The International Day of Action Against Dams: For Rivers, Water, and Life was inspired and mandated by the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams that took place in March, 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil. Representatives from twenty countries including Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Lesotho, Argentina, Thailand, Russia, France, Switzerland, and the United States decided that the International Day of Action would fall on 14 March, Brazil's Day of Action Against Large Dams. One of the goals for the Day of Action is to build and strengthen regional and international networks within the international anti-dam movement.

    The idea for the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams originated during an annual meeting of Brazil's Movement of People Affected by Large Dams (MAB). In September, 1995 a preparatory meeting was held in Brazil and an international organizing committee was formed headed by MAB and including International Rivers Network (IRN), India's Save the Narmada Movement (NBA), Chile's Biobío Action Group (GABB), and European Rivers Network (ERN).

    The First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams was a successful first step in building and strengthening a global network of the dam-affected. Many of the participants reported an end to their feelings of isolation in their regional fights against governments, lending agencies, and corporations, as well as a renewed strength that they could carry back to their communities.

    The International Day of Action Against Dams: For Rivers, Water, and Life is the next step in strengthening the international movement. Our aim is to raise our voices in unison against destructive water development projects, reclaim the health of our rivers and watersheds, and demand the equitable and sustainable management of our waterways. By acting together, we will demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.



Fundación Proteger
Specifics to be announced, but will be against the Paraná Medio Dam Project and for Paraná River protection.
Contact Information:
Jorge Cappato
Casilla de Correo 550
3000 Santa Fé
Phone & Fax: +54 42 970298

 ARGENTINA, Parana, Entre Rios
Association of Environmental Organizations of the Middle Paraná River
Starting on March 14, approximately 25 kayaks will travel on the Gualeguay River, from the headwaters in the north to the mouth in the south. They will stop in cities and communities, visiting the media and schools in order to teach the people about the issues surrounding the Paraná Medio Dam. The name of this action is "Alerta Gualeguay."
Contact Information:
Anacleto Llosa/Raul José Rocco
Rocamora 670
3100 Parana, Entre Rios
Phone: + 54 43 230910
Fax: +54 43 220000

Environs Kimberley
Kimberley people who are concerned about plans to dam the Fitzroy River will celebrate the Day of Action by holding a family picnic at Willare Bridge. The event is being organized by Derby members of Environs Kimberley. The aim is to raise awareness of the value of the Fitzroy as one of Australia's few remaining wild rivers.
Contact Information
Not available at the moment. Will be provided soon.

 AUSTRALIA, Queensland, Arlie Beach
Wildlife Preservation of Queensland (WPSQ)
Group will publish relevant material in their newsletter and urge their
members to attend the Mackay action.
Contact Information
Ian Sutton, Coordinator
Whitsunday Branch Inc.
PO Box 1002
Arlie Beach Q 4802
phone & fax: +61 7 4946 4170
Email: isutton@tpgi.com.au

 AUSTRALIA, Queensland, Mackay
Mackay Conservation Group
The Mackay Conservation Group is holding a celebration in Mackay at Jubilee
Park between 10am-2pm. all are welcome. They will have a display informing
of the downstream effects of dams and how that affects the health of the
oceans (it is the year of the ocean). They will have stalls, displays, food
and music. "It is time for decision makers to broaden their horizons and
think beyond short term gains for a section of the community. We need to
move our thoughts onto long-term losses for the whole community and the
environment," says Lauren Appleby, Mackay Conservation Group Coordinator.
Contact Information
Lauren Appleby, Coordinator
PO Box 826
Mackay Qld 4740
Phone: +61 7 4953 0808
Fax: +61 7 4953 5438
Email: mcg@m130.aone.net.au

Movement of Dam-Affected People - Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens (MAB)
Brazil's Movement of Dam-Affected People has mobolized in opposition to large dams on this day for at least a decade. MAB consists of ten regional organizations, all of which are active against the approximately 400 dams planned in the near future. Look for specific actions to be listed soon.
Contact Information:
Sandra Inez Paulino
Rua 7 de Abril, 264
Sala 723
01014-000 Sao Paulo, SP
Phone: +55 11 256 0839
Fax: +55 11 256 0839

