04.12.04 : Announcement
: Danube NGO Summit in Vienna, 11. Dezember 2004
(20 years Hainburg)
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends of the Danube!
20 years have passed since the successful campaign
hydro-electric power plant in Hainburg. This does not mean that
of the Danube River has been completely secured. On the contrary,
pressure on Europes lifeline has increased, not only in
Austria. In the
name of the inland navigation, the Danube River is planned to
and channelized from the Bavarian stretch to the Ukrainian Danube
More than 1,000 kilometres of valuable river ecosystems are threatened.
Also in the Austrian National park not everything
is going the way it
should. Roads are planned where nature should be protected.
For these reasons, we are cordially inviting you
to an International Danube
Summit taking place in Vienna from 10-11 December 2004.
Environmental organizations from 10 countries
will participate. They will
discuss problems and strategies for the protection of the Danube
instance, the foundation of an NGO network in relation to the
transport is planned. At 14:30h there will be the possibility
excursion to the Danube National park near Vienna. The topic will
construction of a passage through the Lobau and other traffic
the Danube region.
The Summit will be opened by a film evening on
10 December at 19:00h and
will be held in English.
On 11 December the International Danube Summit will be opened.
Place: Naturhistorisches Museum Time: 10/12 at
Burgring 7 11/12 at
09:00h - 17:30h
Cinema room (Kinosaal)
We will end the day with a Danube celebration:
Place: Weberknecht Time: from 20:00h
!!!!!Your registration is mandatory!!!!!
more information : Invitation and forms in english
Einladung und Formulare in deutsch (pdf)
weitere Links zu Aktivitäten rund um die 20 Jahre Hainburg
deutsch , english
Koordinationsstelle oesterr. Umweltorganisationen
04.12.04 : Hungary and
Slovak republic list transboundary Ramsar site on Tisza river
At the opening session of the 5th Ramsar European
Meeting in Yerevan, 4 December 2004, representatives of Hungary
and the Slovak Republic announced their joint designation of portions
of the Tisza (Tisa) River as a transboundary Ramsar Wetland of
International Importance. The Tisza is the largest tributary of
the Danube, with a catchment area 1.5 times bigger than the area
of Hungary, and the upper reaches of the river are 400 kilometers
long and pass through four countries. Hungary's Felso-Tisza (Upper
Tisza) and the Slovak Republic's Tisa River join the Ramsar List
as of 4 December.
04.12.04 : Czech republic
designates cave complex for the ramsar list
The Secretariat is pleased to report that the
Administrative Authority in the Czech Republic, the Ministry of
the Environment, has nominated "Punkva subterranean stream (Podzemní
Punkva" for the List of Wetlands of International Importance,
as of 18 March 2004. The Czech Republic now has added 11 Ramsar
sites since the country joined the Convention in 1990. Ramsar's
Estelle Gironnet has prepared this brief site description of the
site, based upon the Ramsar Information Sheet submitted with the
Read more... http://www.ramsar.org/w.n.czech_punkva.htm
04.12.04 : Belgium and
Luxembourg designate a common transboundary Ramsar site
The Sure is a transboundary river that originates
in Belgium and, after a 31 kilometer course, forms a natural border
of 12km with Luxembourg before crossing that country and joining
the Moselle in Germany. (…) Now the Ramsar Administrative Authorities
in both Parties have jointly submitted the Vallee de la Haute-Sure
site as a transboundary Wetland of International Importance. In
addition, Belgium has also designated a further two Ramsar sites,
namely the Grotte des Emotions, a newly-discovered subterranean
karst system, and the Hautes Fagnes, a site rich in peatlands.
More information on Vallee de la Haute-Sure and Grotte des Emotions
and Haute Fagnes. http://www.ramsar.org/w.n.belgium_sure.htm
30.11.04 : UNESCO, WWAP:
"a dream of water"
The educational documentary 'A Dream of Water'
was presented to water experts and country delegations at UNESCO
Headquarters on 30 November 2004. The city of Zaragoza financed
this 58 minute Bausan Films educational documentary under the
auspices of UNESCO and World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP).
