Welcome to the Press Center. Here you will find our current press releases and statements, media contacts, and other resources for journalists.

For all other media inquiries, please reach out to our Communications Manager, Bonnie Barclay at bbarclay@internationalrivers.org or +1 323 363 4874


Siziwe Mota

Africa Program Directorsmota@internationalrivers.org

Pianporn (Pai) Deetes

Thailand and Myanmar Campaigns Directorpai@internationalrivers.org

Monti Aguirre

Latin America Program Coordinatormonti@internationalrivers.org

Josh Klemm

Interim Co-Executive Directorjklemm@internationalrivers.org

Isabella Winkler

Interim Co-Executive Directoriwinkler@internationalrivers.org

Bonnie Barclay

Communications Managerbbarclay@internationalrivers.org

Press Releases

Namibia study

PRESS RELEASE | Namibia at an Energy Crossroads: continue relying on climate-risky hydropower or harness its abundant and cost-effective renewables

Today, International Rivers and EarthLife Namibia released a study by TMP Public on the least-cost pathway for Namibia’s energy needs. Namibia is at a crucial point in its energy system development and must make difficult decisions over the coming years to increase energy supply as demand could double in the next 20 years, while also managing costs and negative impacts. 


PRESS RELEASE | Climate Justice and Human Rights Groups Worldwide Launch One-Month Relay Hunger Strike Calling for Urgent Release of Vietnamese Climate Leader, Dang Dinh Bach

Climate justice and human rights organizations from around the globe are rallying around prominent Vietnamese environmental lawyer, Mr. Dang Dinh Bach, on the two-year anniversary of his arrest with the launch of the #StandwithBach hunger strike. A public letter was also released today by over 80 organizations worldwide calling for Bach’s immediate release, along with a petition and social media campaign.  

Bach speaking

PRESS RELEASE | UN Working Group Finds Imprisonment of Vietnamese Climate Leader, Dang Dinh Bach, Arbitrary and Calls for His “Immediate and Unconditional Release

The UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention just released an opinion regarding the imprisonment of Vietnamese environmental lawyer, Mr. Dang Dinh Bach (“Bach”), finding a “violation of international law” and concerns about a “systemic problem with arbitrary detention” of environmental defenders in Vietnam. 

MEDIA RELEASE | Statement Regarding the Release of Vietnamese Climate Leader, Ms. Nguy Thi Khanh

On behalf of an international coalition of climate justice and human rights organizations, we are overjoyed by news of the early release from prison of Vietnam climate hero, Ms. Nguy Thi Khanh.

She, along with three other climate leaders in Vietnam, was imprisoned on spurious tax evasion charges. The other three remain in jail, including prominent environmental lawyer, Mr. Dang Dinh Bach.

Stand with Bach

PRESS RELEASE | International NGOs Call for Release of Prominent Environmental Defender in Vietnam One Year After 5-Year Prison Sentence

January 24, 2023 | Vietnam International NGOs are rallying around prominent environmental lawyer Dang Dinh Bach on the one-year anniversary of his five-year prison sentence in Vietnam with the launch of the standwithbach.org website and the #StandwithBach social media campaign calling for his immediate release.

“Bach is one of several environmental leaders to be charged with tax offenses that are increasingly being used to silence civil society in Vietnam,” said Maureen Harris, Senior Advisor from International Rivers. “The growing criminalization of environmental leaders in Vietnam must end.”

Klamath EIA

PRESS RELEASE: Klamath Dam Removal Process Enters Home Stretch: Environmental Review Confirms the Benefits of Dam Removal

February 25, 2022 | USA Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the proposed removal of the lower four Klamath River dams. The public is now invited to comment on the DEIS which describes the impacts and benefits of the project “Once again, a thorough analysis by experts reveals dam removal as key for restoring Klamath fisheries and improving water quality” notes Yurok Vice Chairman Frankie Myers.  “Our culture and our fisheries are hanging in the balance. We are ready to start work on dam removal this year.”

Tapajos report cover

PRESS RELEASE: Nova publicação da International Rivers: Para proteger a bacia do Tapajós, é necessário apostar em tecnologias biossustentáveis desenvolvidas dentro da região

February 14, 2022 | Brazil A organização International Rivers lança no dia 14 de fevereiro a publicação Tapajós sob o Sol – Mergulho nas características ecológicas, socioculturais e econômicas da bacia hidrográfica. Escrita por um conjunto de pesquisadores que se debruçaram sobre os aspectos socioambientais de um dos maiores ecossistemas de água doce do Brasil, o livro online e gratuito traz estudos aprofundados sobre arqueologia, biologia e economia sustentável. (Versão móvel completa). Access the executive summary in English and Spanish

PRESS RELEASE | A ticking time bomb: Tomorrow’s hearing can decide the fate of companies responsible for dangerously built dam that threatens more than 3,400 families in Ecuador.

