News / 7 May 2009

Heated debate on dam building

In March 2009 Both ENDS attended the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, where we organised events on the right to water, the so-called 'negotiated approach' to catchment management, and the alignment of infrastructure related lobby of southern civil society groups.


In addition, Both ENDS attended the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum's (HSAF's) consultation on environmental and social standards for dam building. This event took place in a highly charged atmosphere, as those with commercial interests in dam building, united in the International Hydropower Association, strongly disagreed with many NGOs present about the approach to be taken when developing standards for dam building.


Essentially, multiple NGOs argued, these standards already exist in the form of the recommendations made by the World Commission on Dams in 2000. These standards have never been applied by dam builders. Now, nine years later, they are developing their own standards and hoping to get international recognition for this. Despite the disagreement Both ENDS sees an opportunity to revitalise the debate on dam building and is engaging with other NGOs and UNEP to seen whether enough momentum exists to restart the World Commission on Dams process.


To download the Both ENDS article on dam building, please click here. For more information contact Tobias Schmitz.


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