the "2013 news"
Europe : Turkey : Hydropower capacity to hit 310GW by 2050
in the European region plus Turkey will reach 310 gigawatts by 2050,
with an electricity production of about 915 terawatt hours, the
International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in a report on Monday.
This is more than in North America and Russia, whose capacity is
expected to increase to 215GW and 145GW respectively, according
to the agency's latest roadmap on the development and deployment
of low-carbon technologies.
An Eurelectric report from last year, which is cited by the IEA,
has estimated that a further 660TWh of electricity a year could
be generated from hydropower in the EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland,
Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
But the IEA points out that legislative requirements in the EU such
as obligations under the river basin management plans will limit
In France for example, the agency notes that "the overall [technically
achievable] potential... has been assessed at 95TWh/y, but taking
the strongest environmental protection in full account brings the
total to 80TWh".
In some cases, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) will cut hydropower
generation in the EU as installations will have to let more water
to bypass them.
In contrast, global hydropower capacity is foreseen as doubling
from the current 1,000GW by 2050. This would save up to three billion
tonnes of CO2 per year, excluding methane emissions from reservoirs.
The impact of decomposing vegetation is hard to generalise and is
still being investigated.
To meet the predictions, countries should assess their hydropower
potential at river basin level, including options to upgrade existing
units, and collaborate on technologies. Development plans with targets
are also needed.
The report notes that hydropower can be used to balance the output
of variable renewables such as wind and solar, offering an alternative
to coal or gas.
Hydropower-dominated Norway already does this through its connection
to the wind-reliant Danish grid. The system has offset the need
for Norway to build thermal plants for use in drier years. Plans
for further undersea connections will provide a greater market for
Norwegian hydropower. Ireland has similar intentions.
IEA press release,
hydropower roadmap and list of previous roadmaps
ENDS 2012. Please respect our terms and conditions and do not redistribute
by email or post on the web. Email email@example.com to buy
:Mexico : la Parota Dam project cancelled after years of campaigning
On August 16,
2012, after nearly 10 years of campaigning, La Parota Dam was officially
cancelled. This is an amazing victory for the communities in Mexico
– especially the Council of Communal Land Owners and Communities
Against Construction of La Parota Dam (CECOP) – who have been
fighting the project from the beginning, and the larger movement
in Latin America fighting to protect their rivers and human rights.
La Parota would
have consisted of a 900 MW dam on the Papagayo River 28 km from
the city of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. It would have flooded
close to 17,000 hectares of land, displaced more than 25,000 people,
and affected another 75,000 people downstream of the dam.
informations (International Rivers)
16.08.12 : Belo Monte Dam Suspended by Brazilian
Appeals Court. Project
was illegally authorized by Congress without prior consultations
with indigenous tribes, judges say
Brazil: A high-level court yesterday suspended construction
of the controversial Belo Monte dam project on the Amazon’s
Xingu River, citing overwhelming evidence that indigenous people
had not been properly consulted prior to government approval of
A group of judges
from Brazil's Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF1) upheld an earlier
decision that declared the Brazilian Congress’s authorization
of the project in 2005 to be illegal. The decision concludes that
the Brazilian Constitution and ILO Convention 169, to which Brazil
is party, require that Congress can only authorize the use of water
resources for hydroelectric projects after an independent assessment
of environmental impacts and subsequent consultations with affected
The ruling means
that Brazilian Congress will have to correct its previous error
by organizing consultations on the project’s impacts with
affected indigenous peoples of the Xingu River, especially the Juruna,
Arara and Xikrin tribes. Their opinions should be considered in
a Congressional decision on whether to authorize Belo Monte, and
in the meantime the project consortium has been ordered to suspend
construction. Project consortium Norte Energia, S.A, led by the
parastatal energy company Eletrobras, faces a daily fine of R$500,000,
or about US$250,000, if it does not comply with the suspension.
The dam consortium is expected to appeal the decision in the Brazilian
- The courts
decision highlights the urgent need for the Brazilian government
and Congress to respect the federal constitution and international
agreements on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding
projects that put their livelihoods and territories at risk. Human
rights and environmental protection cannot be subordinated to narrow
business interests” stated Federal Judge Souza Prudente, who
authored the ruling.
- This latest
court ruling vindicates what indigenous people, human rights activists
and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office have been demanding
all along. We hope that President Dilma’s Attorney General
and the head judge of the federal court (TRF1) will not try to subvert
this important decision, as they have done in similar situations
in the past,” said Brent Millikan of International Rivers,
based in Brasilia.
