New Report: Indigenous Rights Violations at Baram Dam Site in Sarawak

Penan community stands firm against the Baram Dam
Saturday, August 16, 2014
A new report entitled "No Consent to Proceed: Indigenous Peoples' Rights Violations at the Proposed Baram Dam in Sarawak" is being launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The report is based on information gathered by an independent fact-finding team that met and interviewed people in 13 of the 26 villages that will be affected by the proposed dam. It identifies specific violations of the Malaysian Constitution and provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People committed against the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people living around the proposed site of the Baram Dam that have taken

Unbalanced Interests: A Review of the Xayaburi Dam’s Power Purchase Agreement

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
An independent analysis done on the Xayaburi Dam’s agreement to sell around 95% of its electricity to the Thai government provides important insight into the first Mekong mainstream dam being built in Laos. The independent analysis of the dam’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed in October, 2011 between the Xayaburi Power Company Ltd. and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), was commissioned by International Rivers and carried out by Aswini Chitnis of Prayas Energy Group.

Legal Briefing: How International Law Applies to the Don Sahong Dam

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Government of Lao PDR is proceeding with the Don Sahong Dam after claiming that it is only required under the 1995 Mekong Agreement to notify neighboring governments, rather than to undergo a prior consultation. This briefing raises some concerns with Laos’ interpretation of the Mekong Agreement and international law.

Dam Standards: A Rights-Based Approach

Thursday, February 13, 2014
When large dams are built, increasingly, companies, banks, and governments commit to follow internationally-recognized standards for such projects. Some of these standards are voluntary, and sometimes the financing or support for a dam project is conditional upon complying with them. But what exactly are dam standards, who makes them, and how can civil society use them? "Dam Standards: A Rights-Based Approach" attempts to summarize the strongest social and environmental standards related to each stage of a dam's project cycle: from strategic planning, to project analysis, to implementation, op

Congo River: Death by a Thousand Cuts?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
A briefing paper by International Rivers finds that the Environmental Impact Assessment of the World Bank's proposed Inga 3 Dam violates good international practice and the World Bank's own guidelines in important aspects.

Corruption and Infrastructure Megaprojects in the DR Congo

The Inga II Dam
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The Grand Inga Dam, planned for the Congo River in DR Congo, is being promoted by USAID, the World Bank and other international financiers But Africa's biggest hydropower project is a prime candidate for corruption. The project's US$80 billion price tag, coupled with the country's poor governance record and its unstable political climate, could be a recipe for fueling corruption. Learn more about the corruption in Congo, and its potential to derail the Inga dam scheme.

An Introduction to Integrated Resources Planning

Monday, November 11, 2013
Integrated Resources Planning (IRP) is a public process in which planners work together with other interested parties to identify and prepare energy options that serve the highest possible public good. In the process, they establish scope, investigate options, prepare and evaluate integrated plans, select preferred plans, and establish mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and iterate plans as conditions change. The IRP method was developed in the 1980s in response to repeated cases of power plants that were not needed and experienced serious cost and time overruns. In contrast to the limited cho

Independent Expert Review of the Myitsone Dam EIA

Monday, September 30, 2013
A survey of the “Environmental Impact Report of Hydropower Development in the Upper Reaches of the Ayeyawady River” has found that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) contains some serious deficiencies and flawed conclusions.

Dam Planning Under the Spotlight in India

Thursday, October 10, 2013
In the past decade, the central and state governments of India threw caution to the wind when approving hundreds of hydroelectric dam projects in the upper reaches of Himalayan rivers. But in the aftermath of the destructive Uttarakhand floods of 2013, the Supreme Court directed that no further clearances be given and that a committee look in to whether existing and under-construction hydro projects exacerbated the crisis.

Civil Society Guide to Healthy Rivers and Climate Resilience

The Baker River in Patagonia, South America. Photo: Kate Ross
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Healthy, flowing rivers are the lifelines of our planet. They provide people with water, food, medicines, building materials, land-replenishing silts, navigation, recreation, and cultural and spiritual strength. Rivers and their catchments – and the rich variety of life they sustain – reduce the impacts of floods and droughts, support forests, recharge groundwater supplies, sustain fisheries, and maintain the ecological integrity of local ecosystems. Yet rivers and riverine ecosystems are also one of the most threatened in the world, and climate change brings serious new threats to these


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