A group of independent experts -- including internationally-renowned authorities on the Amazon -- have found serious errors and omissions in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Brazil’s massive Madeira River hydroelectric project. The experts found the EIA to be inadequate, and recommend that additional studies be undertaken to evaluate the project’s impacts. The independent studies were commissioned by the Rondônia Public Attorney’s office, and financed by the consortium seeking to build the dams. Brazil’s environmental protection agency, IBAMA, is currentl
Blue Nile, site of Grand Renaissance Dam The Grand Renaissance Dam is the largest engineering project ever attempted in Ethiopia. The project was launched in April 2011, and construction has begun at the remote, rugged site about 40 km from the border with Sudan. The project has been shrouded in high secrecy. Nearly two years after its launch, the government has yet to produce an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the project, and thus very little is known about its impacts. One major concern is the project’s potential to alter the flow of the Nile and affect neighboring countr
In a letter to the Forest Advisory Committee of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, International Rivers argues that "permitting Teesta-IV is not advisable for geological, seismological, ecological, socio-cultural and environmental reasons."
China has made great efforts to support poverty reduction in Africa, and likes to present itself as a friend of the African people. A new report warns that its loans for the Gibe III Dam and irrigation projects on the Omo River now threaten to pull China into an explosive regional conflict between well-armed groups in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
East Africa's “Aral Sea” in the Making?“If Ethiopia completes the Gibe III Dam and continues to press ahead with large-scale irrigation developments, the result will be a cascade of hydrological, ecological and socio-economic impacts that will generate a region-wide crisis for indigenous livelihoods and biodiversity and thoroughly destabilize the Ethiopia-Kenyan borderlands around Lake Turkana. The long-term effect could parallel what has happened to Central Asia’s Aral Sea, one of the planet’s worst environmental disasters.” So begins a paper that describes how hydrological chang
This toolkit includes a lesson plan that features a 20-minute video called "Wrong Climate for Damming Rivers, 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. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the role of dam-building in a changing global environment from a systems-level perspective, at times taking on the role of different stakeholders to understand the complexity of the problem. This toolkit includes the video, extension ideas, and links to additional resources.
Glacial lakes in Bhutan Este manual de herramientas incluye un plan de lecciones que tiene un video de 20 minutos llamado “El Clima Equivocado para Construir Represas en los Ríos,” que utiliza Google Earth para visualizar lo que podría suceder a los principales ríos del mundo cuando el cambio climático y el auge actual en la construcción de represas choquen. Se alentará a que los estudiantes piensen críticamente sobre el papel de la construcción de represas en un medio ambiente global cambiante desde una perspectiva a nivel de sistemas, tomando a veces el papel de diferentes in
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 f
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
Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them.
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