Human Rights Must Come First

Human Rights Must Come First

By: Zachary Hurwitz In some countries, dams are being built without the basic protection of human rights. In Sarawak, Malaysia, the Murum Dam was built before even its environmental impact assessment was published or discussed with affected communities. In Brazil, the Belo Monte Dam was approved by the government in 2005 even before an EIA had been written in 2008;…

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PRESS RELEASE | HidroAysén Cancelled

PRESS RELEASE | HidroAysén Cancelled

Chile Rejects Environmental Approval of Patagonia Megadams FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Berkeley, US: Today Chile’s Committee of Ministers – the country’s highest administrative authority – cancelled the environmental permits for five controversial dams proposed on two of Chilean Patagonia’s wildest rivers – the culmination of an eight-year battle. “This is the right move and an import step…

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What is Dirty Energy?

What is Dirty Energy?

By: Institute for Policy Studies and International Rivers The Green Climate Fund must be a vehicle for a fundamental shift in global energy lending to ensure a transformation to low-carbon and climate-resilient energy sources that are universally accessible for all people by 2030. We call on the Green Climate Fund not to finance dirty energy. But…

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Large Dams Are Uneconomic, Scientific Study Finds

Large Dams Are Uneconomic, Scientific Study Finds

By: Peter Bosshard, former Executive Director “We find that even before accounting for negative impacts on human society and environment, the actual construction costs of large dams are too high to yield a positive return,” a new report states. “Large dams also take inordinately long periods of time to get built, making them ineffective in resolving urgent energy…

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Colombia’s Highest Court Takes the High Ground

Colombia’s Highest Court Takes the High Ground

By: Monti Aquirre, Latin American Program Director There was enough fish and plantains to feed the more than 500 fisherfolks gathered by the banks of the Magdalena River on a quiet Sunday in early March. Whole families who would be affected by El Quimbo Dam arrived in dozens of canoes to attend an urgent meeting…

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US Congress Takes Landmark Decision for Rivers and Rights

US Congress Takes Landmark Decision for Rivers and Rights

By: Peter Bosshard, former Policy Director The World Bank is eager to re-engage in large dam projects around the world, and other financiers are following in its wake. The US Congress has now poured cold water on these plans. In a landmark decision it has instructed the US government to oppose the construction of large dams…

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Human Rights and Kyoto’s Carbon Offsetting Scheme

Human Rights and Kyoto’s Carbon Offsetting Scheme

By: Katy Yan Update: Twelve civil society organizations, including International Rivers, have sent letters to the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment urging them to conduct formal investigations into the human rights impacts of the Barro Blanco dam located on the Tabasará River in Panama. The…

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Almost 28,000 Rivers Disappear In China

By Katy Yan, Former China Program Coordinator Originally featured in World Rivers Review (June 2013) More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to China’s “First National Water Census Bulletin” published in March. Only 22,909 rivers were located by surveyors, compared with the more than 50,000…

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Memories and Unanswered Questions on the Zambezi

Memories and Unanswered Questions on the Zambezi

By: Rudo Sanyanga, former Africa Program Director Although I had spent many years working on the Zambezi River, the lower Zambezi region in Mozambique was unfamiliar to me. I had crossed the Zambezi at the Tete Bridge a few times before but had never been on the stretch between the Cahora Bassa Dam and Tete town…

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Small Hydro a Potential Bridge for Africa’s Energy Divide

Small Hydro a Potential Bridge for Africa’s Energy Divide

By: Wim Jonker Klunne Africa is home to one of the world’s largest off-grid populations: approximately 590 million people live with no connection to their national electric grid, according to the International Energy Agency. Grid expansion in Africa has been notoriously slow, and thus new solutions are needed to bridge this energy divide. Small hydropower can play a pivotal role…

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Hasta la Victoria: La Parota Dam Cancelled

Hasta la Victoria: La Parota Dam Cancelled

By: Berklee Lowrey-Evans On August 16, 2012, after nearly 10 years of campaigning, La Parota Dam was officially cancelled. This is an amazing victory for the communities in Mexico – especially the Council of Communal Land Owners and Communities Against Construction of La Parota Dam (CECOP) – who have been fighting the project from the beginning, and…

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