Factsheet | The Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam Disaster: Situation Update Two Years On

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Two years after the tragic collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower project in Laos, construction is complete and the project is operational, exporting electricity to Thailand. Meanwhile, thousands of people who lost family members, homes, land and livelihoods in the dam collapse remain in difficult conditions and without answers or accountability from those responsible for the disaster. Displaced families continue to reside in temporary housing and face food and water shortages. Many are yet to receive full compensation for the losses and harm suffered. This new factsheet by International

Watered Down: How do big hydropower companies adhere to social and environmental policies and best practices?

Monday, November 4, 2019
Healthy rivers are critical in sustaining communities and ecosystems. Yet our rivers around the world are under threat. As many as 3,700 new dams have either been proposed or are already under construction. Despite the enormous diversity in size, scale and geography of new dams being built, a relatively small number of corporations are responsible for their construction. Thus the policies and practices of these companies have tremendous implications for rivers and human rights. This report provides context for this situation and features seven in-depth case studies of dams at final stages of c

Expert Commentary on the ‘Review of Design Changes Made for the Xayaburi Hydropower Project’

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
In this report, International Rivers commissioned two experts to provide comments on the Mekong River Commission’s ‘Review of Design Changes Made for the Xayaburi Hydropower Project’ (the ‘MRC Review’), which was released in early 2019. The MRC Review examines information provided by the Government of Laos and the project developer about the redesign of the Xayaburi Hydropower Project. The MRC Review assessed this information against the findings and recommendations of the MRC’s original Xayaburi Technical Review Report (TRR), which was produced by the MRC during the Xayaburi Prior

Report | Reckless Endangerment: Assessing Responsibility for the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam Collapse

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
One year after the tragic collapse of an auxiliary dam of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Hydropower Project in Laos, this report by International Rivers and Inclusive Development International examines the situation for survivors. Close to 5,000 people made homeless by the disaster remain in temporary camps, surviving hand to mouth on meager rations and daily allowances and without adequate compensation or redress. The report identifies the various project stakeholders in the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Hydropower Project, including government and corporate actors, financiers and insurers, and their responsibili

Report | Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Myanmar Hydropower Sector: Discussion Brief

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
This brief introduces the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Myanmar Hydropower Sector and seeks to generate dialogue, including around the study’s process, findings and recommendations. While the assessment was a contested process, it produced important outcomes, including the recommendation to reserve the mainstream of Myanmar's major river basins from hydropower development to keep these rivers free-flowing. The brief offers perspectives on the assessment’s outcomes—outlining the limitations and concerns with the assessment as well as ways its analysis and recommendations can b

Catalyzing A Renewable Energy Transformation: Lessons learned from Multilateral Development Banks

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
A clean energy transformation is urgently needed to mitigate worst impacts of climate change and deliver power to the millions who currently lack it. Development finance institutions have an important role to play in delivering this transformation and helping developing countries meet their energy, climate, and poverty alleviation goals. Traditional development banks like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) can help fill the gaps but lack the resources on their own. A new suite of actors has recently emerged with the potential to scale up development finance, including the China-le

Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project: Field Report, February 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2) is a dam constructed in central Laos’ Khammouane Province to acquire foreign currency by exporting electricity to Thailand. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) decided to support the NT2 project in 2005, and operations began in 2010. Approximately 6,200 people, most of them ethnic minorities and indigenous people, were forced to relocate to make way for the project reservoir. Many other environmental and social impacts have occurred as a result of the project, including negative impacts on livelihoods due to increasing floods and unnatura

Working Transboundary: Building Resilience and Democratizing Governance in the Brahmaputra Basin

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
The Brahmaputra River has repeatedly been the centre ground of diplomatic hostility between China, India and Bangladesh. With no transboundary treaty or common understanding between the countries sharing the river, downstream countries have repeatedly raised concerns that China, the upstream riparian country, would dam and divert the glacial meltwaters that are crucial not only for towns, cities and industry, but for the millions of farmers in the plains of India and Bangladesh downstream. Others have expressed concern about the cumulative impacts of long-standing plans to build more than 100

Renewable Riches: How Wind and Solar Can Power DRC and South Africa

Monday, September 25, 2017
International Rivers' new study, “Renewable Riches,” has found that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is endowed with abundant wind and solar potential that could transform the country’s energy sector. The report, authored by researchers affiliated with the University of California, suggests that DRC can harness its considerable renewable energy potential to power the country faster and more affordably than current planned projects like Inga 3 Dam. The researchers found that the country’s wind and solar potential, at 85 GW, could address the country’s chronic power shortages an

In Debt and In The Dark: Unpacking the Economics of DRC’s Proposed Inga 3 Dam

Sunday, June 25, 2017
“In Debt and In The Dark” is the first in-depth assessment of the economics of the proposed 4,800 MW Inga 3 Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Authored by noted economist Tim Jones, the report scrutinizes the claims that project proponents have made to justify the project, namely that Inga 3 will generate revenues to fill government coffers through the sale of power to South Africa and mines in eastern DRC and will provide needed power to the country. Using empirical evidence from similar hydropower projects in Africa and globally, Jones tested the stated assumptions of the pr


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