'A Dream of Water' will raise awareness on the sustainable uses
of water resources within the framework of the upcoming International
Decade for Action, "Water for Life", 2005-2015.
26.11.04 : Ilisu / Türkei:
Staudammprojekt kommt wieder
Artikel im WirtschaftsBlatt Verlag AG (26.11.04)
Die unendliche Geschichte des Ilisu
Die Planung des Ilisu-Staudamms im Kurdengebiet
Südostanatoliens zieht sich bereits über Jahre. 75 Kilometer oberhalb
der syrischen und irakischen Grenze soll hinter einer 1820 Meter
langen und 135 Meter hohen Mauer ein 313 Quadratkilometer grosser
Stausee entstehen. 3800 Gigawattstunden Strom könnte das zweitgrösste
türkische Kraftwerk produzieren. Zum Vergleich: Das österreichische
Kraftwerk Kaprun bringt es auf 330 MW. Geplant war die Fertigstellung
des Prestigeobjekts für das Jahr 2007.
Für den Bau sollten ursprünglich 65 Gemeinden
überflutet und 30.000 Kurden umgesiedelt werden. Unter den betroffenen
Orten befindet sich die als archäologische Fundstätte geschützte
Stadt Hasankeyf. Der Staudamm ist auch als aussenpolitisches Machtinstrument
umstritten, da die Türkei dadurch ihren Nachbarn flussabwärts
das Wasser abdrehen kann. Allein zum Füllen des Staubeckens wird
die Hälfte des Wassers, das der Tigris in einem halben Jahr führt,
benötigt. Zudem hätte der Stausee ausreichend Kapazitäten, um
den Fluss für einige Monate zu sperren.
1999 kaufte sich die VA Tech mit der Übernahme
der Hydro-Abteilung des Schweizer Unternehmens Escher Wyss (früher
Sulzer) in das umstrittene Bauvorhaben ein. Dabei handelt es sich
um einen 300-Mio.-Euro-Auftrag für den Bau von Turbinen.
Die Finanzierung war von Anfang an unsicher: 1984
verweigerte die Weltbank Gelder, und obwohl die Oesterreichische
Kontrollbank 2001 die Exportgarantien für ein Teilrisiko übernahmen,
kam es 2002 zum Ausstieg des Hauptfinanciers, der Grossbank UBS.
Grund: Unbefriedigender Projektfortschritt. Bereits ein Jahr davor
hatten sich die ausländischen Partner Skanska, Balfour Beatty
und Impreglio wegen kommerzieller, ökologischer und sozialer Bedenken
Damit lag das Zwei-Milliarden-Dollar-Projekt vorerst
auf Eis. Für den damaligen VA Tech-Vorstand Erich Becker war der
Staudamm "kaum realisierbar". Der Bau würde an der Finanzierung
scheitern. Nun wagt die VA Tech einen neuen Anlauf. Der Ilisu-Staudamm
soll – abgespeckt auf ein Volumen von einer Milliarde Euro und
unter Wahrung der Kulturschätze – doch noch gebaut werden. Proteste
von Umweltorganisationen sind auf jeden Fall programmiert. WWF-Sprecher
Ulrich Eichel-mann: "Die ökologischen Aspekte des Projekts werden
in keiner Weise berücksichtigt."
Isabell Widek © WirtschaftsBlatt Verlag AG
24.11.04 : Montenegrins
Resist Plan to Flood Spectacular Gorge (Reuters)
MONTENEGRO: November 24, 2004
PODGORICA, Serbia and Montenegro - Montenegrins protested outside
parliament on Tuesday urging the government to abandon plans to
build a dam
that would flood the most scenic part of its breathtaking Tara
Locals say the spectacular 80 km (50 mile) canyon,
a United Nations World
Heritage site, is the most beautiful in the world after Colorado's
They fear a dam to be built in neighbouring Bosnia
would turn the rapid
Tara waters loved by rafters into "a swamp".
