08.08.00: Large oil spill
contained on Spanish river
MADRID - An oil spill that blanketed a large stretch
of Spain's Tagus river, killing fish and threatening water supplies,
was halted by a series of containment dams yesterday, officials said.
Crews worked through the night in the central Toledo province to clean
up 25,000 litres (6,600 gallons) of fuel oil that overflowed from
a deposit at a power station, contaminating about 10 kilometres (six
miles) of the Tagus. The accident at the 31-year-old Aceca plant,
owned by electricity companies Iberdrola and Union Fenosa , left a
dark scum on the surface of the river. Dead fish were found along
its banks. One environmentalist predicted it would take years for
the river to recover from the damage.
more information see Planet Ark (REUTERS NEWS SERVICE)
: Children In Narmada Valley To Celebrate Peace Day
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-382232 firstname.lastname@example.org 58, Gandhi Marg,
Badwani, M.P. Tel: 07290-22464 Press Note/ August 4, 2000
Children In Narmada Valley To Celebrate The Peace
Day For A Sane And Humane Development Satyagraha Entered the Third
The children in the Narmada valley will be celebrating
the International Peace Day at the Satyagraha site on August 6, 2000.
It will be attended by the village representatives from Maharashtra,
Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat villages, the resettlement sites in Gujarat
and Maharashtra, along with the supporters from different parts of
The village children, now threatened with the submergence
due to the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP), have been witnessing
and participating in the struggle that is going on their villages
against the dam. The Peace Day is meant for the absence of violence
against > the human beings, the Nature and a life of freedom, equality
Among the prominent supporters to be present at this
occasion in Jalsindhi ( M.P.) and Domkhedi ( Maharashtra), is Sir.Leo
Rebello, a Senator Minister of the International Parliament for Safety
and Peace, a United Nations body working in 140 countries on issues
of Peace and Safety. He is also Vice Chancellor of Anstead University
in the British Virgin Islands. Senior activist of National Fishworkers
Forum Niki Cardazo, Prof.Naresh Dadhich, Pune, human rights activist
Dr.Mirajkar, Bombay are also participating in this programme in the
Following the Peace day celebrations, the people
on Satyagraha will be observing the Martyrs Day (August 9), remembering
the tribal martyrs and the New Freedom Day ( Aug.15). The supporters
from various parts of India would be observing the Narmada Solidarity
week from that day.
The Satyagraha 2000, which was inaugurated by Ad.Ramdas
on July 15th against the illegal submergence brought in by Sardar
Sarovar Dam, has entered the third week. During the past two weeks
several programs were held at Jalsindi and Domkhedi the Satyagraha
centres in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively. Prominent
personalities, representatives of various people’s movements, students
and other individuals have come from different parts of the country
and abroad to declare solidarity with the ongoing struggle against
big dams in general and Sardar Sarovar in particular, and for sustainable
and egalitarian development.
Meanwhile, activists and academicians from various
places all over the world have issued a statement in support of Satyagraha.
After participating in the inauguration ceremony at Jalsindhi and
Domkhedi on July 15, and the week-long Youth Camp they declared their
support for this protest against injustice. Giving out the details
of the project, displacement and cost-benefit, environment outrage
by this project, these activists appealed to the International community,
"We are all outraged at the way in which the Sardar Sarovar Dam project
continues to devastate the communities and environment of the Narmada
River Valley...We will not allow this project to continue uncontested
in the international arena. We will continue to Support the Narmada
Bachao Andolan in their fight for Human Rights and Justice, just as
we will contest large dam projects all over the world. It is our sincere
hope that you also take this in your power to prevent further injustice
in the Narmada Valley. With even a normal monsoon hundreds of houses
and fields will submerge this monsoon. None of the people getting
affected are shown land for rehabilitation, as the law prescribes.
The people have no other way than to face the rising > waters."
The signatories include Tom Greaves, Keith Hymas
(UK), Ajay Gandhi, Ali Sauer, Tracey Brieger (Canada) and Aukje van
Weert, Jasper Kencer > (The Netherlands). M.K.Sukumar Joe Athialy
: ERN's ThinkCamp in Southern France
meets big success !!
Last Call ! (31.07-5.08.2000)
: Ilisu - Devastating Report from UK
The UK Parliament's International Development Committee
has published a devastating report on Ilisu. It also makes some major
recommendations for the reform of the ECGD, including calling for
international human rights standards for ECAs. From: "Nick Hildyard"
The Recommendations of the Committee are below.