January 31, 2022 | Ecuador – Powered by Canadian, Ecuadorian, Spanish and Swiss investors, the São José del Tambo dam (Hidrotambo S.A.) is considered a rudimentary and dangerously built hydro project and has been threatening the lives and livelihoods of over 140 communities along Dulcepamba River.

On February 1st, an appeals hearing will be held in the Provincial Court of Tungurahua and try to revert a decision in favour of the hydro company. 

PRESS RELEASE | COP26: UN human rights experts highlight continued human rights impacts of dams as civil society, Indigenous leaders call for UN climate financing mechanisms to exclude hydropower

November 9, 2021 | Glasgow, UK—As negotiators convened at COP26 in Glasgow attempt to break the deadlock on emissions cuts and financing mechanisms, a diverse set of voices are calling for the UNFCCC to exclude hydropower from consideration, citing dams’ grave human rights and climate impacts.

statement issued at COP by several UN Special Rapporteurs, which are mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate human rights concerns, called out the unaddressed severe human rights impacts of dams. 

Advancing an Ecological Civilization? report

PRESS RELEASE | New Report: Biodiversity loss driven by world’s largest dam builders poses a major challenge for China’s global biodiversity footprint

October 13, 2021 | Oakland, CA—International Rivers today published a report calling attention to the need for the world’s largest dam building companies to take urgent steps to address the increasing scale and severity of their biodiversity impacts. The report, Advancing Ecological Civilization?, examined the biodiversity footprint of the world’s two largest dam-builders, PowerChina and China Three Gorges and their subsidiaries, which between them are estimated to have well over half of the international hydropower construction market. It found that the companies lack clearly defined “no go” policies to exclude problematic projects, resulting in irreversible damage to some of the most ecologically sensitive sites and rarest species.

Baker River

Press Release | More than 570 Experts from 97 Countries Urge the UN to Strengthen Freshwater Biodiversity Protections As Humanity Faces Catastrophic Losses of Aquatic Species and Habitats

October 11, 2021 | Oakland, CA—Today, International Rivers released a letter signed by more than 570 experts, scientists, engineers, researchers, and practitioners from 97 countries urging the United Nations and national delegates to strengthen actions to protect freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity as they gather this week for the Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers

Press Release | Advocates at IUCN Congress Highlight a Wave of New Support for the Rights of Rivers

September 8 2021 | Marseille, France—Today, advocates from across the globe gathered at the IUCN World Conservation Congress (both in person and remotely) to highlight the precipitous growth of the movement to recognize the rights of rivers and watersheds. The press conference also marked the approximate one year anniversary of the formal launch of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers (“Declaration”), a civil society initiative to define the basic rights to which all rivers are entitled. According to its proponents, the Declaration intends to build awareness and serve as a customizable legal model for governments wishing to join the rights of rivers movement.

Riverscope: A New Geospatial Tool To Assess the True Costs and Financial Risks of Hydropower

August 25, 2021 | Oxford, UK and Oakland, US A new geospatial assessment tool for hydropower, Riverscope, launched today. Riverscope was developed by TMP Systems in collaboration with International Rivers. It is the first comprehensive tool to assess often-overlooked environmental and social risks and connect them quantitatively to the commercial performance of hydropower projects.

A railroad in Tocantins State, Brazil (Credits: PAC).

Financial institutions warned of risks in financing controversial railroad project to export soybeans from the Brazilian Amazon

July 13, 2021 | São Paulo and Brasilia A coalition of civil society organizations delivered today a warning letter to public and private financial institutions regarding a series of risks – social, environmental, legal, financial and reputational – related to their potential involvement in Ferrogrão, a proposed ‘greenfield’ railroad project aimed at promoting exports of mechanized soybeans and other large-scale agribusiness commodities in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.

