Environmental Impacts

Toolkit for Educators: Climate Change, Rivers and Dams

Glacial lakes in Bhutan
International Rivers has created a toolkit, Climate Change, Rivers and Dams: A Video Exploration, for educators and community leaders around the issue of dams, rivers and climate change. This toolkit includes a lesson plan that features the "Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers" 3-D Google Earth video, which uses Google Earth to visualize what might happen to the world's major rivers when climate change and the current dam-building boom collide. This toolkit also includes the video, extension ideas, and links to additional resources. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

No More Catfish in the Madeira?

Fish are dying at an alarming rate because of the Santo Antônio Dam.
Fish are dying at an alarming rate because of the Santo Antônio Dam. Instituto Rio Madeira Vivo This blog in Brazil caught our eye recently: catfish are now disappearing at an alarming rate from the Madeira River, thanks to the reservoir of the Santo Antônio Dam. When the environmental license for the Santo Antônio Dam was approved against the findings of fish experts, Lula controversially claimed that the dams would not be stopped because of "some catfish." Now, the catfish are disappearing. Don't say we didn't warn you.  I'll let the blog spell it out (thanks fo

Lessons from Myitsone Dam in Burma

Myitsone Protest (courtesy of the BBC)
Myitsone Protest (courtesy of the BBC) The success of Burma's civil society groups in halting the Myitsone Dam may come as a surprise to many, but it is a product of the depth and strength of opposition to the project. It is also an indication that a different type of Burmese government is now in charge. The Burmese government's decision to suspend the controversial project on the headwaters of the Irrawaddy also highlights the serious risks of not engaging with civil society critics. The Myitsone Dam was one of the first projects to really "get under my skin" here at I

Environmental Impact Assessment for the Myitsone Dam

Thursday, September 29, 2011
China Power Investment funded and commissioned the Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research (CISPDR) to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Myitsone Dam with Burmese experts from the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA). In March 2010, CISPDR finalized the full EIA, which was finally published in September 2011. The original document can be found on the developer's website, but for those who cannot view it there, please see a copy of the document below. In 2013, International Rivers working with local environmental NGOs in Myanmar co

The Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River: A Briefing

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
1. BackgroundProject Overview The Myitsone Hydroelectric Project is located at the confluence of the Mali and N'Mai rivers and is the largest of seven dams (total capacity 13,360 MW) planned along the Irrawaddy, Mali Hka, and N'Mai Hka rivers in Burma. Scheduled for completion in 2019, Myitsone will become the 15th largest hydropower station in the world, with installed capacity at 6,000 MW. The dam project is expected to costs USD $3.6 billion dollars and is being developed by Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power-1, China Power Investment Corporation, and Asia World Company of Burma. Region

EuroSibEnergo’s Hong Kong IPO Threatens Rivers of Siberia and Lake Baikal

Monday, March 14, 2011
An international coalition of NGOs for the protection of transboundary rivers, Rivers without Boundaries, has presented evidence of undisclosed environmental risks to investors in advance of EuroSibEnergo's IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The report presented on the International Day of Action for Rivers exposes the environmental risks associated with EuroSibEnergo's plans to use the proceeds from its IPO to build two mega dams in the fragile river system in Siberia, including those connected to protected Lake Bakal, the largest freshwater system in the world. In connection with E

Scientists Sound Alarm on State of the World’s Rivers

NASA Today, a team of international scientists published the first ever global review of human impacts (such as pollution, dam building and agriculture) on the world’s rivers. Their findings are not pretty: Rivers that serve nearly 80 percent of the world’s population suffer from serious threats to human water security and biodiversity. In spite of billions of dollars in investment, the threats to river ecosystems are particularly high in Europe and the United States. The good news is that smart and cost-effective solutions are available. The global review was led by professors Charles

Korea’s Rivers Feeling Impacts from 4-Rivers Project

Activists protest the 4-Rivers Project at the South Han River
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
From September 2010 World Rivers Review Activists Step Up Campaign to Stop River-Killing ProjectActivists protest the 4-Rivers Project at the South Han River Park Jong-hak/KFEM Since we last reported on South Korea's massive 4-Rivers diversion project (WRR, Sept. 2009), a great deal has happened and the battle to stop the project has intensified. The project continues to be severely criticized by well-qualified scientists, environmentalists, and citizens in Korea and abroad. A lawsuit was filed in November 2009 by academics, 10,000 citizens, and 420 citizen's groups, reflecting the depth of

Environmental Impact Studies on Dams Count for Little in Amazon

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
ALTAMIRA, Brazil, Aug 10 (IPS) - "It's a fait accompli," acknowledges André Villas-Boas, head of the independent SocioEnvironmental Institute (ISA), resigned to the fact that the legal actions and protests have failed to block the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil's Amazon jungle region. But the battles lost against megaprojects harmful to the environment and to indigenous peoples and other local communities have not discouraged activists from mobilising. However, they have made social organisations and experts question the government's decisio

Dams for Patagonia

An article has been published in Science Magazine about the mega-hydroelectric development threat to Chile's Patagonia. This article is particularly noteworthy because of the analysis that considers the potential impacts of both the massive HidroAysén project, as well as the proposal by Xstrata subsidiary Energía Austral to build another series of large dams in the region of Aysén. The article is worth the read, and is available for download below. Science July23 2010 DamsforPatagonia


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