The International Development Select Committee
Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations
a) There is good reason for the expectation that relevant international
criteria should be met BEFORE a proposal is agreed and cover sought
it is a sign of political will, institutional capacity, developmental
commitment and good faith. The shotgun wedding approach to export
credit that we find in the case of the Ilisu Dam does not in our view
bode well for the implementation of commitments but is rather the
worst form of export credit practice (paragraph 11).
b) The Ilisu Dam was from the outset conceived and planned in contravention
of international standards, and it still does not comply. For that
reason cover should not be given (paragraph 11).
c) We have no sense that ECGD and the United Kingdom
Government have at any point seriously considered what repercussions
the construction of the Dam will have on the prospects for peace (and
thus genuine sustainable development) and the rights of the marginalised
in this region of Turkey (paragraph 13).
d) We are astonished that the Foreign Office did not
raise any questions about he proposed Ilisu Dam and its effect on
human rights of those living in the region. The large-scale resettlement
of the population, many of whom may well question the very legitimacy
of the Government which moves them from their homes, must surely demand
some detailed analysis from the Foreign Office. We would expect comments
on the necessity of a genuinely transparent, free and fair consultation
process; discussion of the relation between removal of communities
and drift to the towns on the one hand and on the other any conflict-related
tactics and military strategy of the parties to the conflict; certainly
an analysis of the human rights of the affected community and the
extent to which the building of the Dam could possibly infringe or
affect them. We criticise the Foreign Office for failing to raise
these issues in detail with ECGD and DTI Ministers. More generally,
we recommend that the Foreign Office present an analysis to the ECGD
of the human rights implications of every project for which ECGD is
considering cover (paragraph 15).
e) ECGD should not provide cover for any project which
infringes the human rights of workers, local populations or other
affected persons. Furthermore, for projects in areas where there is
persistent human rights violation, ECGD should consider whether such
abuses render compliance with other conditions (for instance, local
consultation) impossible. We recommend a clear commitment from ECGD
to respect and protect internationally agreed human rights in all
its activity and for the United Kingdom Government to press within
the ECGD for all export credit agencies to agree a human rights policy
f) We recommend that all projects in countries eligible
for official development assistance which ECGD considers for support
be referred to DFID for an opinion on the development effect and consistency
with DFID’s country strategy. It should not, however, be the case
that DFID simply becomes a rent-a-conscience for the rest of Whitehall.
ECGD itself should also have the expertise in house to assess the
developmental impacts of proposed projects and we recommend that ECGD
ensure that appropriate social, environmental and developmental experts
are employed for this purpose (paragraph 19).
g) We recommend that ECGD blacklist companies convicted
of bribery or corruption, at least those found on the World Bank Listing
of Ineligible Firms (paragraph 21).
h) If, once ECGD cover has been granted, the company
is found guilty of corruption or bribery, we recommend that cover
be void immediately (paragraph 22).
i) We reiterate our recommendation that development
objectives be included in the ECGD’s Mission Statement (paragraph
j) The Government has said that it is waiting for
a revised Environmental Assessment Report and the Resettlement Action
Plan before deciding whether its conditions have been met and cover
can be granted for the proposed Ilisu Dam. We do not, however, believe
that fundamental conditions met at the last minute, and only as a
result of export credit agency pressure, can be treated seriously.
Cover for the Ilisu Dam should not be granted. We join the Trade and
Industry Select Committee in urging the Government to provide time
for a debate in advance, rather than in the wake, of a Ministerial
decision on export credit (paragraph 26).
k) The debate over whether the Ilisu Dam has, however,
provided a welcome opportunity to consider how issues of development,
human rights, conflict, corruption and conditionality are handled
by ECGD. In all these areas we conclude that improvements must be
made. We look forward to the Review of ECGD’s Mission and Status implementing
our recommendations (paragraph 27).
: Chinese official confirms a China dam break caused India floods
BEIJING, July 10 (AFP) - A Chinese official on Monday
confirmed a dam breach in Tibet caused floods that wreaked havoc in
northeastern India, claiming 30 lives and leaving more than 100 missing.
Indian officials have said they have seen images from a satellite
that showed flash floods hit the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh
two weeks ago after a Chinese dam on the Tsangpo river was breached.
