15.10.99 : EEB Workshop on the Water Framework
Directive in Brussels on the 2nd. and 3rd. of December 1999
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
At present the EEB is organizing a workshop on the Water
Framework Directive (WFD). As you might know, the negotiations on this
crucial piece of legislation are reaching their final stage, as the Second
Reading of the European Parliament will start at the end of this month.
Since the entering into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the timeframe for
second reading has strictly been set at 4 months. This means that all-important
decisions will be made between November 1999 and February 2000.
In general one might say that we have 4 months to support
the European Parliament in its struggle with the Council on the Water Framework
Given this situation, were we find the European Parliament
very close to the position of the EEB (and other European NGOs), the focus
of the workshop will be on the improvement of the WFD and the things we
as NGOs can do to realize such an improvement. So there will be a strong
focus on how every individual member organization of the EEB can help to
realize such an improvement. Since European Chemical and Water Polities
overlap in many ways, there will also be a joint session with the chemical
experts of the EEB network, to discuss the connection between the 2 issues.
To make this possible we have to link these 2 networks together.
Therefore the Workshop will be held in Brussels on the
2nd. and 3rd. of December 1999. Please write these dates in your agenda
An official invitation, background papers, registration
forms and the agenda will be sent out within a couple of weeks. But before
that, we would like to ask your organization a favor; In order to reach
all persons and NGOs which are interested in European water policies, we
would like to verify and complete our address lists. Therefore, we would
like to ask you whom in your organization is responsible for EU water policies
in general and the Water Framework Directive in particular.
Could you help us out and send the names of these persons,
their E-mail, phone number and postal address so that we can reach all
people who are working on this. Also we would like to know if there are
other NGOs in your country that are working on water. If your organization
has a list with all corresponding NGOs, we would be very happy if you could
send this to our Brussels office trough Email [firstname.lastname@example.org] or regular
We hope to see you all in Brussels on the 2nd and 3rd
of December in Brussels.
Martijn W. F. Peijs, Co-ordinator EEB water Campaign
Uwe Buesgen, Assistant EEB Water campaign
PS. If possible, could you please pass this message through
to all those in your organization who might be interested?
Martijn W. F. Peijs
EEB Co-ordinator Water
T 00-31-20-470 0772
T 00-32-2-289 1090
13.10.99 : Namibia: Two Items on Epupa Dam
Below are two items on Namibia's Epupa Dam. The first
is a story that
appeared in Southern Africa on a sign-on letter (sent
previously) about the
project; the second is a response from the European Investment
recipient of this letter, stating it will not support
07 October 1999
Campaign mounts against Epupa Dam
International groups lobby against Nambian hydropower
WINDHOEK - More than 50 environmental pressure groups
and individuals have
teamed up to campaign against the the controversial Epupa
on the Kunene River in northern Namibia.
The groups have written to several potential funders of
the dam, including
the African Development Bank, urging them not to get
involved in a high-risk
Among the campaigners are Himba leaders Chief Hikuminue
Muatjindika Mutambo from the Epupa Action Committee,
and a host of
international organisations and foreign individuals.
They argue that the Epupa scheme involves considerable
risks - many of which
would affect the project's bottom line.
"At R2,5bn, the cost of the project is equivalent to one-fifth
1996 gross domestic product. Undertaking this project
would increase the
government's annual expenditure on capital investment
by more than four
times," the protesters wrote in a letter to all possible
The campaigners said that because of the risks inherent
hydroelectric projects, Epupa has a high probability
of low economic
returns. In addition there was the probability of cost
"Namibia has better, cheaper sources of power. SA exports
power to Namibia
t less than half the estimated cost of Epupa electricity.
The proposed Kudu
gas project will likely produce twice as much electricity
as Epupa at a
"Secondly, the feasibility study's calculations do not
account for any
amount of efficiency per user of power over time.
" Finally, the tragic fact of AIDS in southern Africa
is likely to lower
demand for electricity."
They said the project assumed population growth in Namibia
despite the fact
that AIDS was expected to slow such growth.