CANADA, New Brunswick
Mt. Allison University
Student group is organizing an information day on campus with a display of rivers, water and dam-related visual art work from students and staff. The group will also show some videos and slides explaining the impacts of dams.
Contact Information:
Kate Kennedy
152 Main Street
Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 1B3
Phone: 506 536 5899

 CANADA, Ottawa
Ontario Public Research Interest Group (OPIRG)
The Ontario Public Research Interest Group (OPIRG) has 3 activities planned. One of them will be to call a speaker to educate the group on river and dam issues in Ottawa and eastern Canada.
The other event will be a combination of a river clean up follwed by an outing on the Ottawa River. The third action will be to set up information booths providing information and distributing materials on dam projects in general and specifically the Biobio.
Contact Information:
Leigh Herbert
Box 089
Carleton University Residences
1233 Colonel bt Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B7
Email: lherbert@chat.carleton.ca

COSTA RICA<BR> Fundación Rios Tropicales
Construction of the Angostura Dam on the Reventazón River will begin in March. They will do an action against this.
Contact Information:
Mélida L. Barbee
SJO #130
PO Box 025312
Miami, FL 33102
Phone: 506.233.6455
Fax: 506.255.4354

"Warning camp" on the Chambonchard Dam site on the Cher River (a tributary of the Loire) in Central France. The Chambonchard Dam was cancelled in 1991 but has been rekindled in a new version.
Program: Friday, 13 March the group will set-up tents and meet with Mayor who favors the project. In the evening they will show a film on dams and have an occupation party. Saturday, 14 March they will visit the dam site and the plots of land bought by the opponents of the project.
Contact Information :
Marie Arnould or Roberto Epple
European Rivers Network
8, Rue Crozatier
F-43000 Le Puy
Phone: +33 (0) 471055788
Fax: +33 (0) 471026099
Email: ern at rivernet.org

A group of 10 to 15 people will present a declaration about the ill use of rivers for transportation to Latin American embassies. This declaration will be supported by 20 to 25 NGO representatives and will highlight the negative ecological and social effects of "river highways" in Germany. This action will urge the German government and the EU not to finance projects like the Hidrovia Paraguay Parana. This action will end with a press conference on the International Day of Action.
Contact information:
Maike Rademaker
Hacklaender Strasse
12D-50825 Koeln Germany
Tel: +49 221 55 21 52
Fax:+49 221 55 21 52
Email: urgewald@koeln.netsurf.de

HUNGARY, Budapest
Danube Charta, Danube Circle, Fund to Protect the Hungarian Environment & Others
Demonstration in Budapest oppossing the construction of the Pilismarot Dam on the Danube, and the anti-democratic means which the government of former Communists are using to try and crush the opposition.
Contact Information:
Bela Liptak

 INDIA, Narmada Valley
Narmada Bachao Andolan
The NBA will celebrate the Holi festival with hundreds and thousands of adivasis (original dwellers of the valley) and other representatives from 8 other dams in the valley including Maheshwar, Narmada, Veda, Goi, Man and Bargi, on the banks of the River Narmada. The action will take place in the area of the Sardar Sarovar Project that has been saved from dam construction. The celebration will consist of dancing by the adivasis , a meeting of activists, villagers from various organizations and will end in a moonlight cruise for four hours on the Narmada River heading towards the dam site.
Contact Information:
Medha Patkar
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park
Baroda 390 007
Phone: +91 265 382232
Fax: c/o +91 265 324958 (ATTN. NBA)
NBA@lwbdq.lwbbs.net (NBA)