An official of China's Water Resources Department of the Tibet Autonomous
Region government in Lhasa told AFP Monday the 60 meters high and
2.5 kilometers wide dam was actually not an artificial dam, but a
natural one, formed by a major landslide that occurred on April 9,
"That landslide, the biggest ever seen in Asia and the third biggest
in the world, created a dam in a matter of eight minutes," said the
official, who declined to be identified. He said the Tibet government
spent over 60 million yuan (7.2 million dollars) to canalise the river,
but couldn't prevent the dam from collapsing recently. He refused
to say anymore without permission and warned that Tibet was a very
sensitive issue with Beijing. The landslide was not reported in Chinese
state media and apparently not explained to the Indian government.
The Arunachal Pradesh government was still looking into the exact
cause of the dam breach Monday and has urged the Indian prime minister
and home minister to take up the matter with their Chinese counterparts.
"We strongly believe there could be artificial reasons for the river
Siang to flood the hills, State Minister of Information and Public
Relations Takam Sanjay told AFP. "The source of the Siang river is
in China and we want the Indian government to get detailed information
and investigate the matter in collaboration with their Chinese counterparts,"
he said. "Floods of this magnitude were never ever recorded in our
history," he added. The Tsangpo river, which originates in Tibet,
flows into India and is called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh before it
becomes the Brahmaputra. More than 50,000 people in five districts
of Arunachal Pradesh were left homeless by the floods in the past
two weeks, while several parts of the state were still cut off from
the rest of the country. The death toll is estimated at 30. The Arunachal
Pradesh government had put the estimated loss at more than one billion
rupees (22.9 million dollars).
03.07.00 : RECOMMENDATIONS
ON SUSTAINABLE USE OF RIVERS FOR NAVIGATION AND TRANSPORTATION
Bonn, Germany On 14th June, 2000, over 50 participants
(representatives of governments, international river commissions,
river engineers, navigation companies, indigenous people, NGOs) of
the above-mentioned conference adopted the following recommendations
for the sustainable use of rivers for navigation and transport. Keynote
speakers and participants of four workshops on the environmental,
economic, social and political aspects of river transportation examined
the case studies of river navigation management and their related
issues, in order to find ways to sustainably use rivers for transportation.
They came to the following outputs:
Waterways and rivers
Rivers and their floodplains are amongst the most
fragile and threatened ecosystems in the world. The way they are currently
used and managed is causing ecological deterioration, particularly
factors such as hydrological energy production and dams, freshwater
transfer, intensive agriculture, deforestation, pollution, urbanisation,
drainage, river regulation and flood defence schemes. A great number
of rivers have completely lost their natural functions and values,
their habitats and species. Historically, river transportation linking
regions and countries was fundamental for European and North American
economies, when railroads and road transportation did not exist. Nowadays,
waterways only bring economic benefits for a few privileged people
and transnational corporations in developing countries; there are
better alternatives for cargo transportation. Moreover, the proposed
waterways in South America, for example, will have severe impacts
on lands inhabited by indigenous peoples, increasing economic pressures
on them, destroying their traditional cultures, and causing their
expulsion from ancestral territories. The production of commodities
(mainly soybeans), principally for European consumption, within these
regions has unacceptably high environmental, cultural and social costs.
The price of these commodities in international markets does not internalise
those costs. The final result of this "development" is a greater concentration
of income and wider-spread poverty, as well as the destruction of
traditional ways of life and values.
Waterways and sustainable development
According to the European Commission's strategy, freight
transport in Europe should be moved from roads to railways and inland
waterways. The reasons behind this strategy are based on environmental
considerations: road transport produces air pollution, climate change,
noise, nature degradation, and has security implications. Navigation
appears to offer a cleaner and more energy efficient means of transportation
(less energy, less noise, less pollution) and to be a good alternative
to road transportation. However, despite the relative advantages over
road transport, river transportation has many negative environmental
and social repercussions. Waterways are not a unique solution to improving
transportation issues because they cause damage to river ecosystems
which connect wetland habitats and freshwater resources. They can
also result in socio-economic impacts such as increased flood risk,
lower water quality, reduced river fisheries, loss of social values,
poor economic returns and high costs to tax-payers. In order to address
the challenge of integrating economic, environmental and social aspects
in terms of sustainable development, a number of guidelines have been
developed by the participants to the conference.
Conclusions of the Conference
It was concluded that with globalisation of markets,
the expansion of waterways has become a global issue with a number
of severe ecological and social consequences. The participants concluded
that a global response is needed to address transport needs on waterways.
