Esteves Backs $14 Billion Amazon Dam Itau Shuns

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Billionaire Andre Esteves’ Banco BTG Pactual SA is helping fund construction of a 29 billion-real ($14 billion) dam opposed by Amazon indigenous groups after Brazil’s two biggest non-state banks opted not to take part. BTG, based in Sao Paulo, is passing through 2 billion reais of a 22.5 billion-real government credit line granted to Norte Energia SA’s Belo Monte dam and will lend at a rate of as much as 3 percentage points above Brazil’s 5.5 percent long-term reference rate, according to a BTG official who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. H

Every River Has Its Stories. Share Yours on March 14!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
From December 2012 World Rivers ReviewCelebrations on the Teesta River as part of the Day of Action for Rivers "Rivers are our life, the source of our identity, the source of our ways of life and culture.”– Indigenous peoples’ activist Joan Carling (Philippines) Every river has its people and every river has its story. Often we know these stories in our hearts and may talk about them amongst ourselves. But when we share our stories more widely, across oceans and continents, they join us (and our rivers) together. By sharing our stories, and weaving them together, we can paint a powerful

US Rivers Get a Boost from Citizen Science Projects

Jessica Hayes of The Nature Conservancy shows what it takes to do citizen science.
Monday, December 3, 2012
From December 2012 World Rivers Review Rivers in the US have been under siege since the age of industrialization began. They’ve been dammed (the US is the second most dammed nation in the world, with 5,500 large dams), dewatered for large-scale agriculture, deforested and polluted. This wide scale destruction brings urgency to the need to understand the health of entire river systems in order to protect and rehabilitate them. The best way to gain this understanding is to measure the vital signs of a river through the whole watershed. But monitoring thousands of miles of river is a gargantuan

Citizen Science Supports a Healthy Mekong

Thai-Karen ethnic villagers along Thai-Burma border conducted community  research on the Salween using Thai Baan research methods. Here, a local boy demonstrates the size of one of the Mekong’s giant fish species.
Monday, December 3, 2012
From December 2012 World Rivers Review Mapping the Mekong: In 2011, villagers mapped fishing grouds, river-bank farmland, river morphology and sub-ecosystems. Photo TERRA The Mekong is not a one-size-fits-all river. One of Asia’s longest rivers, it begins in Tibet and flows through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Ask someone in one of these countries how they depend on the Mekong River, and you will get a unique answer that reflects the local realities of the village, city, or culture you are visiting. More than 60 million people live and work here. For the poorest vill

India’s Dammed Rivers Suffer Fisheries Collapse

Monday, December 3, 2012
It may surprise many that India is second in the world in freshwater fish production. More than 75% of fisherfolk in India depend on freshwater fisheries for their livelihoods. Though there is no systematic assessment of livelihood dependence on rivers, nearly 11 million Indians depend on rivers for their livelihoods and nutrition.

Interview: China’s Green Hunan Trains Citizen Scientists To Fight River Pollution

Monday, December 3, 2012
From December 2012 World Rivers Review Green Hunan, founded in 2007, is the only civil society organization focusing on basin-wide environmental issues in Hunan Province’s Xiang River watershed. Katy Yan asked them about their citizen-science projects to protect water resources in the watershed. WRR: Describe your citizen science efforts. How does it work? How many people does it take? GH: Our current “citizen science” projects include the volunteer Observation and Action Network of Xiang River Watershed, the Vote for the Top Ten Environmental Events in Hunan Province, and a Pollution

WRR Commentary: Know Thy River

Monday, December 3, 2012
Commentary: December 2012 World Rivers ReviewAt International Rivers we’re known for our effectiveness at critiquing and campaigning against destructive dam schemes. This important, frontline work defending rivers in solidarity with dam-threatened communities is crucial and courageous. Yet, our end-goal lies well beyond stopping short-sighted dam projects. Ultimately, we seek proactive solutions that take the long view in recognition of living rivers as a necessary component of a viable, thriving Earth: solutions to propel truly sustainable energy pathways; solutions for watershed practices

Sarawak Energy Publishes “Facts” About the Murum Dam

Penan man from a Murum Dam affected village
Sunday, October 28, 2012
MALAYSIA -- Sarawak Energy has distributed a factsheet on the Murum Dam in response to public criticism about ongoing human rights violations at the project site. We take a closer look and find more "spin" than "fact".

Artist is Batty for Rivers

Rillito River Project creative director Ellen Skotheim
Friday, August 24, 2012
From September 2012 World Rivers Review Rio Vista elementary student performs at the Rillito River Project’s Bat Night 2012 Photo: Tim Fuller The Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona was a perennial river for the first part of the 20th century. After World War II, however, Tucson began a decades-long growth spurt that ran the river dry. Today, the river flows only during heavy rains, particularly during the torrential monsoon season. But life still thrives here. Most dramatically, some 45,000 Mexican free-tail bats roost on the underside of a bridge that spans the now-dry river. Beginning in 2

Itaipú Dam Reservoir Changing Microclimates in Brazil

Friday, August 24, 2012
From September 2012 World Rivers ReviewWhen one thinks of the climate impacts of large dams in the tropics, the first thought is usually of greenhouse gases produced by rotting vegetation in a dam's reservoir and released at a reservoir's surface and a dam's turbines and spillway. But evidence is accumulating that large dam reservoirs do more than emit greenhouse gases: they are also capable of changing a region's microclimate in ecologically and economically devastating ways. Take for example the huge reservoir of Itaipú Dam, which produces hydropower for Brazil and Paraguay. At 170 kilomet


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