- This decision
reinforces the request made by the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights in April 2011 to suspend the project due to lack of
consultations with indigenous communities. We hope that Norte Energia
and the government comply with this decision and respect the rights
of indigenous communities said Joelson Cavalcante of the Interamerican
Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), an organization giving
legal support to affected communities.
Congress authorized construction of Belo Monte seven years ago without
an environmental impact assessment (EIA). A subsequent study - produced
by state-owned energy company Eletrobras and three of Brazil’s
largest construction companies (Camargo Correa, Andrade Gutierrez,
and Odebrecht) - was widely criticized for underestimating socio-environmental
impacts, especially on indigenous peoples and other traditional
communities living downstream from the huge dam that would divert
80% of the Xingu’s natural flow. The EIA was approved by Brazil’s
federal environmental agency (IBAMA) in February 2010 under intense
political pressure and over the objections of the agency's own technical
With dam construction
racing ahead since June 2011, many of Belo Monte’s forewarned
social and environmental consequences are proving real. As
a result, indigenous people have become more vocal in their opposition
to Belo Monte.
During the United
Nations' Rio+20 conference in June, indigenous leaders launched
a 21- day occupation of the dam site, protesting against the growing
impacts of the project and broken promises by dam-builders. Two
weeks later, indigenous communities detained three Norte Energia
engineers on tribal lands. Both protests demanded suspension of
the project due to non-compliance of mitigation requirementes. Last
month, the Federal Public Office filed a lawsuit calling for suspension
of the Belo Monte’s installation license, given widespread
non-compliance with conditions of the project’s environmental
licenses. Given this contentious and convoluted history, the long
overdue process of consultations with indigenous peoples on Belo
Monte is not likely to produce a positive verdict on Belo Monte,
from the point of view of indigenous peoples.
over violations of indigenous rights by dam projects are emerging
elsewhere in the Brazilian Amazon. Last week, in another landmark
decision led by judge Souza Prudente, a group of judges from the
TRF1 , the same court ordered the immediate suspension of one of
five large dams planned for the Teles Pires river, a major tributary
of the Tapajos river, noting a lack of prior and informed consultations
with the Kayabi, Apiakás and Munduruku indigenous peoples
affected by the project.
Souza Prudente, "the aggression against indigenous peoples in the
case of the Teles Pires dam has been even more violent than in Belo
Monte. A political decision to proceed with the construction of
five large dams along the Teles Pires river was made by the Ministry
of Mines and Energy with no effective analysis of impacts on the
livelihoods and territories of indigenous peoples. The Sete Quedas
rapids on the Teles Pires river are considered sacred by indigenous
peoples and are vital for the reproduction of fish that are a staple
of their diets. Yet none of this was taken into account in the basin
inventory and environmental impact studies. Moreover, the
government and Congress simply ignored their obligations to ensure
prior and informed consultations with indigenous peoples, as determined
by the Federal Constitution and ILO Convention 169".
the President of the TRF1 announced his intention to overturn the
decision of Souza Prudente and other federal judges regarding the
Teles Pires hydroproject, marking a growing crisis within Brazil’s
judiciary system over the Dilma Rousseff administration’s
ambitious dam-building plans in the Amazon.
via IR International
Office of the Ministerio Público Federal do Pará
Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre
: Portugal to build a new dam in a UNESCO World Heritage site: sign
and Stop the Tua River Dam
In May 2012,
the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, asked the Portuguese government
to stop the construction of the hidroelectric dam at the mouth of
the Portuguese River Tua. Its construction threatens the classified
area of the Alto Douro Wine Region ... but the Portuguese government
is still defending the impossible - that the dam can be made compatible
with the World heritage landscape.
The Tua Dam will be visited by delegation of the UNESCO World Heritage
Committee in the week of 30th July 2012Let's say to Portuguese Parliament
and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that we are against the
construction of this dam, which in addition to adversely affecting
the our world cultural and natural heritage, will cause the cost
per kWh of electrical energy production to be more than twice the
current average cost of production, five times greater than just
reinforcement of existing dams and twelve times greater than the
implementation of measures for energy efficiency. Several new dams
such as this one could imply a 10% increase in electricity bills
of Portuguese families! The only ones benefiting from this are EDP
(the biggest Portuguese energy corporation) and its managers.