The Tara river canyon, part of the Durmitor National
Park, features one of
the deepest gorges in Europe, swathed in dense pine forests and
deep, clear lakes.
It is one of Montenegro's main tourist attractions.
Parliament was debating a declaration on protection
of the site, launched
by a non-government organisation. More than one hundred activists
outside, distributing Tara calendars with the words "Tara,
the tears of
Europe" written on them.
The declaration was likely to be backed by the
opposition parties and a
junior coalition partner of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic's Democratic
Party of Socialists (DPS).
Djukanovic said that even if adopted, the declaration
was not binding. He
said the public was reacting emotionally and without the necessary
"We do not need emotions but reason. We should
protect our environmental
heritage but we should not block future generations from building
facilities," Djukanovic said.
Tara defenders said their concern was not purely
"The citizens did not sign the declaration
on a whim, when we lose Tara we
lose something we will never get back," said Sinisa Stevovic,
one of the
The dam would be built on the River Drina in the
Serb half of neighbouring
Bosnia and flood about 12 km of the Tara canyon.
The Montenegrin government has said that would
provide enough power to cut
the republic's energy deficit by one third.
The Bosnian Serb government said its power company
had spent $26 million in
a feasibility study for the $480 million project but financing
uncertain and an environmental report was also pending.
Djukanovic said the Montenegrin government was
struggling to overcome a
growing power shortage. He said power imports this year cost the
republic of 650,000 people some 50 million euros ($65.20 million).
A government spokesman said Montenegro, a self-declared
state", would base its decision on the opinion of the U.N.
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) who were called
to assess the
"The government has clearly said it would
build nothing if the UNESCO stand
is negative," he said. Bosnia has also said that approving
hinges on its environmental impact.
(additional reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo)
Story by Ljubinka Cagorovic
source: REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
03.12.04 : U.S. Rules
Out Dam Removal to Aid Salmon (New York Times)
U.S. Rules Out Dam Removal to Aid Salmon
By Felicity Barringer, The New York Times
December 1, 2004
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Tuesday ruled out the
of removing federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers to protect
endangered species of salmon and steelhead, even as a last resort.
In an opinion issued by the fisheries division of the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the government declared
the eight large dams on the lower stretch of the two rivers are
immutable part of the salmon's environment.
Endangered fish, the opinion said, can be protected by a variety
measures, including carrying fish around dams and building weirs
- a new
type of weir that works like a water slide - to ease young fishes'
through dams as they swim downstream to the ocean. The total cost
10-year effort was projected at $6 billion. Assuming annual expenditures
of $600 million, this represents a slight increase over existing
for this purpose.
"It is clear that each of the dams already exists, and their
beyond the present discretion" of federal agencies to reverse,
The decision is a departure from the Clinton administration's
salmon protection. In 2000, it adopted a policy that allowed for
removal, although only if all other measures had failed.
The Bush administration opinion, first released in draft form
September, provoked immediate outrage on the part of environmentalists
some tribal groups, who see it as another in a series of federal
weakening protection for the salmon that are an integral part
regional identity of the Northwest, and whose numbers have been
reduced over the decades by overfishing, dam construction, industrial
pollution and suburban sprawl.
Earlier this year the fisheries division proposed including fish
hatcheries along with their wild cousins when calculating whether
species is still endangered.
Environmentalists say the administration is retreating from the
recovering salmon to robust populations, settling for the status
A spokesman for the fisheries division disagreed, saying the actions
agencies were taking or planned to take would be sufficient to
salmon. In a conference call Tuesday afternoon, officials of the
service and the other agencies involved pointed out that they
a letter addressed to the citizens of the Northwest with the assurance
that "this approach does not represent a reduction in our
In May, a senior Commerce Department official wrote to Congress
despite the decision to include hatchery fish when determining
of fish populations, the department would probably conclude that
species currently considered endangered would remain so.
In a conference call Tuesday afternoon on the guidance to dam
Bob Lohn of the Northwest regional office of the fisheries service
"The actions proposed by the federal agencies do provide
major steps in
making their operations fish-friendly." The dams already
ladders that enable many adult salmon to reach the higher parts
rivers where they spawn.