A 1998 United Nations AIDS/ World Health Organisation
report estimates the
HIV infection rate at 19,98%, a rate which will substantially
population growth and have a severe effect on the economically
section of the population. Other UN reports in 1998 estimated
population would grow at only 2,4% a year between 1995
and 2000 and decrease
further after that.
Another major risk for the Epupa project is drought, which
is plaguing the
upstream Ruacana Dam. Ruacana is operating at 13% of
its capacity due to
falling water levels in the Kunene River.
"Since Epupa's economic viability depends on the reliability
predictability of the Kunene River, several decades of
are needed to make reliable predictions about its long-term
The campaigners claim that the project will also have
for the Himba pastoralists who live in the area where
the dam would be built
and are overwhelmingly opposed to the dam.
"The dam will change their way of life forever, and yet
feasibility study does not have a proper social impact
"Even without a proper assessment, however, there is
ample evidence that the
social effect of this project will be great.
"As pastoral herders, the Himba community need extensive
lands in order to
raise their cattle, and there is already a shortage of
suitable land without
large-scale inundation by a dam," the protesters said
in the letter.
To take land away from the Epupa community would put
serious pressure on the
The group said the reservoir would also flood Himba graves,
which are focal
points for important religious and cultural rituals.
They also argued that the flooding would bring an end
to gardening in the
fertile soils along the riverbank and would destroy the
riverine forests on
he riverbanks, a natural resource that is essential to
the Himba economy.
"The loss of all these resources are likely to lead to
the Epupa community
being increasingly dependent on the government for financial
Flooding the Kunene basin at Epupa would result in the
loss of an annual
crop of hundreds of tons of the palm nuts which are a
crucial food resource
for the community.
Luxembourg, 22 September1999
International Rivers Network/Attn: Mrs. Lori Pottinger
Subject: Namibia: Epupa Hydropower
Dear Mrs. Pottinger,
We refer to your letter dated 24 August 1999 addressed
to a number of EIB
In reply we would like to inform you that the article
dated 8 December 1998
in "The Namibian" newspaper contains certain references
to EIB which are
misleading and erroneous.
We can confirm that EIB is not considering the possible
financing of the
Epupa Hydropower Project. Like the other funding agencies
mentioned in the
article, EIB is financing (by means of a EUR 55m loan
to Nampower) the
400kV Interconnector between Namibia and South Africa,
which is the least
cost solution for providing additional power to Namibia
at the present
time. With its substantial capacity the new Interconnector
cover Namibia's energy needs for the next few years.
We trust that clarifies the situation.
European Investment Bank
F. Carpenter and F. Weber Krebs)
Lori Pottinger, Director,
Southern Africa Program,
World Rivers Review
International Rivers Network
1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California 94703, USA
Tel. (510) 848 1155 Fax (510) 848 1008
07.10.99 : Mass Extinction of Freshwater Creatures
(ENS) - The first estimate of
extinction rates of North America's freshwater animals,
just released, has
found they are the most endangered species group on the
Canadian study warns that the U.S. could lose most of
species in the next century if steps are not taken to
"A silent mass extinction is occurring in our lakes and
author Anthony Ricciardi of Dalhousie University in Halifax.
study with coauthor Joseph Rasmussen of McGill University
in Montreal is
published in the October issue of "Conservation Biology."
Relatively little media attention has been given to freshwater
authors say, but these animals are in at least as much
danger as land
species. Since 1900, at least 123 freshwater animal species
recorded as extinct in North America.
Common freshwater species, from snails to fish to amphibians,
are dying out
five times faster than land species, and three times
faster than coastal
marine mammals, the researchers found. Their estimate
of the loss of
freshwater biodiversity "is probably conservative," the
"because there have likely been extinctions of species
that we did not know
existed, as suggested by the fact that several extinct
fishes are known
from only a few specimens."
Freshwater animals are dying out as fast as rainforest
by many to be the most imperiled on Earth. The authors
predict that about
four percent of freshwater species will be lost each
decade if nothing is
done to conserve them.
