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    "Newer" News

  • 08.08.00 : Large oil spill contained on Spanish river
  • 07.08.00 : Children In Narmada Valley To Celebrate Peace Day
  • 17.07.00 : ERN's ThinkCamp in Southern France meets big success !!
  • 16.07.00 : Ilisu - Devastating Report from UK Select Committee
  • 10.07.00 : Chinese official confirms a China dam break caused India floods
  • 03.07.00 : Recommendations on sustainable use of rivers for navigation and transportation
  • 29.06.00 : Europ's: Water Framework Directive: Capitulation of EP Delegation is a disaster for the environment
  • 29.06.00 : Norway's NVE wants stricter hydropower regulations
  • 27.06.00 : Communiqué de presse : DIRECTIVE EAU DE L'UNION EUROPEENNE : Le Conseil veut saboter la loi existante
  • 27.06.00 : Press release : WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE : Council wants to undermine existing law
  • 26.06.00 : Press release : Water solidarity - youth parliament representatives meet European officials
  • 26.06.00 : Communiqué de presse : Des représentants de " Parlements de la Jeunesse pour l'Eau " rencontrent des responsables européens
  • 09.06.00 : California calls a truce in water wars Sacramento (ENS)
  • 05.06.00 : Turkey to delay flooding of archaeological sites by 10 days
  • older news

Text :

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.

For more information see Planet Ark (REUTERS NEWS SERVICE)


07.08.00 : Children In Narmada Valley To Celebrate Peace Day


B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda-390007

Tel: 0265-382232 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 Week

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 India.

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 and harmony.

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 valley.

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

17.07.00 : ERN's ThinkCamp in Southern France meets big success !!
Last Call ! (31.07-5.08.2000)

16.07.00 : Ilisu - Devastating Report from UK Select Committee

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 (paragraph 17).

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 25).

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).


10.07.00 : 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).


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 be unacceptable.

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 be established.
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.

29.06.00 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: Irene Bloemink Waterpakt Tel: +31 20 4700772, Email:

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


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 Européenne.

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 substances dangereuses.

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 law

(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:

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 de l'Europe.

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 e-mail:

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, Suisse.

26.06.00 : Press release : Water solidarity - youth parliament representatives meet European officials

STRASBOURG, 26.06.2000

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 risks.

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 and solidarity.

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 Manager,

European Water Solidarity Network Tel. + 33 3 88 24 21 68 Fax + 33 3 88 24 03 92

e-mail: solidarité

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.

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05.06.00 : Turkey to delay flooding of archaeological sites by 10 days

Agence France-Presse

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 it.

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 ground.

"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 of everything.

"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.


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