Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica received information yesterday, September 8, that IBAMA (the federal environmental protection agency) delivered an opinion favoring the work plan of the state electric company planning the dam (CELESC - Centrais Elétricas de Santa Catarina), authorizing the deforestation of the work sites.
According to data presented in the EIA/RIMA (environmental impact statement), building the dam would mean the complete elimination of 270 hectares of the remaining Atlantic Coast rainforest. The Rio Cubatão would be diverted, definitively drying out 13 km. of its bed and cutting by 60% the volume of water circulating during construction, a period estimated to be 33 months. The project will not only affect the environment, but will also affect the quality of life and water quality of residents of the city of Joinville, according to data of the CASAN - Environmental Sanitation Council. Besides this, it will also cause the complete disappearance of the Rio Cubatão waterfall, one of the largest in the country, 360 meters high, and it will also flood nine archaeological sites.
Cubatão Dam will have an installed capacity 45 MW, but will generate only 22.5 MW, equal to only 2% of the energy demand of Joinville. Until the dam is completed, Joinville will be supplied with energy using gas imported via the Bolivia-Brazil pipeline. With this pipeline, the city will save the equivalent of about 50 MW, in terms of energy needs which will be supplied by gas, instead of electrical energy. Already, the city of Joinville is being supplied by a natural gas generating station, with a 450 MW capacity which can be increased to up to 650 MW, 40 times more than Cubatão would generate. Another fact is that Itá and Machadinho Dams, both in Santa Catarina, already in construction, will have a total capacity of more than 3,500 MW, meeting all the state's energy demand.
Cubatão will cause irreversible impacts to local fauna and flora, affecting 9 endemic species and 37 species in threat of extinction. it will also affect an area of fundamental importance for preserving the corridor for fauna in southern Brazil, regions covered by the Atlantic Coast rainforest, between the Serra do Mar and the Serra Geral.
To err is normal, but one must also learn from his mistakes. Unfortunately, certain agencies do not learn from their mistakes. Political pressures have caused huge environmental disasters in Brazil, principally when democratic institutions did not function and the attitude was "anything goes". As proof we have Porto Primavera Dam and so many other examples.
Even a superficial analysis is sufficient to show that Cubatão Dam is not needed, a fact which we feel was forgotten by the responsible agencies. Its environmental and financial costs will be extremely high, and the benefits in terms of energy generation will be negligable. The cost of kilowatt per hour are disproportionally higher than thermoelectric plants in the same region.
WE URGE YOU TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION SENDING LETTERS AND OTHER FORMS OF COMMUNICATION TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITIES IN SANTA CATARINA STATE, MUCH AS CASAN, FATMA, IBAMA, (addresses below), IN ORDER TO DEMONSTRATE THE ENVIRONMENTAL INVIABILITY OF THE PROJECT AND RAISE THEIR CONSCIOUSNESS REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING THE LITTLE THAT IS LEFT OF THE ATLANTIC COAST RAINFOREST. YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED TO AVOID THE CARRYING OUT OF THIS DISASTROUS PROJECT!
Rua Emílio Bium, no. 83
Centro- Florianópolis- SC
CEP 8802-010 Brazil
Fone:(+55.48) 221 5000
Fax:(+55.48) 221 5444
IBAMA/SC - federal environmental protection service
Av. Mauro Ramos no. 1013
CEP 88015-900 Florianópolis SC, Brazil
Fone: (+55.48) 2233465
Fax: (+55.48) 2233465
FATMA- Santa Catarina state environmental protection service
Rua Felipe Schimidt no. 485
Floranópolis SC, Brazil
For more information:
c/o the Legal Department
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica
Rua Manoel da Nóbrega no. 456 04001-001 - São Paulo, SP
Tel: (+55.11) 887-1195
Fax: (+55.11) 885-1680
portug. version :
08.09.98 : Brazil : Urgent action against the Cubatao Dam
from:FUNDACAO SOS MATA ATLANTICA
(SOS ATLANTIC COAST RAINFOREST FOUNDATION)
Cubatão Dam - Joinville, Santa Catarina state/ Brazil
Um dos mais significativos remanescentes florestais do Domínio da Mata Atlántica do Estado de Santa Catarina está sob ameaça de supressão. Nesta região, pretende-se construir uma Hidrelêtrica no Rio Cubatão, em Joinville.
A Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica recebeu comunicação ontem, 8 de setembro, informando que o IBAMA deu parecer favorável `a apresentação do programa de trabalho dos empreendedores (CELESC - Centrais Elétricas de Santa Catarina), com concessão da autorização de desmatamento nos locais dos canteiros de obras.
Segundo dados apresentados no EIA/RIMA, a implantação da obra exigirá a eliminação completa de 270 hectares de remanescentes florestais da Mata atlântica. Haverá o desvio do Rio Cubatão, secando definitivamente treze quilômetros de seu leito e interrompendo em 60% o volume de água em circulação durante a etapa de construção do empreendimento, com duração prevista para 33 meses. A obra atingirá não só o meio ambiente, como comprometerá a qualidade de vida e a qualidade da água da população de Joinville, como apontam dados fornecidos pelo CASAN - Conselho de Saneamento Ambiental. Além disso, irá também ocasionar o desaparecimento por completo do Salto do Rio Cubatão, uma das maiores queda livre do país, com 369 metros de altura e inundará nove sítios arqueológicos já identificados.
A UHE Cubatão terá capacidade de 45 MW e gerará apenas (pasmem!) 22,5 MW, ou seja apenas 2% da demanda energética de Joinville. Antes que a UHE Cubatão esteja pronta, Joinville estará sendo abastecida com gás natural do gasoduto Brasil/Bolívia. Com este gasoduto, a cidade terá economia de no mínimo 50MW, sendo que a indústria passará a utilizar essa forma de energia que na realidade vai existir em nossa matriz energética deixando de usar energia elétrica. Já a cidade de Joinville estará sendo abastecida pela usina termoelétrica a gás natural, com capacidade de 450 MW podendo ser ampliada até 650MW, ou seja 40 vezes maior do que a de Cubatão. Outro fato é que as Usinas de Itá e de Machadinho, ambas em Santa Catarina, que já estão em construção, terão capacidade de mais de 3.500MW, atendendo a demanda de todo o Estado.
AUHE Cubatão causará impactos irreversíveis sobre a fauna e flora local, atingindo espécies endêmicas (9 espécies) e em extinção (37 espécies). Irá também atingir área de fundamental importância para preservação do corredor de fauna do sul do Brasil, regiões cobertas por Mata Atlântica, entre a Serra do Mar e a Serra Geral.
Quando algo costuma dar errado o normal é que não se repita o que deu origem a tal erro. Porém, e infelizmente, esta constatação não faz parte da rotina de certos empreendedores. Repetir fatos e insistir nesta repetição é no mínimo teimosia. Temos exemplos de que desmandos e pressões políticas ocasionaram grandes desastres ambientais, mas em épocas em que a democracia estava comprometida e querer por querer bastava. Como prova temos a UHE de Porto Primavera e tantos outros exemplos.
Uma análise superficial já basta para mostrar quanto desnecessária é a construção UHE Cubatão, fato que, parece-nos, foi esquecido pelos órgão responsíveis. O custo ambiental e financeiro referente a obra será altíssimo, e o benefício da geração de energia não o compensará. O custo kw/hora da hidrelêtrica é desproporcionalmente maior quando comparado com o da termoelêtrica, implantado na mesma região. Pode-se dizer que a iniciativa privada está buscando essa equação na geração da energia ou comprar na Bacia das Almas, projetos mau geridos e falidos das estatais agora em extinção.
Precisamos uma imediata ação com envio de cartas e demais formas de comunicação aos órgãos de meio ambiente do estado de Santa Catarina, tais como CASAN, FATMA, IBAMA, (endereço ao final), com vistas a demonstrar a inviabilidade ambiental e conscientizá-los da importância de preservarmos o que ainda resta de Mata Atlântica, requerendo medidas enérgicas para a não realização do empreendimento.
Rua Emílio Bium, no. 83
Centro- Florianópolis- SC
Fone:(048) 221 5000
Fax:(048) 221 5444
Av. Mauro Ramos no. 1013
Pone: (048) 2233465
Fax: (048) 2233465
FATMA-órgão Ambiental de Santa Catarina
Rua Felipe Schimidt no. 485
Floranópolis- Santa Catarina
Maiores informações :
A/C Departamento Jurídico
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica
Rua Manoel da Nóbrega no. 456
04001-001 - São Paulo, SP
Tel: (011) 887-1195
Fax: (011) 885-1680
A David and Goliath struggle is playing out in the upper reaches of Chile's
Biobío River. Members of the small but determined indigenous Pehuenche
population are standing up to the huge utility, Endesa, which is building
dams in their communities.