We have no time to lose, please help us to spread and sign the petition
BEFORE the 29th july to stop the dam and save the river Tua, its
natural environment and our common heritage (yes its yours too -
its world heritage after all! ). Its vital to spread the word outside
Portugal as international attention can make a huge difference!
We will deliver the petition to the UNESCO committee when they are
the petition posted by a coalition of portugese NGOs (latest at
29 july 2012)
Some more facts
on the Tua Dam.
In addition to putting at risk the Douro valley world heritage status
the building of the Tua Dam would:
- destroy some of the last free flowing river systems in Portugal
and submersing valuable cork oak and aquatic ecosystems;
- agravate the pressures on the already highly impacted river system,
that has already more than 60 large dams (7 of 9 new dams planned
under the National Dam Plan are to be built in the Douro river basin)
- imply spending millions of euros attempting to protect and recover
the coastline due to the retention of the sediments by the dams;
- be completely unecessary as concerns reneweables energy policy.
Foz Tua will contribute only 0,1% of the country´s energy
needs (0,6% of its electricity needs), avoiding 0,1% GHG emissions
and imported energy dependancy, and is unecessary to store (future)
wind energy as Portugal already has, or will shortly have, excess
hydro storage capacity (1);
- cause loss of productive land and water resources that are privatized,
of unique landscapes with high touristic value, and wild-water sports
as well as functional local public transport systems;
- cause loss of productive land and water resources that are privatized,
of unique landscapes with high touristic value, and wild-water sports
as well as functional local public transport systems;
- undermine the far larger benefits of investing in energy efficiency
(estimated at savings of up to 20%) for the economy, empolyment
and sustainability (2) .
: One dam thing after another ! Iceland Government suspends plans
for three big dams following a successful salmon protection campaign
The Icelandic Government has accepted NASFs objections to
a new hydro-electric generating scheme on Icelands biggest
river and suspended the plans to build three dams to power generation
plants. NASF had urged the government to adopt a precautionary approach
to proposals by Landsvirkjun, Icelands biggest power company,
to harness power from the river Thjorsá. A proposal to this
effect will now be presented to the Icelandic Parliament.
the countrys biggest river system, originates in the mighty
Hofsjökull glacier in the middle of Iceland. It hosts Iceland´s
biggest sustainable wild salmon stock and also holds brown trout,
sea trout and some char. Nearly 90% of the natural fish habitat
in the river lies above the Urridafoss waterfall and revolutionary
changes were proposed to the flow of the river. NASF warned the
government that this would create huge losses of habitat and nursery
areas for juvenile salmon.
Using taxpayers cash the power company, has invested heavily in
the projects but had failed to fully assess the colossal damage
to the natural environment that could be caused. It had also failed
to consult with the river owners and merely cited the Columbia
and Snake rivers in the Northwest United States as evidence of their
good intentions. Twenty years ago the river owners around Thjórsá
negotiated a deal that provided them with a fish ladder at the Buda
waterfall. It appears to be reasonably successful but many of the
river owners say it is just a start to huge salmon enhancement activities
envisoned for the whole river system.
Over the last decade or so Iceland river catches have doubled and
trebled following the strict protection and enhancement schemes
that progressive angling operators and river owners in Iceland have
introduced. These include conservation deals in the marine environment,
coastal nets buyouts, catch-&-release, carefully focused stocking
projects and a variety of other innovative enhancment work.
Orri Vigfusson, chairman of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF)
says that schemes like the now-suspended Thjórsá plan
should be an international issue and be related to climate changes.
As glaciers shrink the snow melt from which many rivers spring
will reduce. As sea levels rise, salination of the lower reaches
will increase, he said.
Far from building new dams we need to accelerate their removal.
In the last ten years only 410 American dams were removed and there
are 84,000 more. Demolishing big obstructions like hydro dams will
improve natural river flows and the production of feed and oxygen
for the fish, mammals and invertebrates that live in or around a
river. Hopefully marine life will also stand to benefit.
In Maine, the 160-year-old Edward Dam was removed from the Kennebec
River in 1999 and today the river boasts a thriving and diverse
fishery. Undamming the Elwha river in Washington is expected to
boost its salmon population from 3,000 to 400,000 and this will
attract bears, eagles and other wildlife that thrived before the
river dams were built in 1914.