Worldwide the situation is even more perilous for these
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in September that
51 percent of
freshwater species, from fish and frogs to river dolphins,
are declining in
numbers. The 1999 Living Planet Report, an annual index
on the state of the
world's natural wealth, presents the most reliable data
available on forest
area and populations of marine and freshwater species
worldwide. It also
examines consumption of critical resources in 151 countries
"This report is a graphic call to reduce these negative
trends as the world
enters the 21st century," said Claude Martin, director
general of WWF. "The
observed declines in populations of freshwater species
alarming as they indicate the extent of deterioration
in the quality of the
world's rivers, lakes and other wetlands."
Freshwater amphibians are hard hit. The disappearance
of the golden toad
and other amphibians in Costa Rica has been attributed
to climatic changes.
Many losses have been recorded in national parks and
indicating pervasive threats even in protected areas.
In Australia, Panama
and the US, about 20 frog species have been decimated
by a previously
unknown fungus. Deformities are also widespread, caused
by pollutants such
as pesticides and other factors.
The report, produced by WWF in collaboration with the
Foundation and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre
(IUCN), found that
the total of marine and inland fish caught reached a
record level of 95
million tonnes in 1996, up 11 million tonnes from the
annual average in the
preceding five years.
To get a picture of how rapidly species extinction is
Canadian researchers compared current extinction rates
with those from the
fossil record. They calculate that the background rate
of extinction for
freshwater fish species is about one species every three
The modern extinction rate in North America, the study
says, is about one
extinction every 2600 years - about 1,000 times higher
than the background
Ricciardi and Rasmussen predict that many species considered
at risk will
disappear within the next century. At risk species account
for 49 percent
of the 262 remaining mussel species, 33 percent of the
species, 26 percent of the 243 amphibian species, and
21 percent of the
1,021 fish species.
Non-native species pose a serious threat to indigenous
European zebra mussels are outcompeting native mussels
in North American
lakes and rivers. Sea lampreys invade lakes and attach
themselves to native
fish, killing them. Even sport fish transplanted from
one lake to another
can take over an ecosystem, driving less aggressive native
Dams that obstruct river flow are also threats. Of 5.2
(3.2 million miles) of stream habitat in the lower 48
states, less than two
percent, or about 100,000 kilometers, is pristine enough
to be federally
protected, Ricciardi and Rasmussen say. Excess sediment,
and organic pollutants from agriculture threaten most
Only 40 rivers longer than 200 kilometers (125 miles)
remain free flowing
in the lower 48 states. "Such massive habitat deterioration
of the world's richest freshwater faunal assemblages,"
the study says.
Ricciardi and Rasmussen note that hundreds of U.S. dams
are coming up for
federal relicensing soon, providing an opportunity to
flows in many rivers.
© Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights
06.10.99 : World Bank Sends Inspection Team
To China To Probe Dam Project (AFP)
(Agence France Presse) The World
Bank has sent a team of experts to
China to evaluate criticisms of a vast
dam and irrigation project it wants to
support, a Bank official said here
The team is expected to visit the site
of the project, located in western
Qinghai province, on the week end
and will spend 20 days carrying out
studies and interviews, according to
Antonia Macedo, assistant director of
the World Bank's inspection unit.
The controversy centers on plans to re-settle some 58,000
essentially Chinese farmers, to land inhabited by Tibetans.
Critics contend that the resettlement will make Tibetans
region even more of a minority and will also have an
The inspection team will prepare a report for World Bank
by the end of the year. A decision by the Bank's executive
on whether to go ahead with the project is not expected
early 2000, Macedo said.
The overall venture calls for loans of 160 million dollars,
40 million would be for the contested resettlement.