On July 30, 100 Pehuenche people and their supporters attempted to block construction on the US$500 million Ralco Dam in the upper Biobío. Entering from a side road, the protesters formed a human chain to block trucks that were trying to work on the 10-km-long road to the dam site. The protest heated up when 35 local police officers, including a riot squad, tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas. The protesters threw the canisters back. In the end, four people were arrested and charged with public disorder, including Cristian Opaso of the Grupo de Acción por el Biobío (GABB), and Augustin Correa, a Pehuenche active in the struggle.
The unrest at the dam site forced Endesa and government officials to agree to meet with affected people on August 12. As a result of the meeting, Planning Minister German Quintana ordered Endesa to stop further work at the construction site until the dispute can be resolved. Despite this, 30 Pehuenche protestors continue to guard the bridge leading to the dam site. Conadi, the governmental agency responsible for protecting Chile's indigenous population, had earlier petitioned Endesa to suspend all work in the area, but Endesa refused and construction continued. According to Chile's 1993 Indigenous Law, Endesa cannot begin construction without written consent from the 400 Pehuenches who would be resettled to fill the dam's 13-square-mile (3,400 ha) reservoir. The law states that indigenous land cannot be sold, only traded, and that 100 percent of all families involved must agree to the move. The upper Biobío was formally declared an indigenous area in March, 1997.
As with many development projects, the community is divided over the issue.
There are those who support the project, believing it will improve their situation, while others remain steadfastly opposed. Nine families have said they will never trade their land for any price. Nicolasa Quintremán, whose family has owned and lived on the same land for 500 years, says, "The only way I'll leave here is dead."
Although Endesa has managed to obtain written consent from at least half of the families, many of these are reportedly trying to contest their contracts. According to Christian Science Monitor (May 21, 1998), Endesa told the families that they would receive compensation such as animals and farm equipment, but the families have yet to see such items. CONADI has been looking into the alleged discrepancies of the barter contracts. Also, according to a United Press International (UPI) story, an internal report by Conadi confirms that some of the families may have been coerced by Endesa into signing the contracts. The UPI story alleges that Endesa told the families that, because the company had already received all needed permits, they had no choice but to sign. A Pehuenche man who signed told Conadi representatives, "We don't have any alternative. They are going to flood our land and we are not fish."
Political Power Play
On the eve of a critical Conadi vote concerning Ralco Dam, President Eduardo Frei fired Domingo Namuncura, the head of the Conadi. The vote concerned the legality of land swap contracts which Endesa had negotiated with the Peheunche. Namuncura concluded that the contracts had been unfairly negotiated and that the land offered the Pehuenche would not sustain their culture and lifestyle. His vote, when added to that of the eight indigenous people on the Conadi council, would have torpedoed the project.
In his resignation letter to President Frei, Namuncura wrote, "Conadi's review of the land swap contracts, in strict accordance with the Indigenous Law and our own regulations, found that the contracts could not be approved because they did not comply with a series of requirements regarding their conception and execution. The Indigenous Law demands respect for indigenous culture Indigenous lands are to be protected so that they are used appropriately and so that ecological balances are maintained. There is no doubt that the Ralco Dam project will have a tremendous impact on the indigenous people living there This is why the procedures used by Endesa in relation to Pehuenche families and communities merit Conadi's utmost scrutiny, and have been shown to be lacking with respect to the property offered as compensation and with respect to mitigation of social and cultural factors."
President Frei - a staunch supporter of the project and a hydraulic engineer - could not have expected the rally of support for the Pehuenches that followed. Marching from Santiago to Valparaiso, 70 Mapuches (Chile's largest indigenous group) insisted that the country's Human Rights Commission travel to the Upper Biobío and assess the situation. The Communist Party of Chile has also pledged its support. Hugo Inostroza, the Communist Party Secretary, says that the Ralco Dam will cause the "cultural ethnocide" of the Pehuenche. In all, the six dams planned for the Biobío River would force the relocation of 1,000 Pehuenches, a full 20 percent of the survivors of this ancient culture. Endesa has announced that they will start full construction of Ralco in early 1999.