 ITALY, Rome
Italian Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank and Leliop Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples
Will launch the report "LARGE SCALE DAMS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Three Cases -- Yacyreta, Chixoy, Katse, The role of Italian TNC's, development aid, and the World Bank and governments." The report, a section of which was presented at the International Tribunal on Indigenous Peoples and Nature (Denver, June 1997), examines three cases of dams built by the Italian company Impreglio in Argentina/Paraguay, Guatemala and Lesotho and funded by the World Bank and Italian Development Aid.
Contact Information:
Francesco Martone/Liliana Cori
Centro Internazionale Croceria
Via Ferraironi 88/G
00172 Roma
Phone: +39 6 244 04212
Fax: +39 6 2424177

 ITALY, Florence
Society for Threatened People/the People's Library
Will list DofA in their bulletin. Action to be announced.
Contact Information:
Alessandro Michelucci
PO Box 6282
I-50127 Florence

 JAPAN, Gifu-ken, Fujihashi Village
International Rivers Network Seinou
Action International Rivers Network Seinou (Seinou is west Mino area and valley of Ivi River) will hold a public meeting to oppose the Tokuama Dam on the Ivi river in Gifu-ken.
Contact Information
Makoto Miura
Honmachi 2-27
Oogaki City GIFU-ken 503-0885
Phone & Fax: +81 584 78 4119
Email: tokuyama@geocities.co.jp
Website: www.geocities.co.jp/WallStreet/1214 (Japanese only)

 JAPAN, Kanagawa
Sagami River Camp-In Symposium
Action at the Sagami-ozeki Dam site with paddling, river walking, nature walking, and loud voice competition--maybe more. On 14 March there is a river clean-up for nesting of Koajisasi (tern), and a release of reports on the movement for the "right of wild life in Japan," to be held in Tokyo Bunkyo-kumin Center. They ask that people concerned for the wildlife in Japan to send letters of support to following address and they will forward them to appropriate government officials.
Contact Information:
Ken-ichi Kanao
3-12-59-202 Hishinuma
Kanagawa, 253
Phone: +81 467 51 2446
Fax: +81 467 51 2446

Yamayuri no kai
Planning some action at the Tanzawa mountain which is the Sagami River's origin. Further details will be announced.
Contact Information :
Masaaki Kusano
2-25-16 Akuwa-nishi
Seya, Yokohama
Kanagawa 246, Japan
Phone & Fax: +81 45 364 6515

                Small municipal streams
                -Publishing articles in newspapers calling to protect the rivers
                -Organize awareness lectures in schools where we will tell
children about the troubles of our        rivers in Karaganda city. This
will prepare the ground for concrete actions in the future and we will
plant trees at the source.
                -Organize a competition of children's pictures " Rivers
Need Help".

Contact Information for all the above
Help the River Volga
Elena Kolpakova
PO Box 34
Sol Kolpakova E.
Nizhoi Novgrod 603163
Phone: +7 831 2302881
Fax: +7 831 2391191Email: dront@glas.apc.org

Klub Gaja
Their action will be aimed at private industry's involvement in the future management of Vistula River and the proposal to build seven dam cascade along the lower Vistula. They will also aim their action at private industry's involvement in the Three Gorges Dam project.
Contact Information:
Jacek Bozek
Klub Gaja
PO Box 261
43-301 Bielsko Biala 1, Poland
Phone & Fax: +48 33 12 36 94


Actions by City :

-Coordination center of "Let's help the River";
-"Berginia" newspaper and ecological center "Dront"
-Childen's ecological clubs "Green Sail"; "White Stork"; and "Wind Rose"
Object of Action:
-Volga River and small municipal streams: Rzhavka,Rakhma, Levinka
-round table discussion between citizen's groups, municipal committee of nature protection , water committee about the issues of small municipal streams
-press-conference for media about the international day of actions and the negative influence of the dams on the Volga river andabout the poor control of the dam operation
-publication of an open letter from children to the mayor of the city against enclosing of the municipal streams in pipes
-coordination of activities, exchange of information, collection of information
-making up and distribution of leaflets among the local population

Newspaper "Nabat"
Object of Action:
Volga river - Saratov dam
-publishing materials on the distructive influence of
Saratov Dam on the Volga river.