It was apparent in the meeting that the same mistakes are being repeated
over and over again concerning waterway development and management
and that there is a need for a learning process. These mistakes include:
· the dominance of single-use management · the preference for mitigation
of problems rather than prevention · the omission of key environmental
and social costs of altering rivers in cost-benefit analysis · subsidisation
of river navigation which compromises other economic development It
was considered that a new way of thinking is needed to address new
navigation transport systems. It should be recognised that navigation
is a unique mode of transport where there are opportunities to adapt
vessels to the conditions of particular rivers, rather than to apply
common standards and designs. One main conclusion is that rivers belong
to all society and their functions serve the needs of all society;
therefore they cannot serve a single use. Use of rivers for navigation
is historical and may, in some cases, be necessary, but the scale
of alterations that a river system can support without damages must
be considered. Efforts should be made to incorporate social and environmental
interests with economic ones and to consider waterways' impacts and
benefits not only locally but at river basin level. Local participation
in decision-making is therefore essential. Participation is not merely
a set of formal requirements but also a cost-effective source of added
value for long-term sustainable use of rivers as transportation ways.
1. River management schemes should be designed according
to sustainability principles. A scheme is considered to be sustainable
if it :
· does not entail permanent loss of biodiversity
· promotes the improvement of life quality of the affected population,
· avoids compromising future uses of the river system
· allows continuation of ecological processes:
a. provision of habitat (ecological continuum)
b. morphological processes (erosion, transport and sedimentation)
c. maintenance of sediment balance
d. maintenance of hydrological balance (e.g. floodpulse)
e. maintenance of biological and chemical processes (nutrient cycles)
This implies that there are rivers where freight transport would
2. Assessment of waterway schemes (ecological, economic
and social) should be carried out for the scheme as a whole, rather
than on the components; considering all alternatives and taking into
account river basin management objectives.
3. Financing institutions and governments need to ensure that the
full environmental and social costs and the long-term effects of proposed
waterway schemes are included in cost-benefit analyses.
4. Affected people must fully participate in the decision making process
regarding any waterway. This includes actively participating through
the whole project cycle, from identification and preparation to implementation
and evaluation. Therefore, a legal and institutional framework for
civil society participation at the national and local levels must
5. Effective participation needs full access to information, a time
schedule appropriate to social and cultural local conditions and adequate
resources. It also includes empowerment, i.e. capacity building by
education and technical assistance to enable citizens and organizations
in order to assert their rights and interest in the process.
Europ's: Water Framework Directive: Capitulation of
EP Delegation is a disaster for the environment
PRESS RELEASE by European Environmental Bureau (European
NGO Coalition) (29/6/2000) Yesterday’s conciliation talks on the Water
Framework Directive ended in nearly a complete capitulation of the
EP delegation against Council and Commission. This is the first analysis
of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) the Federation of 135 environmental
citizens organisations in Europe. “This is a disaster for the environment,
embarrassing for environmental ministers, the environmental Commissioner
and the Parliament and a blow to the credentials of the European Union
for protecting the Environment”, comments EU Policy director, Christian
Hey. The Parliaments delegation and Council agreed on a weak legal
enforceability of environmental objectives and on aspirational goals.
Council’s legal service already criticised the wording “…with the
aim of achieving good water status”. This will allow Members States
to do whatever they want with the objective of this directive! Only
the European Court of Justice will be able to decide whether Member
States will have an obligation or not to reach objectives which
will take probably 30 years and leaving Member States free to get
away with achieving nothing. The delegation accepted, that the precautionary
approach of the 1980 groundwater protection directive will be dismissed.
