Press Release

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

International Rivers Wins Honorable Mention in Online Video Contest

Thursday, July 31, 2008
TechSoup Announces Show Your Impact Contest Award WinnersGirl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, MediaRites Productions, Fresh Artists, METRAC named grant winners in Adobe sponsored design contestSan Francisco, CA—July, 31 2008—Ending a month-long submission period, San Francisco-based nonprofit technology assistance provider TechSoup today announced the winners of the Show Your Impact Design Contest. The contest, co-sponsored by TechSoup and its technology product donor partner Adobe Systems Incorporated, invited nonprofit organizations to share their stories and show how their use of Adobe soft

Dam-Flooded Communities in Sudan Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance

Flooded home in Merowe Dam reservoir area.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Flooded home in Merowe Dam reservoir area. Some 600 families have reportedly been flooded out of their homes along the Nile in Sudan in the past few days due to rising waters in the nearly complete Merowe Dam reservoir. Local communities say the move to abruptly fill the reservoir was deliberate, part of a plan to forcibly evict those villages that have been most vocal in their call for fair compensation and replacement lands. As many as 25 villages could ultimately be affected by the rising waters. According to eyewitnesses, waters began rising around the island of Atram in the Manasir

Bujagali Dam Seriously Flawed, Say African Bank Inspectors

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
First investigation by African Development Bank panel finds dam studies minimized climate change risks, impacts to Lake Victoria, resettlement costs, affordability concernsThe Bujagali Dam, now under construction on the Nile River in Uganda, racked up at least 22 violations of key African Development Bank (AfDB) policies, according to a new report by the Bank's internal investigative panel. The report is the first by the Bank's new Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (CRMU), and was undertaken in response to a claim by project-affected people and the National Association of Professional En

The Great Carbon Offset Swindle: International Rivers Report Deconstructs the Scam

Monday, June 23, 2008
The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, the world's biggest carbon-offset program, is utterly failing to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The program’s failure is detailed in the International Rivers' report, "Bad Deal for the Planet: Why Carbon Offsets Aren't Working." The CDM is supposed to be a way for the industrialized nations to stabilize and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by funding emission-reduction programs and projects in the developing world. But the CDM is actually increasing such emissions in the guise of promoting sustainable development.The Clean Deve

New Hydropower Dam for Burma’s Military Capital to Displace Thousands

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Over 3,500 people, including many ethnic Kayan, will be displaced by a new dam being built in the Pyinmana Hills that will boost power to Burma's military leaders. "Drowning the Green Ghosts of Kayanland," a new report launched today by the Kayan Women's Union reveals how the Upper Paunglaung Dam, being built with Chinese investment, and slated for completion in December 2009, will flood a fertile valley 26 miles east of Burma's new capital Naypyidaw.The 99-meter Upper Paunglaung Dam will produce 140 megawatts of electricity and store water to increase the generating capacity of the Lower Paun

New video documents a people threatened with extinction by Salween dams

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Exclusive footage from remote Karenni State, Burma, documents the lives and environment of an ethnic group that faces extinction from the controversial Salween dams. One of the dam's reservoirs would completely submerge the homelands of the Yin Ta Lai people, of whom only 1,000 remain.Damning the Yin Ta Lai, a 13-minute video documentary that premieres today, captures rare footage from the thick rainforest that will be inundated by the Weigyi dam, one of the five planned for the Salween. Scenes of riverbank farming and fishing depict how the villagers rely on the natural flow of the river.The

Judge Suspends Studies for Amazon Dam: Legality of World's Third Largest Dam Project Questioned

Friday, April 18, 2008
A Brazilian federal court judge issued a restraining order on Wednesday, April 16 suspending technical and economic feasibility and environmental studies for Belo Monte Dam, on the Xingu River, one of the Amazon's principal tributaries. In his decision, Judge Antonio Carlos Almeida Campelo ruled that the government's awarding of the contract for the studies to Brazil's three largest civil construction companies – Camargo Correa, Odebrecht, and Andrade Gutierrez - without competitive bidding was illegal. The suit was brought by the federal attorney's office.Eletrobrás, the state electric hol

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

International Rivers’ Statement on Nam Theun 2 Reservoir Flooding

Friday, April 11, 2008
The Nam Theun 2 Power Company, the Lao government and the World Bank announced that the Nam Theun 2 reservoir will begin filling this week with the sealing of the diversion tunnel. Dam gate closure to initiate full reservoir impoundment is planned for mid-June 2008. Shannon Lawrence, Lao Program Director for International Rivers, says: "By flooding the reservoir before addressing outstanding problems, Nam Theun 2 is once again prioritizing construction deadlines over social and environmental commitments. This two-track approach to such a risky project has left villagers unequipped to face the


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