NASF is currently supporting plans to remove dams obstructing wild
salmon runs in the Sélune river in the Mont-Saint-Michel
area of Normandy in France. It is also supporting an Atlantic Salmon
Federation project to remove the dams on the Penobscot river in
Maine that would open up a thousand miles of new salmon habitat.
In submitting its biological and environmental assessment, NASF
sought the advice of Dr Margaret Filardo, Fishery Biologist and
Michele DeHart, Manager of the Fish Passage Center in Oregon. A
host of Icelandic experts including the Thórsá river
board have advised and participated in the NASF assessment of this
We now need a few years to explore the real opportunities
the Thórsá river system can offer, Orri Vigfusson
said. Our focus will be on the salmon stocks and we shall
use the vast expertise our worldwide teams have amassed over the
last 20 years. We hope to develop a master plan for a massive salmon
enhancement programme throughout this uniquely productive water
system. Simultaneously we shall need to develop angling programmes
and encourage eco-tourism and a host of other projects that will
create new jobs and new income revenues for the local population
that live beside this huge river.
The North Atlantic Salmon Fund, NASF, is an international coalition
of voluntary private sector conservation groups who have come together
to restore stocks of wild Atlantic salmon to their historic abundance.
: India : A supreme court order in India asking the government to
link more than 30 rivers and divert waters to parched areas has
sparked concerns in neighbouring countries.
Bangladesh says it would be hardest hit because it is a downstream
country to two major rivers that flow from India.
New Delhi is
yet to respond to the neighbouring countries' reactions.
The multi-billion-dollar project was announced by the Indian government
in 2002 but had since remained on paper.
Experts in Nepal say the country's unstable political situation
could open the door for India to build dams and reservoirs in Nepalese
territory for the inter-linking project - known as the ILR.
Hydrologists say as an upstream country, Nepal has ideal locations
for the infrastructure required to make the mammoth Indian project
Bhutan too has similar locations and some of its rivers are tributaries
to the Bramhaputra, a major river system in the region included
in India's river-linking project.
The project's basic idea is to take water from areas where authorities
believe it is abundant and divert it to areas where there is less
available for irrigation, power and human consumption.
Official Indian documents have stated that the country - with its
population of 1.2 billion - is increasingly water-stressed.
But when the government tried to present the ILR as a possible solution,
it became quite controversial as critics argued it would have huge
They also said it was unfeasible on technical grounds and that not
all the states through which the rivers flow might allow waters
to be diverted.
Official documents suggest parts of India are increasingly
Some Indian states already have long-running water sharing disputes.
Delivering the court's order earlier this month, the judges said
the project had long been delayed, resulting in an increase in cost.
Some 10 years ago, the super-ambitious scheme was billed at $120bn
and was estimated that it would take 16 years to complete.
The court has also appointed a committee to plan and implement the
project in a "time-bound manner".
Even before any of that began, Bangladesh was already quite critical
of the idea.
"We can never agree to it," Ramesh Chandra Sen, Bangladeshi water
resources minister told the BBC.
"Our agriculture, economy and our lives depend on these rivers,
and we cannot imagine their waters being diverted."
The Ganges and the Bramhaputra, Asia's major river systems that
flow down to Bangladesh, are among the rivers India has planned
to divert to its western and southern parts.
Ainun Nishat, a Bangladeshi water resource expert, was even more
"India assumes that these rivers stop at its borders and that there
will be no downstream impacts to Bangladesh if it did anything to
those resources," he said.
"They (India) have always thought that the Bramhaputra has a surplus
water but they don't seem to remember that there is a sovereign
country called Bangladesh downstream which has a need for water."
Minister Sen said there had been no official communication with
his government on the project from the Indian side.
Nepal's Energy Minister Posta Bahadur Bogati too said he had not
received any official information.
Senior Nepali water expert Santa Bahadur Pun said there were concerns
that politicians might not be able to secure a good deal for allowing
India to build dams and reservoirs in Nepalese territory.
"That is because we hear our leaders talking only about the stereotype
hydropower development whereas they should be focusing on making
India pay for the downstream benefits it would be getting from its
river-linking infrastructures in Nepal."
Such concerns also stem from the fact that some think Nepalese politicians
are too preoccupied with the prolonged peace process that India
mediated after a 10-year Maoist insurgency.
Bhutan says it has not been apprised of the project idea.
"While we recognise rivers as a trans-boundary issue, there has
been no direct dialogue as far as building structures in Bhutan
for the project (of India) is concerned," Bhutanese Minister for
Agriculture and Forests Pema Gyamtsho told the BBC.