Ecological club "Green brunch"
Object of Action:
Small municipal streams
-Wide spread appearances in mass media in the support of small municipal streams.

TUTAYEV (Yaroslavl' province)
House of Nature
Object of Action:
Volga river, small municipal streams
Actions: Week of the River:
1. Exhibition of pictures "River Needs Help"
2. Business game "Volga"
3. Concert of the folk group "From afar flows the Volga"
4. Local mass media will inform the residents on the developments of the week.

PEREYASLAVL' (Ryasan' province)
Pereyaslavl' National Park
Small rivers
-cleaning of small rivers to enable the fish access to spawning ground;
-environmental "landing force" operation in cleaning Pleshcheevo lake of household waste;
-research project of identification of pollution sources ofsmall rivers and creeks;
-finding out environmental pollution sources at the territory of the city;
-topic oriented publications in mass media;
-lectures in the school and college with the program "Water on the Earth".
-competition of leaflets , posters, photos, literature -Festival of Water

Volga and Kievka rivers
Children's ecological detatchment "Pinguin"
- publishing an article in the newspaper on the condition of the Volga and Kievka rivers
- will make a competion of pictures;
- will submit a formal protest to the management of guarages' co-operative "Ogonyok", which makes a landfill out of the river Kievka.
- in school 23 they will organize a festival "The Day of the River"

PAVLOVO ON OKA RIVER ( Nizhni Novgorod Province)
                Ecological center "Creeks"
        Objects :
                Rivers Seriozha, Tarka
                Protesting against dams

PAVLOVSK (Voronezh province)
River Don
-Young natural scientists station
Actions :
-Appearance on the district radio; will publish an article in the district newspaper "Beacon of the Don"

Contact Information for the actions in Russia:
Help the River Volga
Elena Kolpakova
PO Box 34
Sol Kolpakova E.
Nizhoi Novgrod 603163
Phone: +7 831 2302881
Fax: +7 831 2391191Email: dront@glas.apc.org

Society for Sustainable Living in the Slovak Republic
Action: To be announced
Contact Information:
Mikulas Huba

Bryan Davies
To be announced
Contact Information:
Freshwater Research Unit, Zoology Department
University of Cape Town
Cape Town 7700
Phone: +27 21 650 3637/650 3638
Fax: +27 21 650 3301
Website: www.uct.ac.za/depts/zoology/fru

Associacion Ecologista de Defensa de la Naturaleza (AEDENAT)
Action :
On March 14th AEDENAT representatives from nine regions of Spain will bring samples of water from their rivers to the Ministry of Environment in Madrid. Waters from the Ebro, the Duoro, the Guadalquivir, the Tagus etc. will be ceremoniously handed over to the highest authority responsible for the health of Sapnish rivers as a denouncement of their lamentable state.
Contact Information :
Campomanes 13 - 28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 1 541 10 71
Fax: +34 1 571 71 08
Website: www.nodo50.org/aedenat/agua/daie.html

 TAIWAN, Kaohsiung, Meinung
Meinung People's Association
For the International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water and Life, a township anti-dam parade heading towards the Yellow Butterfly Valley, the proposed Meinung Dam site, is being organized. The parade team will consist of local peasants who will drive their tractors, women with traditional Hakka Blue Clothes, college and elementary students, and aboriginal people facing the same threat ...etc. A big-drum group and a young Hakka anti-dam singer will accompany the parade. In addition, we will have an Action Drama, portraying the meaning of the International Day.
Contact Information:
Meinung People's Association
Chang Cheng-Yang, Executive Secretary
12 Fu-An Street
Meinung 843, Kaohsiung
Phone: +886 7 6810467 or +886 7 6810371
Fax: +886 7 6810201
Email: mpa@listserv.nsysu.edu.tw