This is not the first struggle for land rights faced by the Pehuenche. The Pehuenches are descendants of the mounted warriors who held back Spanish conquest for 200 years. According to anthropologist Theodore Downing, the Pehuenche people held 54 million hectares in the last century but their land has now been reduced to seven reservations with a total of 30,000 hectares. The river and the land are interwoven into their spiritual and cultural beliefs, and though most adult Pehuenche are considered illiterate, they read and understand the language of the river, the Piñon pines, and the river valley that has been at the core of their spiritual and physical home for centuries.
The Indigenous Law and the determination of some Pehuenches are not Endesa's only obstacles. A lawsuit against Endesa has been filed at the Sixth Civil Court in Santiago. The plaintiffs claim that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Ralco should be declared null and void because the procedure for implementing the EIA did not comply with established guidelines. The lawsuit against Endesa is also supported by three members of the Parliament.
Chances are, Endesa won't give up the fight easily. The company and its shareholders have much to gain from this project . A representative of Endesa told GABB that, "We have until the year 2002 [the year the reservoir would fill] to solve the issue of the lands of the Pehuenche."
The hydro-development of the Biobío River began with the 450-MW Pangue Dam.
Built and operated by Pangue S.A., the Pangue Dam was financed with the help of a US$150 million loan from the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank's private sector arm. The IFC's and Endesa's poor handling of the project's social issues prompted two investigations which revealed human rights abuses associated with the project. One investigations were done by the Committee for Human Rights of the American Anthropological Association and the International Federation of Human Rights. Both reports were highly critical of IFC and Endesa.
Aside from displacing 600 people, the 570-MW Ralco Dam and its reservoir will threaten at least 50 species of mammal and aquatic life dependent on the river; increase access to logging; subject 1,400 hectares of denuded reservoir banks to erosion and landslides; decrease downstream flow during low water periods and seriously impact downstream aquatic life and irrigation practices.
Chile's intermittent drought is also a cause of concern. With precipitation levels at 50 percent below average this year, reservoirs in the south - where much of Chile's hydropower comes from - are only half full. From 1988 through 1990, Chile experienced a severe drought which forced Endesa to purchase outside electricity to satisfy supply contracts. In its 1996 economic prospectus, Endesa states, "There can be no assurance that a period of severe and sustained drought will not adversely affect the Company's results of operations."
International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94703 USA
FROM:Friends of the Earth-Slovakia/Center for Environmental
Based on long-term experience of dam construction in Slovakia, Slovak non-governmental organizations (NGOs) state that:
The communist system after the Second World War built dams while
liquidating dozens of communities and forcibly displacing thousands of
people from their homes and land without any fair compensation. In almost
all of these cases people were hounded out of their homes by undemocratic
administrative measures by state authorities combined with threats and the
false promises of state dam industry. The affected villages gradually lost
their independent municipal status while becoming subordinated to nearby
villages which in turn brought a rapid reduction in the state subsidies,
soon resulting in the collapse of their social and technical
infrastructure. At present the state authorities and dam industry continue
to use these same methods.
None of the flooded communities has ever depended either on energy or on drinking or irrigating water from the large dams. On the contrary, consumption of energy in these small rural communities compared to its mass wasting in cities is significantly lower. All of these communities were traditionally able to obtain drinking and irrigating water from their local resources at almost no cost, in contrast to large cities which usually rely upon expensive long-distance transportation of water, losing almost half of it in the bad quality network of pipelines. Thus, rural cummunities become an involuntary victim of the "development" of large urban areas.
non-transparent decision-making over the planning, funding and control of dam construction and operation in Slovakia excludes not only the effective participation of the affected communities and citizens but also prevents them from having access to basic and current information. Besides, the current process of centralization of state power to the detriment of the rights of municipalities directly affects regional managment and land use planning. The power of the state authorities and state controlled dam industry is being strengthened with regard to the processes of forcible relocation of people in the name of so-called "public interest". Dam construction in Slovakia is funded by the state budget through state-owned corporations or via state guaranteed loans. Since complete financial data have never been disclosed it is impossible to evaluate the economic merits of such construction.
Many of the dams have never reached their original goals at all or they are utilized only partially. In spite of this fact no serious independent analyses exist to prove any economic merits of planned huge new investments or to justify the extent of social and environmental damage accompanying almost any dam construction. State authorities and dam industry have never published a complete assessment of the long-term cost-benefit balance of dams. Even worse, it seems that no comprehensive data in this respect exists.
Economic analyses, according to which state authorities make decisions over the funding of large dams, do not take into consideration the negative experiences of previous failed projects. Such analyses are based on outdated and overestimated prognoses of water and energy needs. These analyses ignore the direct and indirect costs of social and environmental damage.