The policy is effectively a roadmap to guide the operations of
agencies and power authorities that operate dams on the Columbia
Rivers. It also includes an appendix with detailed prescriptions
"reducing the risk factors" for eight of the 11 species
which, in some cases, call for some commingling of hatchery and
But, Mr. Lohn added, the policy "does not suggest that the
dams result in
no damage or that nothing should be done" to mitigate the
occur. Referring to the letter, he added, "We desire and
we are eager to
work with the region, with states and tribes, to complete the
comprehensive plan" to set priorities for salmon recovery.
But one representative of the National Wildlife Federation immediately
asserted that the letter to the citizens did not have the standing
formal biological opinion and so amounted to no legal commitment.
Kober, the wildlife program manager in the group's Seattle office,
"What we'd likely find if this plan were carried out in 10
exactly where we are today - fish hovering near extinction thresholds
never getting one step closer to recovery."
The National Wildlife Federation, along with the State of Oregon,
successfully sued the Commerce Department, parent of the fisheries
service, winning a judgment in 2003 that found that the Clinton
which included the possibility of dam removal among other remedies,
too vague and did not go far enough to protect the fish.
That judgment, by Judge James Redden of Federal District Court
Portland, opened the door for the Bush administration to revisit
and produce the opinion that was announced on Tuesday.
After the new policy was proposed in September, Judge Redden expressed
skepticism at a court hearing, warning that the administration
headed for a "train wreck."
Mr. Kober said Tuesday that "we certainly are looking seriously
continuing our litigation as a last resort," in light of
the new opinion.
An Oregon fish and wildlife official said officials there were
studying the opinion.
source : New York Times :
03.12.04 : South Asian
organizations join to resist river interlinking
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS
Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Rd, Dadar (E), Mumbai -14 (022-241505290
Delhi contact: 98918 14707
Press Note, December 3, 2004
ORGANIZATIONS JOIN FOR NATIONWIDE AND SOUTH ASIAN RESISTANCE TO
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Outcome of Delhi Meet
While the Union government had expressed its commitment for the
interlinking of rivers in the Supreme Court, the people's movements,
environmental and irrigation experts, economists and prominent
political activists made a scathing criticism of the much flaunted
and unequivocally rejected the idea and instead called for a
multi-pronged, low cost, environmentally sustainable and decentralized
options. The organizations have declared of forming the all-India
South Asian Solidarity for sharing and caring the rivers that
the countries like India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In a resolution adopted at the end of the two-day national convention
the Interlinking or the Rivers Project, on Friday (December 3),
organizations and experts exposed the hollowness of claims regarding
project and its adverse impacts on country's economy, communities,
environment and political-social fabric. They made it clear that
claim regarding flood control and drought proofing are illusory
technology and economics are "flawed". Accordingly,
the project would
result in loss of the habitat and livelihood of rural, tribal
marginalized sections of the country; it would also be the first
the direction of the privatization and corporatization of water,
away community control. The speakers accused that the
national-multinational capital is interested in appropriating
the means of
livelihood and resources of the people, and the ILR is one such
Instead they asked the government to make a realistic assessment
potential of decentralized and participatory rainwater harvesting,
cost schemes and achieve optimum benefits out of already and ongoing
projects, by reviewing them.
The organizations have decided to meet the Prime Minister and
regarding this matter and also to seek clarifications from all
political parties on this issue, along with ting the issue in
urban and tribal communities. The organizations are already organizing
river valley people and to initiate mass movement on this issue.
Large Scale Opposition
It was clear that the organizations and peoples from the North
are firmly opposing any move to tinker with the waters of Brahmputra,
Orissa organizations have refused that there was any surplus water
Hirakud and instead narrated the devastations caused by the Damodar
and others large dam projects. Activists and researchers from
Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and other states decried
project. But the most severe indictment came from the organizations
Bihar, who debunked the tradition of embankments and the Farakka
for the worsening the flood situation in the state.
