People

Civil Society Letter to the World Bank on Large Hydropower

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Ms. Kathy Sierra Vice President, Sustainable Development Network The World Bank 1818 H Street NW Washington, DC 20433 Dear Ms. Sierra, As the World Bank Group develops its Energy Strategy, we are concerned that the Bank's pledge to increase support for large hydropower projects will result in increased poverty and irreversible social and environmental damages. A decade after the release of the World Bank-supported World Commission on Dams (WCD) report, the evidence continues to mount that large dams bring significant and unmitigated costs to society and to riverine ecosystems: The UN'

Water Alternatives: Special Issue on the WCD+10

Tucuruí dam in Brazil
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tucuruí dam in Brazil Andreas Missbach In November 2000, the World Commission on Dams published its ground-breaking report, Dams and Development, after an unprecedented multi-stakeholder process. Ten years later, Water Alternatives, an independent academic online journal, revisits the WCD and its impacts in a special issue, and explores the question: Is the WCD still relevant? A team of editors and guest editors have selected a range of 20 papers, six viewpoints, and four book reviews that help to illustrate the evolution in the dams debate. The goal of the special issue is to examine the in

Protecting Rivers and Rights

Fishing by the Da River near the Son La Hydropower Project in Vietnam
The 10th Anniversary of the World Commission on Dams ReportFishing by the Da River near the Son La Hydropower Project in Vietnam Hoai ThanhThe most comprehensive guidelines for large dams that protect the rights of river-dependent communities were outlined by the World Commission on Dams (WCD) in 2000. The WCD assessed the development effectiveness of dams in an independent, participatory process, and established what has come to be regarded as the gold standard for dam building. The WCD principles encompass basic values of human rights and sustainable development that are essential to minimi

Ongoing Suspension of HidroAysén Confirms Project Infeasibility

The opposition to large dams in Patagonia has continued to grow
The opposition to large dams in Patagonia has continued to grow HidroAysén, the hydroelectric mega-project proposed for Chile’s Patagonia, has requested and been granted another suspension in the review of the project’s environmental impact analysis (EIA). The private joint venture of Italy’s Enel and Chile’s Colbún aspires to build 5 dams and a 2,000-kilometer-long transmission line in Chile’s wild and remote Patagonia region, yet the company has now officially requested to have until the end of October 2010 to finish preparing their responses to the more than one thousand comme

Voices from Lake Turkana

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
For 300,000 indigenous people, Lake Turkana is their best defense against hunger and conflict. The isolated, northwestern corner of Kenya is a harsh environment long neglected by the government. Droughts are occurring more frequently, causing the natural resources upon which local herders and fishers depend to disappear. The traditional safety net woven by the area's tribes is unraveling quickly. Now, Lake Turkana is under threat from the Gibe 3 Dam. If Lake Turkana is pushed toward ecological collapse, tensions between communities over their dwindling resources could explode - a

Field Report from Lake Turkana

Monday, June 21, 2010
The people of the Turkana region in northwestern Kenya are in a fight and the future of their unique cultures. Our recent visit to the region revealed that communities around Lake Turkana are saying no to the Gibe 3 Dam, and standing together to take action to protect the lake.The lake is the best defense against hunger and conflict for 300,000 people who live in the parched region. This fragile oasis is the heart of an isolated world where traditional lifestyles are unraveling in the face of climate change and the resulting reduction in natural resources. The Gibe 3 Dam threatens to destroy t

The Forgotten Downstream Victims of Large Dams

Kharochan village in the Indus Delta
Kharochan village in the Indus Delta An estimated 472 million people have likely been negatively impacted by the downstream impacts of large dams. This is the main finding of a scientific study, which was just published by a group of eminent global freshwater experts. The study documents the impacts that dams have had on some of the world's most productive ecosystems, and recommend measures that can prevent the further loss of floodplains that sustain unique ecosystems and millions of people. A Port Underwater In the 1970s, Kharochan was a bustling town in Pakistan's Indus Delta. The local

Ethiopia Aims to Turn Itself Into a Regional Energy Giant

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Originally published in Le Monde and Guardian Weekly Ethiopia's government has set itself an ambitious target: in just a few years it aims to take an undeveloped country, with one of the world's lowest levels of per capita access to electricity, and turn it into a regional powerhouse, exporting energy to its neighbours. To achieve this the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, is advocating a spending spree to develop Ethiopia. Various foreign non-governmental organisations have questioned the reliability of official impact studies, but with a de facto one-party state, controlled by the Ethio

Doing Dams Right: The WCD in Practice

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers Review In the 10 years since the World Commission on Dams (WCD) released its landmark "Dams and Development" report, no single dam project has exemplified the full scope of its cutting-edge approach, and most dam building nations have failed to implement the WCD framework. But there have been some projects that demonstrate WCD principles in action, as well as laws and policies that reflect the principles espoused by the WCD. Here we highlight a few of these positive examples. Tribal fishermen have fought for dam removal on the Klamath for years Bob Dawson Addres

Canada’s Hydro Partnerships No Panacea for First Nations

An Innu community is suing to stop Hydro-Québec from damming the Romaine River
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers Review Canada's rivers have been under assault for decades. Rampant dam building since the 1940s has led to environmental destruction, the resettlement of thousands of aboriginal ("First Nation") communities and the devastation of their traditional fishing and hunting grounds. An Innu community is suing to stop Hydro-Québec from damming the Romaine River Alliance Romaine Past negotiations between First Nation communities and dam developers focused on compensation packages rather than on whether these communities wanted the projects built on their lands or not.


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