Decision-making authorities fail to take seriously into account less expensive and environment-friendly alternatives to dam construction and merely support the interests of the dam industry who is seeking profits and maximizing the volume of investments instead of considering quality, efficiency and real needs. The industry continue to waste public funds on obsolete megalomanic communist projects which do not correspond to current needs. Such wastage of investments heavily affects the most important social sectors of health care, education, culture and security. Enormous loans for large dam projects significantly contribute to the lack of credits in Slovak banks and to the high price of such credits which has negative cosequences for small and medium-size businesses. State authorities used to themselves abuse and still tolerate the use of public funds by dam industry for the worthless promotion of large dams. They do not take actions against the misuse of public money on the priority construction of expensive infrastructure for communities around sites of future dams in order to get their political support for dam projects. At the same time these investments are not being included in the total dam project budgets. In order to push through dam construction dam industry and state authorities have violated and continue to violate the laws, e.g. EIA Act.
Large dams built in Slovakia have extensive negative effects on the environment: they have destroyed important areas of forests, wetlands, river ecosystems and biodiversity of endangered species. Dams substantially contribute to the increasing concentration of chemical and biological pollution in water reservoirs resulting in the penetration of pollutants into ground and underground water, as well as to changes of the local and regional climate.
Representatives of the dam industry not only abuse public funds to nationalize dam-related issues in Slovakia and to dismiss the most serious criticism of project opponents but also to personally slander and publicly scandalize these opponents.
Based on their experiences, NGOs believe that the dam industry headed by the state-owned Vodohospodarska Vystavba corporation, which plays the major role in pushing through the large dam projects, have no interest in cooperating with the public, affected communities and NGOs, and that they are unlikely to reform their blinkered attitude to the problems they have caused. Slovak NGOs also state that the actual activities of the state authorities directly support non-transparent and undemocratic systems of decision-making over dam construction, and therefore it is unrealistic to expect from them any substantial changes in the near future.
Thus, the Slovak NGOs have decided to make a joint call to the government
and parliament of the Slovak Republic for a moratorium on any funding and
any construction of planned dams, including projects under construction,
until the following requirements have been fully met:
We demand the government make a comprehensive economic, social and environmental assessment of all dam projects which will include recommendations for decision-making over dam projects in the future. The assessment must be conducted by a team independent from dam industry, and must include representatives of NGOs. All relevant information has to be fully available to the team. The assessment report must be submited to a public discusion that must not be stressed by a lack of time. The report including outcomes resulting from the public discussion must be reflected in the amendment of the state water management policy.
We demand the government ensure democratic and effective public participation in decision-making processes related to any future dam project, including access to all relevant economic, social, environmental, and technical information. We demand the government correct the processes (e.g. EIA) related to dam projects currently under preparation which violated or did not respect the law. In such cases the government has to guarantee that the alternative solutions (including "zero variants", substantial changes in forestry practices, water management and agricultural practices, energy saving programs, etc.) will be fully assessed as well.
We urgently demand the government not only stop the process of approving the obligatory parts of regional development plans, but also provide enough time to the regional municipalities which still have not been established to modify these plans according to regional needs and priorities. At the same time we demand the Slovak Parliament ammend those provisions of the new Building Act which relate to regional development planning since these provisions do not correspond with democratic principles and represent unprecedented centralization of state power.
We demand the government establish a 'Compensation of Direct Property Damages Fund' for people affected by dam-buliding who have never been fairly compensated and resettled. This fund must be administered independently from dam industry and institutions which participated in the construction of the particular dam. The fund must be under public control, and detailed progress as well as financial reports must be regularly published. The fund must provide assistance in the preparation of resettlement claims to anybody who has been directly financially affected by dam construction.
We demand the government guarantee that in the future it will not fund any dam project without fair compensation of displaced and other affected people, without providing timely and complete information to these people and without their effective participation in the whole decision-making process. We demand the government not fund any project without the qualified approval of affected people before any construction begins.
We demand the governmment disclose complete information on the budget, revenues, expenses and origin of the funds of the Vodohospodarska vystavba state enterprise during the last five years, including its loans and liabilities as well as information on the shares of this corporation in other companies.
NGOs invite municipalities, labour unions and other interest groups including political parties in Slovakia to join this call.
