Equator Principles

Dead Catfish May Be the Least of Lula's Worries

Dead fish in the Madeira River
Dead fish in the Madeira River AGÊNCIA AMAZÔNIA In 2007, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva famously announced that "environmentalists are trying to dump some catfish on my lap" by opposing dams on the Amazon's Madeira River. The quip came after scientists released studies documenting the serious impacts that the dams would have on catfish and other migratory species on the Madeira River. Well, over the past few weeks, dead catfish are just one of the many problems that have been plaguing the Santo Antonio and Jirau Dams. Last week, the Brazilian p

Environmentalists Blast Construction License for Amazon Dam

Thursday, August 14, 2008
Environmental organizations have condemned the Brazilian government´s approval of a license for construction of Santo Antonio Dam, on the Madeira River in the Brazilian Amazon. The groups say that Brazil´s environmental protection service, Ibama, has caved in to political interests, ignoring the advice of its own technical staff in licensing the dam, and approving a mitigation plan which will do little to decrease its impacts.Santo Antonio Dam would be the first of two dams to be built on the Madeira, the Amazon´s principal tributary. Environmental impact assessments predict serious impacts

Perspective from the Mekong Region: New Financiers and Familiar Problems

Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Mekong region is enjoying a period of stability and rapid economic growth not experienced for centuries. As a result, the region demands increasing quantities of electricity, and exploiting its hydropower potential is high on the agenda. In contrast to the recent past, it is project developers and financiers from Asia rather than the West that are spearheading this hydropower drive. Yet, in a region where millions of people depend on the natural resources that rivers provide, many proposed dams pose risks for the environment, communities, project developers, and host governments.This chapt

Theun-Hinboun Dam Nightmare Revealed: Resettlement Plan and EIA Riddled with Flaws

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Norwegian-backed project will plunge 50,000 Laotians into Deeper PovertyThe Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project's resettlement plan and environmental impact assessment (EIA) utterly fail to meet either Lao regulatory requirements or international standards, and are riddled with flaws, omissions and biases, according to reviews released today by International Rivers. A scathing review of the environmental impact assessment by independent researcher David Blake concluded, "Rarely does one see such a cynical attempt to blatantly distort or ignore empirical data to achieve a pre-determined outcome: na

Letter to JP Morgan Chase on the Gilgel Gibe III Dam

Summary: A letter from international NGOs regarding JP Morgan Chase's proposed financing of Gigel Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia which demands: "Prior to the consideration of financing, JP Morgan Chase should ensure due diligence of project compliance with Ethiopia's national laws, international standards and its own policies as well as consider the integrity of this project in relation to Ethiopia's development needs." Amy Davidsen, Director, Office of Environmental Affairs JPMorganChase270 Park Avenue, 29th FloorNew York, New York 10017Re: Gilgel Gibe III Hydropower Dam, EthiopiaDear Ms. Davidsen

Improvements Made, But Principles Fail to Live Up To Their Potential

Friday, July 7, 2006
Equator Principles Re–LaunchedBankTrack welcomes any initiative that enhances the social and environmental sustainability of bank financing operations. BankTrack acknowledges the improvements in the new version of the Equator Principles (EPs), such as the expansion of the Principles to cover financial advising and the lower threshold, but also believes that the EPs fail to live up to their potential. The Era of Implementation As the Equator banks have recognized, implementation is critical to the success of the Principles. Since the EP’s inception, BankTrack has consistently supported the

Banks Adopt Fortified Green Principles

Thursday, July 6, 2006
Dozens of commercial banks and lenders, including global heavyweights like Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Standard Chartered, signed an updated set of environmental and social safeguards on Thursday that binds them to shoulder more responsible lending in the future. Under the programme, more than 40 international financial institutions have committed to financing only those projects that comply with the Equator Principles (EP), a set of voluntary environmental and social standards that seek to uphold the rights of people displaced by projects and to protect endangered ecosystems. Signatories,

New Players Push Development Banks Aside in the Mekong

Saturday, June 16, 2007
The Mekong region has seen its share of "hydro-prospectors" set up stakes with the hopes of tapping the great river for hydroelectric dams. Over the years, the basin has been invaded by foreign agencies such as the US Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers (who proposed turning the Mekong into a series of reservoirs), UNDP (which said in 1995 that "the naturally flowing Mekong is destructive... if not dammed, the Mekong flows wasted to the sea"), French utilities, and of course big development banks such as the World Bank. Now, a new set of actors are developin


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