Ms. Hasna, the IUCN expert from Bangladesh made it a passionate
desisting from the project in the interest oif millions of farmers
villagers in her country and India. She put forth the idea of
Asian solidarity for sharing the river waters for the prosperity
relations. Bangla Desh is the first country to protest against
with India government.
Apart from accentuating the interstate and international problems,
was found to be against the interests of the people - particularly
tribal, peasants, urban and rural poor. Dr. B.D. Sharma, former
commissioner for SC/ST, lambasted the judiciary and the President
touting such an anti-people and impractical project and suspected
seem to be a conspiracy to snatch the rights and resources from
of common people in this country.
Spilling the Beans
Former Union Secretary for Water Resources, Ramaswamy Iyer wondered
whether the ILR is a concept or a project. He pointed out that
the ILR is
not a part of any budget, Five-Year Plan and it will drain all
energy and attention of the nation with no commensurate benefit.
wondered why the the present government is acting on its promise
the project and making an about turn by committing the government
project in the Supreme Court. Mr. Iyer and every speaker criticized
government and officialdom of crass non-transparent attitude and
unwillingness to share any information.
In the inauguration session on Thursday (Dec. 2), the former Union
Minister for Agriculture and the former member of Planning Commission,
Som Pal made some plain talk on this issue. He revealed that the
Commission has prepared a plan of completing the ongoing dams,
development and other measures, costing about Rs. 1, 38,000 crores.
However, the union government did not take up that citing the
lack of finances. Then how come, all of a sudden a mere
any analysis or feasibility surveys and costing more than Rs.
crores becomes an all-time favourite scheme for the government?
He made it clear that there is no surplus water in the rivers
slated to be
interlinked, except that in Brahmputra. And the Brahmputra waters
diverted either through the Bangla Desh, which is geo-politically
impossible of through the chicken neck area from Siliguri-
is too narrow and falls within the seismic zone. According to
him the Task
Force on the ILR was created to analyse the project and not to
Medha Patkar, the National Convenor of the National Aliance of
Movements (NAPM), castigated the "scientist" President
of India for
spearheading the cause of such an unsubstantiated project, which
unbecoming influence on all fronts of the governance including
With the people's movements declaring its intent, the ball is
in now the
court of the government,
source : email@example.com
02.12.04 : Boycott
de la Banque mondiale à Paris par des
ONG : pour des
réformes de fond ! (Pressrelease FOE)
NOG's boykottieren Weltbank in Paris: Mehr grunsätzliche
Reformen (Pressemittlg. Freunde der Erde)
Paris, le 2 décembre 2004
Faisant écho aux protestations exprimées
à Rio de Janeiro, Manille et
Nairobi, les Amis de la Terre et de nombreuses ONG françaises
de boycotter la prochaine consultation de la Société
Internationale (SFI, bras armé de la Banque mondiale pour
entreprises) à Paris le 3 décembre. Les Amis de
la Terre manifesteront
devant le lieu de réunion. La Plateforme pour des Droits,
Responsabilités - dont les deux cent signataires représentent
millier d'organisations dans 53 pays - sera rendue publique à
de cet événement : elle réunit des groupes
de la société civile et des
investisseurs socialement responsables et appelle la SFI à
règles pour l'investissement privé protégeant
les intérêts des plus
pauvres et l'environnement.
La SFI a lancé une révision majeure
de ses politiques sociales,
environnementales et de divulgation, transformant ses règles
contraignantes en normes flexibles et subjectives. La révision
fortement critiquée par la société civile,
des investisseurs et même des
industries à la fois pour cette nouvelle orientation de
fond, et pour le
processus de consultation. Ce processus est précipité,
hâtif, et ne rend
pas public tous les documents clés dans les langues adéquates.
du manque de crédibilité de ces consultations, de
organisations ont choisi de les boycotter et de manifester partout
elles se déroulent dans le monde.
« Plus de flexibilité est une autre
manière d'éviter de prendre des
engagements contraignants », explique Sébastien Godinot
des Amis de la
Terre. « En tant qu'institution de développement,
la Banque mondiale a
l'obligation de protéger les populations locales et l'environnement.