Member states do not have to prevent groundwater pollution, but get
a lot of discretion to limit pollution. “This will be the major roll-back
of an environmental directive, the EU ever has experienced. Industrial
agriculture has got a blank-check to poison the most vulnerable water
body, frequently used as drinking water resource”, comments water
campaigner Stefan Scheuer. Measures for and further details of groundwater
protection will be delegated to a separate groundwater directive,
thus giving up the original aim to have one integrated piece of legislation
for all water protection. “The only thing to do now is, to reject
this directive and to enforce the stronger legislation of the 70ties
and 80ties”, concludes Christian Hey. For further Information please
contact: Christian Hey or Stefan Scheuer European Environmental Bureau
Tel: +32 2 289 1090, Email: email@example.com Irene Bloemink Waterpakt
Tel: +31 20 4700772, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
29.06.00 : Norway's NVE wants
stricter hydropower regulations
2000 OSLO - The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy
Directorate (NVE) said yesterday it wanted stricter laws on regulation
of water levels in rivers used for generating hydropower. It said
in a statement that power producers had threatened wildlife and the
environment by keeping water levels below lowest allowed level. NVE
said power producers could profit from reducing water levels below
dams at certain times in order to save the water for power production
at periods with higher prices. "We react seriously to the breaches
on the concession terms and look forward to a new hydro resource law
to be adopted by the parliament soon," said NVE chief Agnar Aas. NVE
said it had investigated 30 cases of possible breaches on hydropower
concession rules since 1996 and had engaged Norwegian economic and
environment crime police Oekokrim to pursue such cases. Oekokrim had
fined one power producer and sued another for environmental crime,
it said. Norwegian hydropower concession rules provides NVE no opportunity
to press charges against companies breaking the regulations. Story
by Jarle Samuelsberg
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
27.06.00 : Communiqué de
presse : DIRECTIVE EAU DE L'UNION EUROPEENNE : Le Conseil veut saboter
la loi existante
La nouvelle Directive Eau (Water Framework Directive
- WFD) va affaiblir les standards de la protection de l'eau si la
position du Conseil de l'Environnement est acceptée par le Parlement
Européen lors de la réunion de conciliation qui aura lieu demain.
Jusqu'à présent, le Parlement Européen ne s'est pas incliné sous les
pressions du Conseil et s'est toujours positionné en faveur du remplacement
des standards légalement contraignants - qui sont en place actuellement
- par des objectifs légalement contraignants. Le Conseil Environnemental
lui veut créer des objectifs environnementaux non contraignants légalement
et affaiblir les standards de protection actuels. Aujourd'hui, le
EEB (European Environnemental Bureau) a sévèrement reproché à plusieurs
gouvernement, et en particulier au Royaume-Uni, de ne pas avoir la
volonté de protéger les lois existantes. " Le Conseil doit changer
de position ou le Parlement doit rejeter la proposition du Conseil
", a déclaré John Hontelez, Secretaire Général du EEB.
Les propositions du Conseil permettraient aux Etats
Membres de seulement faire un effort pour atteindre un état satisfaisant
des eaux de leur pays. Cela ne serait pas obligatoire légalement et
ne créerait aucun droit nouveau pour les citoyens européens. Au contraire,
cette directive détruirait les droits des citoyens car certaines directives
comme la directive des eaux souterraines et la directive sur les substances
dangereuses seraient éliminées sans équivalent de remplacement. "
Une directive doit être contraignante légalement sinon elle ne sert
à rien " a déclaré Irene Bloemink de Waterpakt. Il est gênant que
des Etats Membres acceptent qu'une législation contraignante datant
des années 70-80 soit remplacée par une directive plus au moins basée
sur le volontariat. " Les environnementalistes soutiennent tous les
Membres du Parlement Européen qui luttent pour la mise en place d'une
loi sérieuse ", a déclaré Christian Hey, " Policy Director " de l'Union
En outre, le texte du Conseil propose l'abandon du
principe " zéro émission " pour les substances de la liste I de la
Directive des Eaux Souterraines 80/68 et, selon Christian Hey, " permettrait
même aux Etats Membres de qualifier une eau souterraine de " bonne
" même lorsqu'elle a été si polluée que la boire peut être mortel.
" Le principe " zéro émission " pour 129 substances dangereuses de
la directive se limiterait à environ 32. Chaque substance serait jugée
(par un processus critiquable en matière de prise de risque) et dans
le cas où elle présenterait un risque inacceptable, une provision
" émission zéro " serait applicable. De son côté le Parlement désire
au moins conserver le niveau de protection existant et améliorer la
protection vis-à-vis des substances dangereuses.
Les ONG de protection de l'environnement un peu partout
en Europe attendent la décision du Conseil des Ministres qu'ils ne
manqueront de condamner si il n'adopte pas la position du Parlement
sur ces questions cruciales.
Les ONG de protection de l'environnement désirent
réellement une directive, mais pas à n'importe quel prix. Il ne sert
à rien de créer une législation non contraignante légalement et qui
fait reculer les mesures de protection de l'environnement de la Communauté.
