Tipping the Scales on Hydropower and Climate Change

In weighing the costs and benefits of large-dam hydropower within the context of climate change, how do the scales add up? You've heard us talk about how large reservoirs contribute to climate change through the emission of methane, how dams make rivers less resilient to climate change, threaten biodiversity, and of course, displace thousands of people upstream while negatively impacting thousands more downstream. That's the costs side. You've also probably heard how hydropower averts greenhouse gas emissions from polluting coal plants and can be used as a mitigation tool in the face of cli

International Rivers Letter to ADB re Nam Song and Nam Leuk Mitigation Plan

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
In January 2007, after years of pressure from International Rivers, the Lao government and Asian Development Bank agreed to implement an Environmental Mitigation Implementation Plan for communities affected by the Nam Song and Nam Leuk dams. This letter to the Asian Development Bank outlines ongoing problems with water supply and fisheries compensation in villages affected by Nam Leuk and Nam Song, as discovered by a researcher who visited the area in March 2008. The letter makes recommendations to ensure that affected people receive fair compensation in a timely manner.

The Mitigation Game

From Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams by Patrick McCully Dam builders and operators have been forced over the years to take a number of steps to mitigate the impact of their projects. Some mitigation measures can reduce some of the harmful impacts of a dam, others may be worse than useless. Mitigation is especially dangerous when it misleads the public into believing that dam builders can recreate the characteristics of wild rivers and fisheries and so allows more dams to be built. Mitigation measures generally reduce the amount of electricity and water which can be prov

Restoring the Zambezi: Can Dams Play a Role?

Kariba Dam
Sunday, October 1, 2006
From World Rivers Review, October 2006 Kariba Dam The Zambezi River is one of southern Africa's most important lifelines, and its delta is a Ramsar "Wetland of International Importance." However, it is also one of Africa's most heavily dammed river systems, and its health is in decline. More than 30 large dams (including two of Africa's largest, Kariba and Cahora Bassa) constrict its flow of water and sediments, and more large dams are planned. A new dam, Mphanda Nkuwa in Mozambique, is farthest along, and is expected to result in a push for industrialization in the Zambezi Valley. Dam-indu

IRN Comments on Nam Song and Nam Leuk Environmental Mitigation Implementation Plan

Sunday, April 1, 2007
IRN comments on the long-overdue mitigation plan for Nam Song and Nam Leuk, to be funded by the Asian Development Bank, and the response from Electricite du Laos and the ADB.

Review of the Environmental Management Division of Theun-HInboun Power Company

Wednesday, March 2, 2005
In March 2004, the Theun-Hinboun Power Company conducted a Third-Party Review of its Mitigation and Compensation Program. The review team spent a month visiting villages affected by the project and analyzing the attempts by the company to compensate for project impacts. The review team found that while the company had made "good progress", there were serious concerns over the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of its program to restore affected people's livelihoods.

Future in Doubt: Reviewing Dam Builder’s Efforts to Restore River-based Livelihoods in Laos

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
David Blake, who was contracted by the Theun-Hinboun Power Company to review the company’s mitigation and compensation program, shares some of the review panel’s findings and his outlook on mitigating the impacts of Theun-Hinboun in World Rivers Review, February 2005. For the past four years, the Lao–based Theun–Hinboun Power Company has invested significant resources to mitigate and compensate for the impacts of the Theun–Hinboun hydropower project in central Laos. While the company has made "good progress," according to a third–party review panel, there are serious concerns over
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