Press Release

Chronic Problems at Yacyretá Dam

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
International Rivers Network Press ReleaseINTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK INVESTIGATION CONFIRMS CHRONIC PROBLEMS AT YACYRETÁ DAMA new report issued by the Inter-American Development Bank's Independent Investigation Mechanism has confirmed chronic and serious problems with the Yacyretá Hydroelectric Project, financed in large part by the IDB and the World Bank. The report, completed in May, but only just made public, also cites numerous violations of IDB policy in non-enforcement of regulations on resettlement and environmental mitigation questions.The IDB has loaned a total of $977 million

Media Briefing: Thai-Lao Hydropower Projects

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Thursday December 13th, 10 am, Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) In September, officials from Thailand and Laos joined the World Bank at a High-Level Forum on Sustainable Hydropower Development. Both countries affirmed the need for environmental and social standards when designing, building and implementing hydropower projects. But can their words be matched by deeds? Laos has put hydropower center stage in its development goals, as a source of foreign-currency income and sustainable energy. Its government has vowed to strength its regulatory institutions and policies to secure ma

Auctioning off the Amazon: Brazil's Madeira River Auction Sparks Anger, Protests, Lawsuits

Monday, December 10, 2007
The Brazilian government’s auction of the Santo Antonio Dam project on the Madeira River today was met by demonstrations in Brazil, international protests and environmental lawsuits. Two dams and an industrial waterway are planned for the Madeira River, the Amazon’s principle tributary, but social, indigenous, and environmental activists as well as independent experts have criticized the project’s potential impact on rainforest ecosystems and communities.Last week, Friends of the Earth, Brazilian Amazon filed a lawsuit to stop the auction. Friends of the Earth argued that the environment

Under the Boot: new report exposes military face of Chinese investment in Burma

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restricti

Failed Mechanism: Hundreds of Hydros Expose Serious Flaws in the CDM

Sunday, December 2, 2007
(Bali) The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is set to provide massive subsidies to hydropower developers while increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to an investigation by International Rivers. As of November 1, 2007, 654 hydro projects had received or applied to receive carbon credits from the CDM. If approved, these credits would provide hydro developers with a windfall of around a billion dollars each year. Hydro is now the most common technology in the CDM, representing a quarter of all projects in the project pipeline.International Rivers' report, "Failed Mechan

Nationwide Protests in Germany Against German Banks' Investment in Turkey’s Ilisu Dam

Friday, November 30, 2007
Contact: Ercan Ayboga, Heike Drillisch Kurdish groups and NGOs organized demonstrations outside local branches of the German Sparkasse (Savings Bank) and Deka Bank in eleven German towns today. The protests are targeting the two banks financial support of the controversial Ilisu dam in south-eastern Turkey that will submerge the ancient city of Hasankeyf. Deka Bank alone is underwriting construction of the hydropower project with more than 100 Million Euros. “With the financial contribution from DekaBank, more than 55,000 people will be deprived of their livelihoods,” says Ercan A

International Rivers Board Member, Robert Hass, Wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
International Rivers heartily congratulates our board member Robert Hass for winning the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The prestigious prize was given for his recent collection, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005. Hass served two years as the U.S. poet laureate and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley since 1989. Read an interview with Hass in the Berkeleyan featuring two of the poems from Time and Materials, one of which (reproduced below) concerns a dam in Thailand. Ezra Pound's Proposition Beauty is sexual, and sexuality Is the fertility of the

Norway in Laos: Ruining Rivers, Damaging Lives

Monday, November 26, 2007
Norway's state-owned power utility, Statkraft, has ruined the ecology of two rivers in Laos and the livelihoods of 30,000 people, reveals a newly-released report: Ruined Rivers, Damaged Lives. The report, commissioned by FIVAS, a Norwegian advocacy group, exposes the mounting social and environmental toll of the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project in the decade since it was completed. The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) is co-owned by Statkraft, a Thai power company and the Lao government. The FIVAS investigation details increasingly severe flooding along the Hai and Hinboun Rivers over the la

International alarm raised on dams across Mekong Mainstream: MRC must wake up to its responsibility

Monday, November 12, 2007
As the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its donors prepare for their annual consultative meeting, 201 organisations and individuals from 30 countries around the world, including 126 citizens groups in the Mekong countries, have sent a resounding wake up call to the MRC. This action comes in response to news of the revival of six proposals to dam the Lower Mekong River. [read entire Letter to MRC] Civil society groups are demanding the MRC fulfil its obligation to protect the Mekong, in light of compelling scientific evidence that warns of the disastrous consequences of damming the lower Mekon

Temporary Injunction Halts Mexico’s La Parota Dam

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Judge’s Decision Could Lead to Cancellation of Project(Guerrero, Mexico) Lawyers for opponents of Mexico’s proposed La Parota Dam filed a $10,000 judicial bond yesterday ensuring that all construction on the massive dam ceases immediately. The bond is part of a temporary injunction ordered by Mexican federal judge Lidia Larumbe on September 11 in support of a constitutional challenge against the project filed on behalf of local residents. Local campesinos and indigenous people vehemently oppose the 531-foot-high dam on the Papagayo River in Guerrero State. If built, the dam would displace


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