Nous ne pouvons pas nous permettre d'affaiblir la législation actuelle
sur les eaux souterraines et de diminuer notre protection contre les
En février 2000, le Parlement Européen a voté à une
majorité écrasante en faveur d'une protection forte et claire de l'eau,
par l'intermédiaire d'une obligation légale des Etats Membres à atteindre
certains objectifs environnementaux. Mais ce vote démocratique sera
en danger lors de la longue négociation de demain soir entre la délégation
parlementaire et les représentants du Conseil …
Pour plus d'information : Christian Hey or Stefan
Scheuer, European Environmental Bureau, Tel: +32 2 289 1090, Email:
27.06.00 : Press release
: WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE : Council wants to undermine existing
(27/06/00) The new Water Framework Directive (WFD)
will weaken existing water protection standards, if the position for
the Environmental Council will be accepted by the European Parliament
in tomorrow's conciliation meeting. So far the EP has not bowed for
the Council's pressures and opted for legally binding objectives to
replace existing binding water standards. The Environmental Council
however wants to create legally not enforceable environmental objectives
and to weaken the existing protection standards. The EEB today heavily
blames several governments namely the UK, to insist on bowing and
undermining existing water protection legislation. "The Council either
has to move or the Parliament should reject the Council position",
says EEB Secretary General John Hontelez.
Council's text proposals would allow Member States
to only make an effort to achieve good status of waters. This is legally
unenforceable and does not create any new rights for EU citizens.
Instead the WFD would destroy citizen's rights, because several directives
like the groundwater directive and the dangerous substances directive
would be repealed without equivalent substitute. "A directive must
be legally binding and enforceable, otherwise it is worth nothing",
says Irene Bloemink from Waterpakt. It is embarrassing, that some
member states want to allow binding legislation of the 70ties and
80ties to be replaced by a more or less voluntary directive. "Environmentalists
support all the Members of the European Parliament who fight for a
serious piece of legislation", says EU Policy Director Christian Hey.
Further to that Council's text proposals would abandon
the zero-emission approach for list I substances of the Groundwater
Directive 80/68 and "would even allow Member States to call groundwater
'good' even if it was", according to Christian Hey, "so polluted that
drinking it could be lethal". The zero emission approach for 129 substances
in the dangerous substances directive would be limited to probably
32 substances. Each substance on that list would go through a cumbersome
risk assessment and in the case it then presents an unacceptable risk
a zero-emission provision would apply (without deadline). Parliament
on the other hand stands in for at least saving the existing level
of protection and improving the protection against hazardous substances.
Environmental NGOs across Europe stand together poised
to condemn the Council of Ministers if they fail to move towards the
Parliament on these crucial points.
Environmental NGOs really do want a Directive but
not at any price, there is no point in having legislation which isn't
binding and which takes environmental protection across the Community
backwards. We cannot afford a weakening of existing groundwater legislation
and erosion in our protection against hazardous substances - the Common
Position currently advocates both.
February 2000 the European Parliament has voted with
overwhelming majority for a strong and clear protection of our waters,
by creating a clear legal obligation for Member States to achieve
the environmental objectives. But this democratic vote is in danger
when the doors are closed behind the Parliament's delegation and Council
representatives in tomorrow's long negotiation night.
For further Information please contact: Christian
Hey or Stefan Scheuer at European Environmental Bureau Tel: +32 2
289 1090, Email: email@example.com
26.06.00 : Communiqué de
presse : Des représentants de " Parlements de
la Jeunesse pour l'Eau " rencontrent des responsables européens
Strasbourg, 26.06.2000 - Mercredi 28 juin 2000, une
soixantaine de jeunes de 8 à 18 ans, représentant 19 pays ( ), remettront
aux présidents et aux membres des Commissions de l'Environnement,
de l'aménagement du territoire et des pouvoirs locaux, et de la Culture
et de l'éducation, de l'Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe,
les résultats des travaux des trois premiers "Parlements de la Jeunesse
pour l'Eau" qui se sont tenus à Espalion (juillet 1999), à Verviers
(mai 2000) et à Sélestat (mai 2000).
Ces textes démontrent leurs préoccupations en ce qui
concerne la protection, la gestion et l'économie de l'eau, mais également
leur intérêt pour la gestion des déchets et les risques qu'ils présentent
pour la pollution de l'eau.