Nous demandons des règles plus strictes en leur faveur,
standards flexibles conçus pour favoriser les intérêts
Le processus de révision aura un impact
significatif car la SFI a un
portefeuille d'activités de 23,5 milliards de dollars dans
les pays en
développement en 2004, et parce que ses standards sont
de plus en plus
suivis par d'autres institutions. Les vingt grandes banques privées
ayant signé les principes d'Equateur (qui représentent
financements de projets dans le monde) se sont ainsi engagées
les normes de la SFI. De même, plusieurs agences de crédit
l'exportation prennent ces standards en compte.
Les signataires de la Plateforme demandent :
- le respect des normes internationales les plus élevées
sociale, environnementale, de droits humains et du travail comme
condition d'accès aux prêts de la SFI ;
- l'établissement de mécanismes de mise en oeuvre
et de contrôle des
normes nettement plus efficaces, en rejetant la proposition
d'auto-contrôle par les seules entreprises ;
- la mise en place de conditions pour un dialogue significatif
populations affectées, et la reconnaissance des droits
internationalement garantis des populations indigènes ;
- l'accès à l'information dans un format, une langue
et un calendrier
Note : Pour obtenir le texte de Plateforme et
la liste des signataires
voir www.amisdelaterre.org ou www.grrr-now.org
Contact presse : Sebastien Godinot 01 48 51 18
92 / 06 68 98 83 41
Campagne institutions financières
LES AMIS DE LA TERRE
2 B rue Jules Ferry 93100 Montreuil France
Tél direct : +33 (0)1 48 51 18 92
Fax : +33 (0)1 48 51 33 23
01.12.04 : Greece: Acheloos
diversion hits new court snag
Greeces most environmentally controversial
major public works project has
run into a new, and possibly crucial, court block, according to
The plan to divert the waters of the Acheloos
River in western Greece, the
countrys second-longest, to the heavily farmed plain of
launched in the 1980s during Andreas Papandreous PASOK administration.
it encountered strong opposition, both from groups concerned about
projects repercussions on the environment and the fact that
important historic buildings would be submerged, as well as from
authorities in western Greece who were horrified at the prospect
the rivers waters siphoned off elsewhere.
Court sources were quoted yesterday as saying
that the Council of State,
Greeces highest administrative court, has rejected the latest
bid to get
the project unstuck from a legal mire that had kept it bogged
down for years.
The court is understood to have ruled against
the project on the grounds
that the Public Works Ministry pressed ahead again with the diversion
2003 without first studying its potential repercussions on Greeces
water resources management system. As a result, serious questions
to the projects viability.
Although first floated as an idea in 1925, the
attempt to reroute the
rivers waters to Thessaly only took off in the early 1990s.
The idea is to
divert some 600 million cubic meters of water a year to the increasingly
water-hungry plain. Since then, extensive work, worth nearly 300
euros, has been carried out, but completion still appears a distant
all realistic prospect. The courts decision is expected
to be officially
announced within the next month.
source : KATHIMERINI Newspaper , English Edition
via European Water Management News
12.11.04 : EU: Inland
navigation is important for economic growth in Europe
Inland navigation can play an important role in the
economic growth and social well-being of Europe and thus must
be given a
more prominent role in the European traffic and transport policy.
the conclusions offered to the European Commission and European
during the conference The Power of Inland Navigation,
which was held on
10 12 November in The Hague/Scheveningen. In order to realise
objectives, 19 measures were drawn up, which are directed not
only at the
Commission and Parliament, but also the EU member states as well
and industry. For example, the European Commission is requested
integrate an action plan for inland navigation into the upcoming
plan, while all parties are called on to provide for the quick
implementation of the framework directive for River Information
and shipping agents, (European) politicians, members of the
European Commission, staff members of international non-governmental
organisations and policy-makers from all over Europe met at the
this conference, which was organised within the framework of the
presidency of the European Union.
