Chile Approves HidroAysen Dam Project In Wild Patagonia Despite Major Opposition

Monday, May 9, 2011
Originally published on The Huffington PostSANTIAGO, Chile -- A $7 billion project to dam two of the world's wildest rivers for electricity has won environmental approval Monday from a Chilean government commission despite a groundswell of opposition. The commissioners - all political appointees in President Sebastian Pinera's government - concluded a three-year environmental review by approving five dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in Aysen, a mostly roadless region of remote southern Patagonia where rainfall is nearly constant and rivers plunge from Andean glaciers to the Pacific

Global Dam Safety and Security Challenges

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Originally published in Volume 10 Number 4 of the The CIP ReportCenter for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security (CIP/HS)George Mason University, School of Law With over 54,000 large dams worldwide, dam safety is a major and growing global concern. In a changing climate, dam safety and security is no longer just an issue of aging infrastructure but also of intensifying water conflicts, food security, and appropriate adaptation measures to climate change. Below are just some of the many examples of dam safety and security issues from around the world. Dam Safety and Earthquakes While

Brazil Judge Halts Work on Belo Monte Amazon Dam

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Originally published by BBC News A judge in Brazil has ordered a halt to construction of a multi-billion-dollar dam project in the Amazon region. Judge Carlos Castro Martins barred any work that would interfere with the natural flow of the Xingu river. He ruled in favour of a fisheries group which argued that the Belo Monte dam would affect local fish stocks and could harm indigenous families who make a living from fishing. The government says the dam is crucial to meeting growing energy needs. Judge Martins barred the Norte Energia company behind the project from "building a port, using expl

Success Stopping CDM Registration of Harmful Large Hydro Projects

Day of Action, 2007, India, Koraput assembly
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Originally published in the CDM Watch Newsletter Many large hydro projects in the CDM are contentious because most are non-additional and cause environmental and social harm. International Rivers supports grassroots efforts to stop harmful hydro projects. Over the past few years collaboration between NGOs and active stakeholder engagement has increased dramatically. Encouragingly, almost a third of the most contentious CDM hydro projects have had their validations terminated. Currently 477 large hydro projects have been registered in the CDM and another 371 are seeking registration. This proje

Belgian Cherry on Indian Pie

Friday, September 16, 2011
Originally published in 2009 by CDMWatch NICK MEYNEN, a Belgian journalist, discovers the fraud of Indian CDM projects. Excerpts from his research here. The North-South part of the $100 billion carbon market is regulated by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which should also bring sustainable development to the South. But sustainable destruction and massive fraud are better descriptions of reality. In Belgium, a country obliged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a climate minister faces a simple choice: invest in reductions at home or pay someone else to do it. Like the Yash Paper Limi

China's Dam Builders to the World

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Originally published in Asia Sentinel Mytsone Dam in Burma is just one of hundreds in a dam-building spreeConfirmation that construction will continue on the Mytsone dam on the Irrawaddy River spotlights the vast dam-building capability of Chinese engineers, who are involved in building at least 251 dams in 68 countries across the world, according to the NGO International Rivers. In July, the Burma Rivers Network, which opposes the Mytsone dam, released a 945-page environmental impact study opposing the dam that was done by the China Power Investment Corp. itself, the Chinese state-owned enti

Will China Find a New Balance Between the Environment and Economic Growth?

Thursday, September 1, 2011
Originally published in China US Focus The pace at which China is developing its economy is nothing short of breathtaking. Yet the country pays a high price for this development. The train crash near Wenzhou, the oil spill in the Yellow Sea and other recent disasters have demonstrated that the breakneck speed of China's industrialization has put public safety, health and the environment at risk. "China should say no to a blood-stained GDP," China's party newspaper, the People's Daily, warned in a dire commentary on the high-speed train disaster. The hydropower sector illu

Listening to Communities on Dam Building in Peru

Ashaninka people discuss proposals for dams on the Tambo River.
From September, 2011 World Rivers ReviewAshaninka people discuss proposals for dams on the Tambo River. Jose Serra In the heavy weeping fog Limeños call winter, I took a taxi along the Pacific Coast. “That is the Christ that the Brazilians gave our former president,” said the driver, pointing to a distant white statue. It is a duplicate of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro. This one was given by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht to then-Peruvian President Alan Garcia. Odebrecht is one of a number of Brazilian companies interested in tapping int

Nepal Dam’s Future Uncertain

The Seti River has been targeted for a major dam project for 16 years
From September, 2011 World Rivers ReviewThe Seti River has been targeted for a major dam project for 16 years WAFED The Nepal government revoked the license of the West Seti hydropower dam project in July. The project had struggled for 16 years to find funding. It is the second largest dam in Nepal to be cancelled, after the Arun 3 hydroelectric project, which was jettisoned after the World Bank withdrew from project financing in 1995. The combination of local and international pressure and strong arguments against the project from legal, human rights, environmental and economic perspective

Africa For Sale

Millions in Ethiopia have been affected by an ongoing drought, yet the government is practically giving away arable land to outside investors.
From September, 2011 World Rivers Review Land and Water Grabs Spell Disaster for Rural People and RiversMillions in Ethiopia have been affected by an ongoing drought, yet the government is practically giving away arable land to outside investors. Kimberly Flowers/USAID The Horn of Africa has been in the headlines for months now as famine and starvation spread across the drought-ravaged region. Yet this troubled province is simultaneously seeing a dramatic transfer of arable lands to foreign investors intent on exporting staples and biofuels. The Horn is only the most shocking example of a g


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