Contact address: Friends of the Earth-Slovakia/Center for Environmental
Ponicka Huta 65, 976 33 Poniky,
For more information on dam related issues you can visit our web page on Internet: http://www.changenet.sk/cepa/
The Indian government is making life difficult for the new World Commission
on Dams, which was intending to visit the Sardar Sarovar dam site and hold
its second meeting in Bhopal. There is a chance that the entire plan will
be scrapped and the meeting will he hastily rescheduled for Cape Town.
from the hindu Friday, September 11, 1998
Sarovar Dam visit cancelled
GANDHINAGAR, Sept. 10.
After succeeding in forcing the World Commission on Dams to cancel its visit to the Sardar Sarovar dam, the Gujarat Government today claimed that it was on its plea that the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, had directed the Planning Commission to ask the Commission to defer its proposed visit.
The State Narmada Affairs minister, Mr. Jaynarayan Vyas, who along with the Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, and others called on Mr. Vajpayee in New Delhi yesterday, told presspersons here today that the Prime Minister fully appreciated the State Government's stand on the commission's proposed visit to the country from September 19 to be ``inopportune time.''
Mr. Vajpayee agreed with Mr. Patel that when the Supreme Court was seized with the Narmada dam issue, the visit by the World Commission on Dams in which one of the petitioners, Ms. Medha Patkar, was a member, could prejudice the apex court's judgment. Mr. Vyas said Mr. Vajpayee agreed to communicate to the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr. Jaswant Singh, the Centre's view that the commission be asked to postpone its visit to some later date.
Mr. Vyas accordingly wrote a letter to Mr. Singh today informing him about the Prime Minister's views on the issue and requesting him to write the letter to the commission chairman, Prof. Kader Aslam, at the earliest since only nine days were left before the proposed visit. He pointed out that since the World Commission on Dams programme was communicated through the Planning Commission, Mr. Singh should inform Prof. Aslam about the Prime Minister's views on the visit.
The Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, who represents the Gandhinagar constituency in Gujarat in the Lok Sabha, the Union Textiles Minister, Mr. Kashiram Rana, and the Union Minister of State for Chemicals, Dr. A. K. Patel, both from Gujarat, were also present during the Chief Minister's meeting with Mr. Vajpayee and agreed with the State Government's views on the proposed visit.
The Dam Commission, which earlier indicated its desire to visit the Sardar Sarovar dam on September 17 prior to its New Delhi and Bhopal confabulations, has already informed the State Government that the trip to the SSP had been cancelled ``till the Gujarat Government issued an official invitation.'' Mr. Patel, who Had refused to recognise the commission as an official world body, was in no mood to oblige it.
The Assembly is meeting here tomorrow for a day's special session to adopt a resolution to reflect the sentiments of the people of Gujarat against the proposed visit and record their anguish against any attempt to further delay the implementation of the dam project, described as the ``lifeline of Gujarat''.
Even as the State Government had earlier decided to boycott the proceedings of the dam commission, if allowed to visit the country, surprisingly, the former chairman of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Development Corporation and a technocrat, Dr. C. C. Patel, who is associated with the Narmada project in various capacities for a long time, has decided to appear before the commission in Bhopal to present a Paper on large dams in the country. Dr. Patel, however, maintained that he would present the paper in his Individual capacity and not as the representative of the State Government and the paper would not discuss about the Narmada dam but the large dams in general.
Gujarat House to discuss dams panel visit
GANDHINAGAR, Sept. 9.
A special one-day session of the Assembly has been convened on September 11 with the lone agenda to discuss the State's stand on the proposed visit of the World Commission on Dams under the chairmanship of the South African Minister for Water Resources, Prof. Kader Aslam.
The Assembly session at a short notice has been convened by the Governor, Mr. Anshuman Singh, the recommendation of the Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, even as doubts are expressed about the visit of the commission members to the Sardar Sarovar project on the Narmada river at Kevadiya Colony.
The commission's revised programme announced from its Cape Town headquarters on Monday does not include a visit to the SSP. The 12-member commission is scheduled to hold a meeting in New Delhi on September 19 and 20 followed by two-day open house session in Bhopal.
The decision to convene a special session of the Assembly was taken at an all-party meeting held last week under the chairmanship of Mr. Patel and attended by the representatives of the Congress(I), the Rashtriya Janata Party and others.
The meeting not only expressed the State's strong reservations against the commission's visit, but also authorised the Chief Minister to take any step the Government deemed fit to prevent the ``anti- Narmada'' commission members from visiting the State.