Participeront également à la cérémonie, qui se tiendra
dans le cadre de la session de l'Assemblée parlementaire, le Collège
de la Rivière Louis Denayrouze, the European Rivers Network, Green
Belgique, l'OCCE, la Ville d'Espalion, la Ville de Sélestat et son
Conseil municipal des enfants, ainsi que tous les partenaires locaux
et européens de " Solidarité Eau Europe " impliqués dans cette aventure
citoyenne et de solidarité.
Outre les témoignages des participants aux trois Parlements,
une exposition de photos, ainsi que la projection d'un film reportage
sur le Parlement Rhénan des enfants pour l'Eau, réalisé par le Centre
Régional de Développement Pédagogique d'Alsace (CRDP) sont prévus.
Une montgolfière en forme de goutte d'eau, "La Goutte de l'Espoir",
accueillera les invités.
La cérémonie se déroulera à 11h 30, salle 9, au Palais
Pour tous renseignements contacter :
Raymond Jost, Président ou Vincent Jullien, Chargé
de programmes Solidarité Eau Europe
Tél: 33 (0)3 88 24 21 68 Fax: 33 (0)3 88 24 03 92
Solidarité Eau Europe est né en 1998 de l'initiative
conjointe du Secrétariat International de l'Eau, basé à Montréal,
et du Conseil de l'Europe au travers de la Déclaration de Strasbourg.
Son siège social est à Strasbourg et son territoire s'étend à l'Europe
des 41. Son mandat est: la promotion des revendications citoyennes
concernant l'accès pour tous à l'eau potable et à l'assainissement,
la protection des ressources et des milieux aquatiques, le respect
et la valorisation des savoir-faire locaux et la mise en place de
nouvelles formes de gestion partagée entre le secteur public, les
entreprises privées, et le secteur associatif.
1 Algérie, Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie,
Espagne, France, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Kirghizistan, Liechtenstein,
Ouzbékistan, Pays-Bas, Pologne, République tchèque, Russie, Slovaquie,
26.06.00 : Press release
: Water solidarity - youth parliament representatives meet European
On Wednesday 28 June 2000 some sixty young people
between the ages of eight and eighteen, representing 19 countries
, will attend a ceremony at which the results of the first three "youth
parliaments" for water solidarity (held in Espalion, France (July
1999), Verviers, Belgium (May 2000) and Sélestat, France (also May
2000)) will be presented to the Chairpersons and members of the Committee
on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Authorities and Committee
on Culture and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe. The resulting texts voice the young people's concerns about
safeguarding, managing and economising water resources, and also show
their interest in waste management issues and the related water pollution
The ceremony, which will be a part of the Parliamentary
Assembly session, will also be attended by representatives of the
Rivière Louis Denayrouze school, the European Rivers Network, Green
Belgique, the OCCE (French Central Office for School Co-operation),
the municipalities of Espalion and Sélestat and the latter's Children's
Council, and all the local and European partners of the European Water
Solidarity Network involved in this project based on a spirit of citizenship
Apart from statements by participants in the three
"parliaments", the event will include a photo exhibition and the showing
of a documentary film on the "Rhine Basin Youth Parliament for Water",
made by the Alsace Regional Centre for Educational Development (CRDP).
A hot-air balloon in the shape of a drop of water, named "Drop of
Hope", will fly overhead.
The ceremony will take place at 11.30, room 9, in
the Palais de l'Europe.
Press contact :
Raymond Jost, Chairman, or Vincent Jullien, Programmes
European Water Solidarity Network Tel. + 33 3 88
24 21 68 Fax + 33 3 88 24 03 92
The European Water Solidarity Network was established
in 1998 under the terms of the Strasbourg Declaration, at the joint
initiative of the International Secretariat for Water, based in Montreal,
and the Council of Europe. It has its headquarters in Strasbourg,
and its territorial scope covers the 41 member states of the Council
of Europe. Its aims are to provide a vehicle for public demand for
clean water and proper sanitation for all, safeguard water resources
and water-based ecosystems, promote respect for and use of local know-how
and introduce new forms of shared responsibility for water management
involving the public sector, private enterprise and civil society.
1 Algeria, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain,
France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kirghizistan, Liechtenstein, Ouzbekistan,
Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland.
09.06.00 : California calls
a truce in water wars Sacramento (ENS)
California, June 9, 2000 (ENS) - California's decades
long tradition of fighting over water may be relegated to the history
books. A multibillion plan unveiled today could call a truce between
environmentalists, farmers and cities.