Friends of the People/Wildlife Fund Thailand
Contact Information:
Prasittiporn Kan-onsri
Fax: +66 2 281 1916
Tara Buakamsri
Fax: +66 2 552 6083

 UNITED STATES, California, Berkeley
International Rivers Network
Demonstration in front of the Chilean Consulate to oppose the Ralco Dam on Chile's Biobío River and in front of Bank of America's Corporate Headquarters to oppose foreign financing of the massive Three Gorges Dam.
Contact information:
Aleta Brown, International Day of Action Communication Coordinator
1847 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
Phone: 510 848 1155
Fax: 510 848 1008
Email: aleta@irn.org

 UNITED STATES, Colorado, Ignacio
Southern Ute Grassroots Organization (SUGO)
Sugo will hold an event on 14 March at the location of the proposed pumping station for the Animas/La Plata Project. The event will celebtate the life of the river. "Without a vision, the river will die."
Contact Information:
Sage Douglas Remington
PO BOX 637
Southern Ute Indian Reservation
Ignacio, CO 81137, USA
Phone: 970 563 4483
Fax: 970 563 4487

 UNITED STATES, North Carolina, Greensboro
Haw River Assembly
Will stage a river clean-up and publicize opposition to Randleman Dam, north of Greenboro.
Contact Information:
Elaine Chiosso of HRA would be the right person/contact, 919-542-5790; (chiosso@hawriver.org) www.hawriver.org

 United States, Texas, Zapata
Zapata County
Action :
Will have information booth at Zapata County Fair to oppose the third dam (now called the Lago Project) proposed upstream on the Rio Grande. The dam site is in Web County, who supports the project.
Contact Information :
Mario Gonzalez Davis
PO Box 99
Zapata, TX 78076
Phone: 956 765 9939
Fax: 956 765 9926

URUGUAY, Colonia and Frey Bentos
REDES, Friends of the Earth Uruguay
Friends of the Earth Uruguay is organizing two public events. One is a
public debate in Colonia, Uruguay on the theme of megaprojects with a focus
on the Paraguay-Parana Hidrovia and the Colonia-Buenos Aires Bridge. They
will also premiere the Rios Vivos/IRN video "Pantanal: Lifewaters." They
are also organizing a public debate, along with the NGO "Vida", in Frey
Bentos, Uruguay on the theme of contamination of the Uruguay River.
Contact Information
Silvia Ribeiro
Phone: +598 2 307 2455
Fax: +598 2 308 1640
Email: rios@redes.org.uy

The International Anti-Dam Movement

Excerpted from Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams by Patrick McCully.
Zed Books, London, 1996.

We Will Not Move: The International Anti-Dam Movement
Koi nahi hatega, bandh nahi banega
(No one will move, the dam will not be built)
Doobenge par hatenge nahin
(We will drown but we will not move)
Slogans of the Narmada Bachao Andolan

The decade since the mid-1980s has seen the emergence of an international movement against current dam-building practices. The movement is comprised of thousands of environmental, human rights, and social activist groups on all the world's continents except Antarctica. It coalesced from a multitude of local, regional and national anti-dam campaigns and a smaller number of support groups working at an international level. Dam builders recognize and bemoan its effectiveness. ICOLD President Wolfgang Pircher warned the British Dam Society in 1992 that the industry faced 'a serious general counter-movement that has already succeeded in reducing the prestige of dam engineering in the public eye, and it is starting to make work difficult for our profession.'

The earliest successful anti-dam campaigns were mostly led by conservationists trying to preserve wilderness areas. Until recently, resistance from those directly impacted by dams was usually defeated. Since the 1970s, however, directly affected people have gained the power to stop dams, mostly because they have built alliances with sympathetic outsiders - environmentalists, human rights and democracy activists, peasants' and indigenous peoples' organizations, fishers and recreationists. The rise of environmentalism has greatly helped the opponents of dams - and anti-dam campaigns have in many countries played an important role in the growth of national environmental movements. Other factors contributing to the emergence of the international movement have been the overthrow of authoritarian regimes and the spread of modern communication technologies.