Note for the
For more information you may contact Murco Mijnlieff, telephone
20.11.04 : Croatia/Hungary:
Common Interest to Save the Dráva River
is at many sites the natural border between Hungary and Croatia.
But there are sections of it flowing trough only in one country.
last time there were tensions between the two countries because
Croatian plan to build a water power plant at Novo Virje, on Croatian
territory, but on the common river. Now both ministers responsible
water management of the neighbouring countries met on the 10th
meeting of the Hungarian-Croatian Water Management Comity.
source: aquamedia http://www.aquamedia.at/templates/index.cfm?id=14259
: WWF urges China to adopt an integrated approach to river management
The WWF is urging China to adopt a Water Framework-style
approach to river management, particularly for the Yangtze.
Attending the annual meeting of the China Council for International
Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), a WWF task
force on integrated river basin management (IRBM) presented the
findings of a year long study, noting management difficulties
as a result of different government ministries and provinces working
separately when it comes to river management.
The IRBM task force recommendations are designed
to provide Chinas State Council with a road map for implementing
IRBM through a staged, incremental process, said Dr Li Lifeng,
WWF Chinas Freshwater and Marine Programme Officer. This is
the approach that is greatly needed for managing the Yangtze river.
Intensive land reclamation has created agricultural
and urban settlements on former floodplains and lakes along the
course of the Yangtze, while thousands of kilometres of dykes
have cut off the rivers links to lakes which used to form a complex
wetland network, fulfilling important natural functions such as
spawning and feeding for fish.
Not only does this approach threaten many unique
species such as the Yangtze dolphin, the engineering has not prevented
WWF is advocating a move away from engineering
solutions to water management to a more comprehensive view one
that takes into account land use, the effects of climate change,
protected areas, and upstream protection, said Claude Martin,
Director General of WWF. So much of Chinas economy and the biodiversity
that it depends on is related to the way water is managed.
CCICED was established in 1992 and is currently
chaired by Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan.
04.11.04 : Danube reserve
director under attack : BEHIND THE ELECTION FUZZ IN UKRAINE MINISTRY
OF TRANSPORT TAKES REVENGE ON DANUBE BIOSPHERE RESERVE (SEU Newx)
On November 2 Danube Transport Prosecutors office
raided the Danube
biosphere reserve office.
At noon 5 policemen heaeded by the Danube Transport
represntative S.Kouznetsov arrived at Danube reserve office. They
showed a document about bringing a case against Danube reserve
The accusations are misuse of budget funds and abuse of power.(The
first question that comes to mind - what the TRANSPORT Prosecutor's
office has to do with that?)
After that they took away all documents they could find - not
accounting, but also all incoming and outcoming letters, agreements
and papers of the previous revisions. There were also attempts
take away computers.
This raid was taken after dozens of revisions
of different level.It is
well known that the true cause of such revision activities is
of Alexander Volshkevich, reserve director. He keeps defending
reserve from canal construction impact.
Currently Ukrainian authorities are pretending
to listen to EU demands
on canal environmental assessment. However, true situation is
different - construction goes on. Reserve Director tells the truth
and demands true monitorng and true assesment of the construction.
has recieved multiple threats, and this raid is aimed to get rid
International Socio-ecological Union, Ukrainian
Coalition for Wild
Nature condemn this abuse of law. The warn Ukrainian authorities
international community will be aware of the case. Attack on Danube
reserve Director will not solve the canal problem. ISEU and UCWN
on international community to support Alexander Voloshkevich.
Olga Zakharova firstname.lastname@example.org
Sergey Shaparenko email@example.com
Vladimir Boreyko firstname.lastname@example.org
29.10.04 : Ribble river
basin project endorsed as leader in Europe
The River Ribble Pilot project has been
endorsed as a leader in Europe
during a conference aimed at improving water management. The river
used as a pilot in river basin planning in order to prepare for
Delegates to the conference, The Ripple Effect,
were given a tour of the
Ribble Valley, encompassing the urban centres of Burnley and Blackburn
well as the agricultural areas around Pendle, to get a feel for
challenges facing the basin.