For full text and graphics visit: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jun2000/2000L-06-09-08.html
: Turkey to delay flooding of archaeological sites by 10 days
ISTANBUL, June 5 (AFP) - Turkey's Energy Minister
Cumhur Ersumer has postponed for 10 days the flooding of the Euphrates
river, southeast Turkey, so archaeologists can document relics there,
Turkish papers reported Monday. Ersumer had put back the flooding
of sites including the Zeugma site, known to specialists as the "Turkish
Pompeii", from June 18 to June 28 on the advice of President Ahmet
Necdet Sezer, the dailies Sabah and Hurriyet reported. If that was
not enough, the cabinet would think about another delay, so long as
the international consortium managing the hydroelectric dam did not
seek compensation, said Ersumer. Archaeologists had appealed on Friday
for the authorities to release flood waters after the Birecik Dam
reservoir began overflowing, flooding nearby villages and archaeological
dig sites. The flooding bgean at the end of April forcing some local
people to abandon their homes and livestock. The Birecik Dam is part
of is part of a vast, hydroelectric irrigation programme in the southeast
of the country, one of 22 projects on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
The controversial project has been attacked by Kurdish groups and
environmental campaigners, arguing that it will devastate the local
environment and force tens of thousands of Kurds from their homes.
DPA Jun 2, 2000 by Claudia Steiner
Hasankeyf, Turkey (dpa) - The small town of Hasankeyf
in southeastern Turkey is still well worth a visit, although the Ministry
of Tourism has already sounded its death knell, deleting it from its
maps long before it finally sinks beneath the waters of a new dam.
The new maps showing Turkish attractions like the
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the ancient ruin of Ephesus omit the
town on the banks of the Tigris, although it will be a couple of years
yet before it disappears along with several dozen villages under the
planned Ilisu Dam.
The town, some 40 kilometres from the provincial capital
of Batman, lies on the old Silk Road and bears witness to the Assyrian,
Christian, early Islamic and Turkish cultures that have swept over
As recently as the 1970s Turkish authorities regarded
the town, beautifully set along the river, as an archaeological conservation
site. It was an old Roman outpost against the Persians. Hasankeyf
contains a ruined city with crumbling churches and mosques. Alongside
the new bridge over the Tigris the remains of the old bridge, probably
built in the 11th century, can still be discerned.
In the cliffs nearby around 5,000 caves have been
carved out in which >a few families continue to live. >According to
the plans for the dam, in seven years the tips of the >minarettes
sticking up out of the water will be the only trace of the >mosques,
and all that will be left of the town is a small section on >high-lying
"If Hasankeyf goes this will be a great loss to humanity,"
the town's mayor, Vahap Kusen, says. "This is especially true as we
don't even know what lies under the ruins." The largely Kurdish population
wants to remain in the town. "My family has been living here for 450
years," one man says, criticizing the government's poor public relations
on the project.
"If you complain, they tell you you are a terrorist,"
he adds. Although no compensation plans have been revealed, Isa Parlak,
the governor of Batman Province, insists the state will take care
"Nobody will suffer loss as a result of this dam,"
he says. Those to be made homeless by the Ilisu dam - estimates of
those affected run from 16,000 to as high as 45,000 - will either
receive new homes from the state or be paid compensation for their
homes and property.
Parlak is keen to outline the advantages the dam
will bring. Ilisu is part of the huge GAP project in southeastern
Anatolia comprising 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power stations that
will provide electricity and irrigation.
Nevertheless he insists all possible will be done
to rescue any historic treasures.
"They want to extinguish the culture of a thousand
years for the sake of one burning light bulb," a Hasankeyf man says.
Opponents of the huge project have joined forces. Lawyers, journalists
and artists are fighting for the town's survival. "We are not opposed
to a dam, but we don't want to lose Hasankeyf," Arif Aslan of the
town's voluntary association says.
He suggests that if the height of the planned dam
is lowered, Hasankeyf could be saved, although this would lead to
a reduction in the amount of electric power generated.
As the discussions on Hasankeyf's future continue,
archaeologists are working against the clock some 300 kilometres to
the southeast near Gaziantep. They are measuring antique villas and
saving from the rising waters as much as they can of the mosaics,
frescoes and coins that they hold.
More than 2,000 years ago the city of Zeugma lay
here at the site of the first and only bridge across the Euphrates.
Archaeologists believe many artefacts lie hidden beneath the surface,
but not all of them will be saved in time.
By the middle of June the dig near the villages of
Belkis will probably be under water.