Media reports and academic papers apart, little has come out officially
about the inter-river linking project.
In 2006, the Indian water resources minister at the time gave a
brief response in the parliament when asked if there would be a
white paper on the project.
"The ILR project is still at a conceptual stage only and all the
far-reaching effects of the link projects can be analysed at the
stage of preparation of detailed projects.
"As such, there is no need to release a white paper on the ILR at
Indian water resources ministry officials made no comment to the
BBC's query how India took its neighbours' reactions to the recent
supreme court's order to implement the river linking project.
Many of India's past water treaties and agreements with neighbouring
countries Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan have been mired in disputes.
And now Delhi has had to worry about China's plans to divert its
southern rivers to the north, analysts say.
The main concern has been proposed Chinese hydro-electric plants
on Tibet's Yarlung-Tsampo river that becomes the Bramhaputra in
India, although Beijing has said it does not intend to divert its
A number of studies have shown South Asia as one of the flashpoints
over water resources in the future, particularly in the wake of
climate change and a burgeoning population.
A recent assessment by the US intelligence agencies has said beyond
2022, South Asia will be one of the regions in the world where "water
would be used as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism".
source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17555918
via International Rivers
: A final dam wave in the Danube River Basin (DEF pressrelease)
read the pressrelease
in german by the Danube Environment Forum
14.03.12 : Heritage before Hydropower: Petition
to UNESCO on Ilisu Dam launched
Pressrelease Berne Declaration – CounterCurrent
– ECA Watch Austria
Berlin, Vienna – 14.3.2012) On the occasion of today’s
International Day of Action for Rivers an international
coalition of environmental and human rights organisations launches
a petition to UNESCO to become active in protecting potential World
Heritage Sites which are under threat due to the construction of
the Ilisu Dam in Turkey. For the first time initiatives from Turkey,
Iraq and Iran engage jointly in the protection of their natural
and cultural heritage.
transnational alliance speaks out against the destruction of the
10,000 year old town Hasankeyf, which would be flooded in the Ilisu
Dam’s reservoir, and against the severe impacts on the Mesopotamian
Marshes and its inhabitants at the mouth of the Tigris river. They
are supported by numerous organisations throughout the world, including
Swiss Berne Declaration, CounterCurrent from Germany and ECA Watch
Austria which have campaigned on the Ilisu project for over a decade.
and the Tigris valley are a unique natural and cultural landscape.
They form the livelihood for thousands of inhabitants. Even though
Hasankeyf is under monumental protection by Turkish law, the Turkish
government intends its inundation.
Mesopotamian Marshes were included in the Tentative List of potential
World Heritage Sites by the Iraqi government in 2003. The actual
nomination process to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site has not
been initiated however. Ulrich Eichelmann from ECA Watch Austria
has recently visited the marshes. He confirms: “The impacts
of the Ilisu Dam for the Mesopotamian Marshes would be devastating.
If Ilisu is actually built, the garden of Eden will dry up and hundreds
of thousands Iraqi people will suffer.”
violate human rights, destroy nature and cultural goods and are
not even climate friendly in many cases“, Heike Drillisch,
coordinator of CounterCurrent, states. These points of criticism
are currently being addressed at the Alternative World Water Forum
in Marseille. This event is organized to demonstrate against privatisation
schemes and the destructive impacts of dams which are promoted at
the World Water Forum taking place at the same time in Marseille.
The petition to UNESCO is presented at the Alternative World Water
petition and the list of supporters can be found at http://www.change.org/petitions/unesco-world-heritage-committee-save-world-heritage-on-the-tigris-river-in-mesopotamia
Heike Drillisch, CounterCurrent and Berne
Declaration: +49 177 345 26 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulrich Eichelmann, ECA-Watch: Tel. +43
676 662 15 12, email@example.com
Press Release by the initiating organisations:
- Information on the Alternative Water Forum: http://www.fame2012.org/en/
Information on the International Day of Action
against Dams and for Rivers: http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/node/6066
- Background: The
petition is initiated by Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive (Turkey),
ICSSI - Iraq Civil Society Solidarity Initiative,
- CDO – Civil Development Organisation (Iraq-Kurdistan Regional
Governorate, KRG), CENESTA - The Centre for Sustainable Development
The governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland withdrew export
credit guarantees for the Ilisu project in 2009. The Austrian company
Andritz as well as the Swiss consultants Colenco, Stucky and Maggia
nonetheless remained in the project and enabled the Turkish government
to continue with the construction of the dam. ``
information on the Ilisu dam project
Web page by RiverNet
: Civil Society Rejects Greenwashing of Dams at World Water Forum
(International Rivers and others)
As the 6th World
Water Forum opened in Marseille, France, International Rivers and
our partners were there to shed light on their greenwashing of large
dams. Displaying t-shirts that read "Large Dams Are Not Green,"
we attempted to enter the Forum's opening ceremony to send a message
that civil society rejects the Forum's support for large dams, and
its market-based approach to water. However, security stopped us
from entering the ceremony, despite the fact that we were accredited
to do so.