The Ribble was specifically chosen because of
its diverse surroundings and
formed the main focus for the conference.
Rob Oates, UK Natural Rivers Programme Co-ordinator
for WWF, one of the
conference's organisers said: "The conference demonstrated
best practice examples of public participation in the development
basin plans. WWF believes that the Ribble experience will be a
encourage public participation across the UK as the implementation
Across Europe 15 river catchments have been chosen
as pilots for the new
legislation to ensure the consistency, coherence and harmonisation
national and European guidance. The Ribble and West Lancashire
area is the
chosen site in the UK.
The Ribble Pilot will test current European guidance
participation and river basin planning. The tests will finish
when the Agency reports back to the European Commission. The Environment
Agency will also be testing its own guidance in the Ribble area
implementation across England and Wales. These tests will be ongoing
the next few years.
Finally, the work being done in the Ribble area
will go towards a
'prototype' River basin management plan for the Ribble in 2007,
contribute to the North West's River Basin District Management
Other projects under the spotlight at the conference
included the Danube
River basin, the Spanish Jucar pilot, the Grand River in Canada
South African Mondi Wetlands Project.
The conference culminated in a keynote address
on the importance of public
participation for the WFD by Helmut Bloech, Head of the Water
Sector for the European Commission. He hailed the Ribble as the
project in Europe.
By David Hopkins
12.10.04 : World Bank
approves India dam against wishes of local people
(Press Release, International Rivers Network, Berkeley California)
On October 12, the World Bank's executive board
approved a $45 million loan from their private sector arm, the
International Finance Corporation (IFC), for a controversial hydropower
project in the Indian Himalayas. The loan was approved despite
the launching of an investigation into the project by the IFC's
ombudsman. Local people and Indian non-governmental organizations
had called for the project to be delayed until numerous grievances
and irregularities are resolved.
"We are afraid that with the dam in place, we will not have
enough drinking water and that there will be too little water
left for our fields. We fear that the project could even destroy
our livelihoods," says Sundar Mahant, from Jagatsukh village,
downstream of the proposed dam.
The 192 megawatt Allain Duhangan hydropower project is being built
across two tributaries of the Beas River in the mountain state
of Himachal Pradesh.
The Jagatsukh villagers filed a formal complaint with the IFC's
independent Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO) in September.
They charged that the project's environmental assessment was flawed
and incomplete and that necessary consultations with project-affected
people had not been held. Their complaint also states that Jagatsukh
has not given the "No Objection Certificate" to the
project required under state law.
On October 5, villagers from Jagatsukh wrote to World Bank President
James Wolfensohn urging him to delay the decision on Allain Duhangan
until the CAO has investigated their complaint. Two days prior
to loan approval, the CAO decided that the villagers complaint
warranted an independent assessment of the project.
An Indian consultant hired by the IFC gave numerous recommendations
on measures needed if the project were to meet IFC standards and
local laws. These recommendations have not been complied with.
Himanshu Thakker, an analyst with the Delhi-based South Asia Network
on Dams, Rivers and People, has shown that the dam's power will
not be required for up to 20 years due to a spate of recent investments
in hydropower for India's northern grid. Thakker also shows that
planners have consistently exaggerated India's future power needs.
This is the first large dam project in India to be approved by
the World Bank since 1989. It comes against a background of a
strong push by the World Bank to increase its lending for "high-risk/high-reward"
infrastructure projects and to weaken its social and environmental
"The new infrastructure approach of the World Bank will indeed
be "high risk" - but low reward - if it means pushing
unnecessary projects with shoddy environmental assessments and
without addressing the concerns of local communities," says
Ann Kathrin Schneider, South Asia campaigner for International
"The Bank should at least have delayed this project until
the CAO's investigation was complete and the local community concerns
resolved. Now the loan is approved we fear that the CAO's recommendations
will be ignored by project officials."
For further information:
* Peter Bosshard, IRN, email@example.com, tel: + 1 510 848 1155
* Ann Kathrin Schneider, IRN, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: + 1 510
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