Before joining International Rivers in 2011, Mr. Rainey served as Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in northern California from 2005-2011, where he built a grassroots movement to restore a healthy Yuba River, championed the decommissioning of two federal dams, protected wild salmon runs, forged alliances with indigenous communities, improved water quality and habitats, and fought new dams.
It’s been 20 years to the month since I was last bobbing down the swift current of the Zambezi River. The rafting companies that earned a living plying the whitewater below Victoria Falls knew those Class 5 rapids so well, they even placed a photographer where I – and about five others – were launched out the front of our raft and into the river.
The Chair of International Rivers' Board of Directors talks about our excitement in receiving the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. This award wonderfully affirms the strategies we have been pursuing to protect rivers at risk and the rights of communities that depend on them. The way we see it, we are all in this together – one river, one sea, one people.
At International Rivers, we and our partners are on the frontlines of resource conflicts whose outcomes have some of the starkest repercussions for living on Earth in the 21st century. We have staff on the ground campaigning hard for the river basins with the greatest biological and cultural diversity, the most productive fisheries, and those that originate in the highest mountains and flow through the greatest human population densities.
International Rivers has a presence throughout the world, yet we were founded in Berkeley, California, which remains the address of our main office. Berkeley has quite a reputation: hosting the preeminent public university in the US, serving as the flashpoint for a wide array of social, economic and ecological movements in the US, and for going to great lengths to situate itself as an “international” city.
I’m now back in California after the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development that played out in Rio de Janeiro last week. With weak participation from key governments – and strong “title sponsor” influence from mammoth energy and mining corporations, it’s not so surprising that the final document from the official proceedings has widely been called a failure for people and the planet.
Today the UN Conference on Sustainable Development formally opens, yet the preliminary "dialogue" process, side events, and People's Summit that is all part of "Rio+20" has been underway for days. One indigenous leader, Sheyla Juruna, was on hand at the Symposium on Clean Energy Solutions for Brazil that took place yesterday. A full house turned up at the Planetarium, a fitting venue to discuss 21st century opportunities and challenges to transitioning Brazil away from its hydro-dependent energy portfolio and tapping into the country's truly sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar.
One of our colleagues, Ikal Angelei from Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, has won a 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to unite indigenous communities in opposition to the Gibe III Dam upstream in Ethiopia.
Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them.
International Rivers, 2150 Allston Way, Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94704-1378, USA Tel: +1 510 848 1155 | Fax: +1 510 848 1008 | Email Please direct all inquiries, comments, and error reports to our contact form. International Rivers is licensed under Creative Commons