We decried the
Forum's embrace of the industry-led Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), a toothless scorecard
that has no binding power to prevent environmental and human rights
violations during the construction and implementation of dams. The
Forum is promoting a return to large dams in the "Green Economy,"
though it is a business-as-usual path that will do little to sustain
freshwater biodiversity, protect the world's river systems, or mitigate
Call for a Rights-Based
In contrast, civil society organizations and dam-affected peoples
from across Europe and the world will release a statement this week
calling on "governments and financiers to prioritize the water
and energy needs of the poor over the demands of the global market.
We ask that all needs and options are assessed in a balanced, participatory
process before new water and energy projects are approved. We call
on all actors to strictly follow the recommendations of the World
Commission on Dams in case such a process identifies a dam as the
most appropriate option."
calls on governments and financiers "not to endorse the voluntary
approach of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol."
the compet article by International Rivers
14.03.12 : INTERNATIONAL DY OF ACTION FOR RIVERS
: CALL TO ACTION : March 14th: International Day of Action for Rivers
and Against Dams.
Create a Living River in Central Marseille! Protest Against
the Greenwashing of Dams !
11.03.12 : APPEL A ACTION
: 14 mars: Journée Internationale pour les fleuves et contre
les barrages. Nous allons créer un fleuve vivant en plein
centre de Marseille! Protestons contre le maquillage vert des grands
Front Steps of the Gare Saint Charles train station,
Large Dams Are Not Green!
This is a symbolic protest for the media against the greenwashing
of large dams, against the Hydropower
Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), against the massive
funding from international financial institutions such as the World
Bank and European Investment Bank in large dams, and in favor of
rivers that are alive and healthy. Help us create a living
river in the middle of Marseille. We will then have a large, inflated
dam block the river. We will even paint the dam green.
A few ideas to participate:
1) Wear traditional dress from your culture and bring anything that
represents how you depend on your river for life. You'll help keep
the river alive.
2) Wear the clothes of a dam builder or financier (work suit, ties,
etc) and, if you can, bring a sign with the name/logo of your favorite
worst dam builder. You'll work to defend the dam.
3) Come dressed in painting clothes. You'll help paint the dam green.
We will use water color paint (it will wash off easily).
4) Bring Protest Banners!
Please email me to let me know if you will participate
and in what way. Zachary Hurwitz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organizers: CounterBalance, Campagna
per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, Amis
de la Terre, and International
31.01.12 : World Bank's
Program-For-Results Loan Instrument: Good Intentions ?
The World Bank's
Board of Directors has approved a new lending instrument called
Program-For-Results (P4R). The instrument is supposed to fund programs,
not provide project finance, and is meant to work within a borrower's
existing regulatory framework – what the Bank calls a country
systems approach. However, not all country systems are made equal.
Some of today's largest dam financiers operate within a highly unaccountable
national policy framework, where human rights, transparency, and
civil society participation may take a back seat to the "national
dam builders are not held to the highest social and environmental
standards, either because developers do not implement them in practice,
or because dam financiers do not have strong safeguards policies
in the first place. Will P4R help these dam financiers adopt stronger
standards? Or will it simply move money to highly unaccountable
governments and institutions, without achieving real results? In
case P4R finances hydropower, who will be held accountable for project
impacts: the World Bank, the borrower, or both ? complet
article : International Rivers Website
: Villagers' protest at Istanbul's Topkapi Palace
draws attention to impending loss of World Heritage in their home
town. Planned Ilisu dam will inundate 12,000-year history including
the ancient town of Hasankeyf
Press Release by the Turkish Nature Association Doga Dernegi
26th January 2012, Istanbul, Turkey - Tourists today experienced
the deprivation of enjoying one of Istanbul’s most iconic
cultural and historical monuments as villagers from the historical
town of Hasankeyf in the southeast of Turkey blocked the entrance
of Topkapi Palace (1) to draw attention to the impending loss of
their ancient town threatened by a major dam.