Coalition of International Organizations Files an Amicus Curiae Brief Calling for the Recognition of the Intrinsic Rights of the Marañón River in Peru

July 12, 2021 Lima, Peru—On July 5th, a coalition of international organizations filed an Amicus Curiae brief before the Celendín Court of Justice, Civil Court, requesting the recognition of the inherent rights of the Marañón River associated with the exercise of the biocultural rights of the indigenous communities that live in the basin. On September 28, 2018, the representatives of three communities of the Celendín Province with the legal support of Earthrights International (ERI) and the Institute of Legal Defense (ILD), filed a petition requesting that the resolution approving the EIA of the Chadín II Hydroelectric project be declared null and void and the Marañón River be recognized as an entity subject to rights.

South Africa’s energy crisis: New study confirms Inga 3 hydropower would cost South Africans an extra R10 billion per year

June 29, 2021 | Today, International Rivers and WoMin African Alliance published a new report, INGA 3: Too High a Cost – study of the Socio-Economic Costs of the Inga 3 Dam for South Africa. The study, conducted by financial experts from UK-based TMP Systems, provides the first authoritative accounting of the true costs to South Africa of importing power from the planned Inga 3 hydropower scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Organizations warn OECD of Bolsonaro’s backsliding on human rights and environmental safeguards

May 12, 2021 | Brasília, Brazil – Over sixty civil society organizations delivered a letter to OECD Secretary General-elect Mathias Cormann this Wednesday, raising concerns about Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s backsliding on human rights and environmental issues just as the country’s accession to this prestigious multilateral organization is being considered.

Coalition Submits Amicus Brief in Nangaritza Case Calling for a Bold Application of the Rights of Nature in Ecuadorid gains in giving rivers rights

February 2, 2021 | QUITO, ECUADOR—This week, a coalition of forest experts, river protectors, and law professors submitted an amicus brief to Ecuador’s Constitutional Court calling for a robust application of the “Rights of Nature” to protect the Upper Nangaritza River Basin Protected Forest (“Bosque Protector de la Cuenca Alta del Rio Nangaritza”) from dangerous and harmful mining.

Stronger river protections vital to a green, just recovery

December 3, 2020 | On the 20th Anniversary of the landmark World Commission on Dams Report, a new report from International Rivers and Rivers without Boundaries charts an alternative course for post-pandemic energy development than the revitalization of a failing hydropower industry. As Rivers for Recoverydetails, despite the rhetoric of the hydropower industry, the industry’s global flagship projects continue to prove poor investments.


Fortescue Metals Group’s Plan to Develop Grand Inga Hydro Scheme Won’t Deliver Green Energy for DRC

June 21, 2021 | International Rivers expresses its profound concerns over the announcement that Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has entered into an agreement with the government of  the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to develop the Grand Inga project for hydrogen production.

Open letter in support of Munduruku

Open Letter in Support of the Munduruku People in Jacareacanga, in the state of Pará

June 2, 2021 | We, Indigenous leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, and members of the scientific community, express, through this letter, our repudiation of the attacks suffered by the Munduruku Indigenous women in Jacareacanga (southwestern Pará), on May 26 of this year. We also declare our full support for operations to combat illegal mineral exploration carried out inside the Munduruku territory, as well as for investigations of those responsible for these environmental crimes. 

Group protesting for peace and no dams

A global call to action on the situation in Myanmar

March 30, 2021 | We stand with our partners and friends in Myanmar. We mourn the tragic loss of life and condemn the brutal violence and unimaginable terror they are facing. We applaud their incredible courage. 

Climate Bonds Initiative’s new hydropower standard is a false climate solution

March 29, 2021 | Last week, the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) announced their approval of a new bond certification scheme for hydropower.1 This represents an unfortunate setback for the climate and for meaningful efforts to address the climate crisis. As our written submissions into the process pointed out,2 the CBI hydropower standard will generate no tangible climate benefit and instead will permit business-as-usual practice to count toward the Paris climate commitments.

Building burns in the Munduruku village

International Rivers Condemns Illegal Miners’ Attacks on Munduruku Territory and Demands Immediate Protection for Indigenous People in Brazil

March 28, 2021 | International Rivers condemns and denounces the brutal attack against the Mundukuru Indigenous people on May 26. A serious offensive happened when illegal gold miners attacked a Mundukuru village in Pará State (Brazil) in retaliation for a Federal Police operation to dismantle illegal mining sites on Munduruku territory.

A Community-Centered Response to Violence Against Asian American Communities

March 19, 2021 | International Rivers condemns the recent and historic violence and harassment towards Asian Americans in the United States. We have signed the below statement in solidarity. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to sign on here.

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