Dam opponents are not just 'antis', but are advocates for what they see as more sustainable, equitable and efficient technologies and management practices. Political changes which would best encourage the preservation or adoption of these technologies and practices have been a central demand of many anti-dam campaigns. Struggles that have started with the aim of improving resettlement terms or of stopping an individual dam have matured into movements advocating an entirely different model of political and economic development. That decision making be transparent and democratic is now seen by many dam opponents as being as important as the decisions themselves. The clearest illustration of the wider political importance of anti-dam movements is the crucial role that dam struggles played in the pro-democracy movements of the 1980s in Eastern Europe and South America...

Activists working at the local, national and international levels have together managed to seriously tarnish the lure of large dams as icons of progress and plenty. To many people, large dams have instead become symbols of the destruction of the natural world and of the corruption and arrogance of over-powerful and secretive corporations, bureaucracies and governments. Although hundreds of large dams are still under construction and many more are on the engineers' drawing boards, aid funds and other public sector sources of financing are drying up, and public protests are provoked by just about every large dam that is now proposed in a democratic country. The international dam industry appears to be entering a recession from which it may never escape.

In remembrance of Fulgêncio Manoel da Silva
(by IRN Internayional Rivers Neywork, San Francisco)


Fulgêncio Manoel da Silva was murdered on 16 October, 1997 in Santa Maria da Boa Vista in the backlands of Pernambuco state in northeast Brazil. Da Silva was a farmer, a poet, and a passionate fighter for dam-affected people. He was also the person responsible for the addition of the words "For Rivers, Water and Life" to the International Day of Action Against Dams.

In an interview at the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams, held in Curitiba, Brazil in March 1997, da Silva told IRN :

My goal is that the world, not just Brazil, study ways to produce electricity without flooding lands, rivers, the environment; and without affecting the life of the people... We are supporting the proposal for an international day of struggle for the rivers, water, and life because we support life - of people, of animals, and the rivers and water.
Da Silva was one of 40,000 people forced to make way for the Itaparica Dam, built on the São Francisco River on the border of Pernambuco and Bahia states. Not long after he learned his family would lose their land, he met a family of beggars living under a bridge who had been displaced by a dam but were once farmers like him. It was this experience, he said, that moved him to organize the Itaparica families.

Da Silva says there were many devastating impacts from the project. It halted agricultural production for seven years, and after that time, the production was not half of what is was before the dam. This has had a great impact on the area and the people. The native vegetation and crop trees such as bananas, coconut, oranges and mangoes were submerged, rotting along with the barrels of agrotoxins that weren't removed before inundation.

The cultural effects of the dam have been devastating. According to da Silva, the customs and cultures of the people were drowned with the rivers and waterfalls. "I don't feel any dam has yet provided fair compensation for the affected people," he said. "Just compensation will never take place because the destruction of the environment, the destruction of the history of the people and of their lives, the history of where they were born and lived - there is not enough money in the world to pay for this."

It is suspected that the killing of da Silva was ordered by drug traffickers operating in the resettlement communities. The Brazilian Movement of Dam-Affected People (MAB), blames his murder on the deplorable social conditions resulting from inadequate compensation for the dam oustees. "This," said MAB, "generated the conditions which led to this type of criminality, where families plant marijuana as a means of survival. Money from the World Bank never reached the small farmers, but instead was used to irrigate drug plantations."

"Political action," said Aurelio Vianna of the Brazil Network on Multilateral Financial Institutions, "was not merely an ideological question for Fulgêncio, but a question of honor."

In one of his poems, Fulgêncio wrote "The river is our life-water. What we do with it affects the life of the people, the life of the animals, the life of the river, and the life of the waters. This is true for the world, not just for Brazil."

His work has not been in vain. On 14 March, for the International Day of Action Against Dams and FOR RIVERS, WATER, AND LIFE, we hold his spirit and his beliefs in a place of honor in our actions and in our hearts

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