The State Government accordingly had imposed a ban on the entry of the commission members to the State. At a meeting of the Narmada Foundation on Monday night the Chief Minister warned the Commission members that the Government would not hesitate to put them under arrest if any attempt was made to enter the State.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan leader, Ms. Medha Patkar, a member of the commission, resented the State's action and hoped that the Government would act with ``more openness.''
Lori Pottinger, Director, Southern Africa Program,
and Editor, World Rivers Review
International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California 94703, USA
Tel. (510) 848 1155 Fax (510) 848 1008
10.08.98 :World Bank Commisson on Dams: Call for Submissions! WATER AND ENERGY IN SOUTH ASIA: LARGE DAMS AND ALTERNATIVES
Public Hearing of the World Commission on Dams
Introduction: This is a call for presentation proposals and submissions in connection with an upcoming public hearing on the experiences and lessons learnt with water and energy development across South Asia, with a specific focus on large dams. The public hearing is being organized by the newly established World Commission on Dams, and will be held on September 21 and 22, 1998 in India.
The World Commission on Dams: The World Commission on Dams (WCD) is an independent international commission constituted under the auspices of a wide array of representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector and international organizations.
Professor Kadar Asmal, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry for the Republic of South Africa, is the appointed chair of the WCD. He is joined by eleven other distinguished individuals including two eminent Indians -- L.C. Jain, Indian High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa and Medha Patkar, Co-Convenor of the National Alliance for Peoples' Movements -- who together with the Secretary General form the Commission.
The WCD's key objectives are to conduct a global review of the development effectiveness of large dams; formulate an options assessments and decision making framework for the sustainable management of water and energy resources; and propose a set of internationally accepted criteria and guidelines for the planning, appraisal, design, construction, operation, monitoring and decommissioning of large dams. The guiding principles of the WCD are openness, transparency, inclusiveness and accessibility.
The Public Hearing: A public hearing for South Asia is being convened to
assist the Commission in fulfilling its mandate by achieving the following
* inviting a broad range of interested parties to participate in and inform the WCD's work
* facilitating the public exchange of ideas and views among various constituencies in the region
* providing the Commissioners with an opportunity to develop a core base of shared knowledge
The public hearing will take place on September 21 and 22, 1998 most likely in Bhopal, India. The format will be one of panels composed of three to four presentations each. The panels will run approximately one and one-half hours long with each presenter being allocated between fifteen and twenty minutes. This will leave about thirty minutes for a questions and answers session at the end of every panel.
Invitations for Presentations: The WCD invites all interested persons to
submit proposals for presentations related to the key objectives outlined
above, focusing on the experiences and lessons learnt locally, nationally,
or regionally across South Asia. Possible topics, among others, include:
* planning and implementation of large dams and alternatives
* social impacts and issues related to large dams and alternatives
* environmental impacts and issues related to large dams and alternatives
* economic/financial impacts and issues related to large dams and alternatives
* options for sustainable water and energy resource management and development
* options for decision making processes including participatory approaches
* evaluations of decision-making and institutional structures and capacities
* assessments of value and effectiveness of existing criteria and guidelines
A two-page summary of the proposed presentation will be due no later than
August 28, 1998. Selection for presentations will be based on the
relevance of the topic, quality of submission and experience/expertise of
presenter. Proposals for presentation that are not formal submissions will
be entertained. Those selected to present will be informed by September 5,
Invitation for Submissions: In addition to proposals for presentation at the hearing, submissions not for presentation of materials documenting the experiences and lessons learnt with large dams and the sustainable development of water and energy resources in South Asia are encouraged. These submissions can be prepared in written, audio, video or other format.
Please call: ++27 21 426 4000,
fax: ++27 21 426 0038,
or e-mail: email@example.com for all inquiries.
Interested parties can also visit the WCD web-site,www.dams.org for further information. Please send submissions to the World Commission on Dams Secretariat by e-mail to:
by fax to: ++27 21 426 0038,
or by post to: World Commission on Dams - c/o India Hearing, 5th Floor, Hycastle House,
58 Loop Street, PO Box 16002,
Vlaeberg, Cape Town, 8018,
by fax to: ++27 21 426 0038,
or by post to: World Commission on Dams - c/o India Hearing, 5th Floor, Hycastle House,
58 Loop Street, PO Box 16002,
Vlaeberg, Cape Town, 8018,