World Commission on Dams

Who Said It Couldn't Be Done?

The most comprehensive guidelines for large dams that protect the rights of river-dependent communities were outlined by the World Commission on Dams (WCD) report in 2000. When it was published, dam-affected communities and their allies worldwide celebrated its recommendations, which charted a better way forward for dam-building and community-centered development. Many governments and institutions took up the challenge of adopting the WCD framework through national dialogues, some of which have led to real policy changes. However, other groups, like the dam industry and the World Bank (wh


Thursday, July 1, 2010
实践中的世界水坝委员建议 资料手册 作为独立机构的世界水坝委员会(WCD)是在世界银行和国际自然保护联盟 (IUCN)的赞助下于1998年5月正式成立的。其使命包括评价水坝开发的效用,以及为未 来的项目制定发展标准和指导纲领。该委员会由来自政府、工业、学术界和公民社会的12 名代表组成。委员会主席由南非水资源部部长卡德尔␣阿斯马(Kader Asmal)担任。 关于这本手册 这本手册聚焦于世界水坝委员会建议的几个主要方面:1)证明获得公众的赞同,以及

Dam Standards

Fishermen on the Amur-Heilong River, China
Fishermen on the Amur-Heilong River, China
Eugene Simonov

The most comprehensive guidelines for large dams that protect t

Water Alternatives: Special Issue on the WCD+10

Tucuruí dam in Brazil
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Tucuruí dam in Brazil Andreas Missbach In November 2000, the World Commission on Dams published its ground-breaking report, Dams and Development, after an unprecedented multi-stakeholder process. Ten years later, Water Alternatives, an independent academic online journal, revisits the WCD and its impacts in a special issue, and explores the question: Is the WCD still relevant? A team of editors and guest editors have selected a range of 20 papers, six viewpoints, and four book reviews that help to illustrate the evolution in the dams debate. The goal of the special issue is to examine the in

Governments and Institutions That Endorse the WCD Recommendations

Governments and funders that endorse the WCD recommendations: Although the Commission dissolved after publishing its report in November 2000, the WCD recommendations live on and have become the most important and legitimate global benchmark for dam building. The following are examples of institutions and governments that have endorsed the WCD report: Several governments - including Germany, Nepal, South Africa, Sweden and Vietnam - have organized dialogue processes to integrate WCD recommendations into national policies. The German government in particular has expressed a strong commitment to

Protecting Rivers and Rights

Fishing by the Da River near the Son La Hydropower Project in Vietnam
The 10th Anniversary of the World Commission on Dams ReportFishing by the Da River near the Son La Hydropower Project in Vietnam Hoai ThanhThe most comprehensive guidelines for large dams that protect the rights of river-dependent communities were outlined by the World Commission on Dams (WCD) in 2000. The WCD assessed the development effectiveness of dams in an independent, participatory process, and established what has come to be regarded as the gold standard for dam building. The WCD principles encompass basic values of human rights and sustainable development that are essential to minimi

Ghana Dams Dialogue: Focus on Affected People

Bui Dam resetttlement site
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers ReviewBui Dam resetttlement site Clement Otu-Tei Hydropower plays a major role in Ghana's energy supply. Demand for energy is rising and despite strategies to diversify the energy supply (for example, through a new gas pipeline), hydro schemes remain high in the government's National Strategic Energy Plan. Ghana now has two major dams: the Akosombo and Kpong dams, whose considerable social and environmental problems still linger today, decades after they were built. Another large dam, Bui, is being built by a Chinese company. Ghana's Dams Dialogue, inspired by the

Taking the WCD to Heart in Uganda

Boaters near Bujugali Dam
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers ReviewIn Uganda, we began working to popularize the WCD recommendations immediately after the report was launched in 2000. We formed a multi-stakeholder forum, called the Uganda Dams Dialogue, which brought all the major stakeholders together. We had participation from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Environment Management Authority, the Prime Minister's office, representatives of NGOs, dam-affected people, dam developers, the media and the cultural institutions. The Secretariat was hosted by NGOs represented by my organizatio

Doing Dams Right: The WCD in Practice

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers Review In the 10 years since the World Commission on Dams (WCD) released its landmark "Dams and Development" report, no single dam project has exemplified the full scope of its cutting-edge approach, and most dam building nations have failed to implement the WCD framework. But there have been some projects that demonstrate WCD principles in action, as well as laws and policies that reflect the principles espoused by the WCD. Here we highlight a few of these positive examples. Tribal fishermen have fought for dam removal on the Klamath for years Bob Dawson Addres

Interview: Time for a New Dialogue on Dams

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From June 2010 World Rivers ReviewJohn Dore, Dipak Gyawali and Deborah Moore are experts on dams and the environment, and guest editors of a new issue of Water Alternatives magazine. Our policy director Peter Bosshard discussed the current state of the large dams debate with them. Look Who’s Talking: Our PanelistsJohn Dore is an advisor to AusAID's Mekong Region Water & Infrastructure Unit in Laos. He previously coordinated IUCN's Water and Nature Initiative in Asia. Dipak Gyawali is the director of the Nepal Water Conservation Foundation. He is a member of the Nepal Academy of Science a


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