The protestors placed signs reading ‘No Entry’ and cordoned
off the entrance to the palace holding images of historical sites
from the Tigris Valley and Hasankeyf that date back
thousands of years. The villagers opened a banner reading ‘UNESCO
WORLD HERITAGE SITES TOPKAPI-HASANKEYF, CANNOT BE RELOCATED’.
“Our town Hasankeyf, together with the Tigris valley, will
be inundated if the planned Ilisu dam goes ahead. The government
closed down parts of the historical town in 2010 and the Minister
in charge of the dam project, Veysel Eroglu, is claiming that they
will move Hasankeyf to another location. Just as Topkapi Palace,
a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cannot be moved, Hasankeyf - which
deserves the same title - cannot be moved to another location either,”
said Ismail Kocyigit, a retired Imam from Hasankeyf.
Hasankeyf, with the surrounding Tigris Valley, is the only place
in the world that meets nine out of 10 criteria for a UNESCO Wold
Heritage Site according to a report published by Istanbul University
Prof Zeynep Ahunbay, who is also president of ICOMOS Turkey (International
Council on Monuments and Sites) (2). Yet the Turkish government
refuses to include the region in the UNESCO list.
Engin Yilmaz, Executive Director of Doga Dernegi (Nature Association),
joined the protest with volunteers from the conservation organisation.
He said: “If the planned Ilisu Dam is built, it would be the
second biggest dam in Turkey and cause the displacement of tens
of thousands people (3), the extinction of many species in the Tigris
Valley and it would destroy naturally important habitats and hundreds
of historical sites that date back 12,000 years including the ancient
town of year-old Hasankeyf.”
Since Hasankeyf was declared a “protected area” in 1981
the locals have been denied permission to carry out any needed restoration
of their houses. At the same time the government has not invested
in Hasankeyf since, leading to the area’s dilapidation.
In addition to drawing attention to the impending loss of an invaluable
historical and cultural legacy, the protestors highlighted the tourism
potential in the area and the economic benefits that could be gained
if investment were made into preserving and promoting this heritage.
Hamdiye Öztekin who attended the protest with her husband and
daughter from Hasankeyf drew a comparison with Cappadocia, which
enjoys a number of similarities with the villagers’ hometown:
“The world-renowned tourist destination of Cappadocia was
declared a World Heritage Site in the 80s, and since then it generates
over 600 million dollars a year (4) following investment made in
the area. Yet, we are being denied the right to live in our hometown
and enjoy the economic benefits possible through the tourism potential
that Hasankeyf and Tigris Valley’s unique nature and history
Human settlements in Hasankeyf date back to prehistoric times. The
notable artefacts include: The Castle that dates back to the 4th
century, the bridge built in the 12th century which is the biggest
stone bridge of the Middle Ages, and the Eyyubi Sultan Suleiman’s
grave located in the town.
The residents of Hasankeyf together with Doga Dernegi, called on
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to revise its Ilisu Dam plans
and include Hasankeyf and the Tigris Valley in the UNESCO World
Heritage Sites list.
For more information please contact,
Do?a Derne?i Hasankeyf campaign Coordinator
Mobile : +90 549 8010082
(1) Topkapi Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage
Site in 1985.
(2) Prof Ahunbay’s report can be found at:
(3) A report by World Bank expert Ayse Kudat puts
the figure of people actually affected at 19,000-34,000, and the
number of people potentially affected at 55,000-78,000. http://www.evb.ch/en/p25000556.html
(4) Kayseri Cappadocia Tourism Cluster Final Report,
ABIGEM, November 2009.
Images 1,2 and 3: Hasankeyf villagers calling for the protection
of their ancient town in south east Turkey which is threatened by
the Il?su dam, stand at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace saying that
just as such a Unesco World Heritage Site cannot be moved so their
hometown which deserves the same title cannot be relocated. (Photos
by IF Atolye)
Image 4: A retired Imam and a family from historical Hasankeyf demands
the cancellation of Il?su dam which threatens their hometown during
a protest at Istanbul’s Topkap? Palace. (Photo by IF Atolye)
information on the fight against the Ilisu dam on Rivernets Website