The Bank approved the project in June but financing has
up pending an assessment of the criticisms. ((c) 1999
07.10.99 : Emssperrwerk (Deutschland): Verheerende
oekologische Schaeden durch Stauprojekt
Emssperrwerk: Der Staufall ist ein Stoerfall
WWF-Studie zeigt verheerende oekologische Folgen der
Ueberfuehrung von Ozeanriesen
From: WWF Infostelle <info@WWF.DE>
Das Aufstauen der Ems durch das Emssperrwerk zur
Ueberfuehrung von Kreuzfahrtschiffen der Meyerwerft aus
Nordsee kann katastrophale Folgen fuer die lebende Natur
in und am Fluss
haben: Durch einen radikalen Sauerstoffabfall im Wasser
und die Versalzung
reiner Suesswasserbereiche droht ein Massensterben von
Fischen und anderen
Lebewesen. Brutvoegelgelege sind bedroht und Rastvoegeln
wird durch das
Absterben der Kleinlebewesen die Nahrungsgrundlage entzogen.
Auch Tiere und
Pflanzen in den wertvollen Auwaldresten an der Ems sind
Insgesamt droht durch die Aufstauungen eine oekologische
Veroedung der Ems.
Das sind die Ergebnisse einer Studie von Dr. Joern Hildebrandt
Universitaet Lueneburg ueber die oekologischen Auswirkungen
Ems-Aufstauungen, die die Umweltstiftung WWF-Deutschland
"Die Studie zeigt ein Horrorszenario, das auf keinen Fall
werden darf", sagte WWF-Expertin Beatrice Claus. "Der
Ueberfuehrung der Kreuzfahrtschiffe wuerde der durch
vorbelasteten Ems den Todesstoss versetzen." Die Ems
wurde seit 1984
bereits viermal vertieft, um die Ueberfuehrung von Kreuzfahrtschiffen
Meyerwerft zu ermoeglichen. Als Folge davon sind viele
der dortigen Tier-
und Pflanzenarten bereits heute selten geworden oder
befinden sich an der
Schwelle zum Aussterben. Eine weitere Belastung des Flusses
endgueltigen Ausloeschung von Arten in der Ems fuehren.
Im Staufall kann der Sauerstoffgehalt weit unter die toedliche
von 4 Milligramm pro Liter absinken. Dies bedeutet: Die
im Wasser, am Flussboden und am Ufer der Ems wuerden
den Staufall nicht
ueberleben - weder Fische, noch Ringelwuermer oder Muscheln
Die Folgen waeren weitreichend, denn diese Tiere sind
Nahrungsbasis fuer Fische und Voegel. Im Staufall wird
sich auch Salzwasser
flussaufwaerts ausbreiten und die Tiere und Pflanzen
im Suesswasser durch
Salzgehalte bedrohen, die das Normalmass um das Sechsfache
koennen. Solche Anstiege des Salzgehaltes ueberleben
viele Tiere wie
Flohkrebse, Wasserasseln und Jungfische nicht.
In der Ems kommen viele seltene und hochgradig geschuetzte
und Fische wie Finte, Meer- und Flussneunauge oder Voegel
Nonnengans und Saebelschnaebler vor, die nach deutschem
Naturschutzgesetz geschuetzt sind. "Ein Sperrwerk mit
Folgen fuer Tiere und Pflanzen, das zudem mitten in ein
EU-Vogelschutzgebiet gebaut werden soll, haette von den
genehmigt werden duerfen", kritisierte Beatrice Claus.
Planfeststellungsbeschluss festgelegten Bestimmungen
zur Vermeidung von
Sauerstoffmangelsituationen und der Versalzung von Suesswasserbereichen
sind nach Berechnungen der Umweltverbaende unwirksam.
Dies hat auch die
EU-Kommission erkannt und geht ebenfalls von einem Massensterben
Fischen und Kleinstlebenwesen durch Versalzung im Suesswasserbereich
Vor dem Hintergrund, dass das Vorhaben nicht der langfristigen
Zukunftssicherung der Meyerwerft dient, es zum Kuestenschutz
umweltvertraeglichere und billigere Alternativen gibt
und im Falle der
Umsetzung der billigeren Deichbauvariante mit dem eingesparten
dringendsten Kuestenschutzmassnahmen in Niedersachsen
koennten sowie der zweifelhaften Finanzierung, sieht
der WWF das
Emssperrwerk als eine oekonomisch sinnlose Massnahme
an, die auf Kosten der
Natur und des Steuerzahlers umgesetzt werden soll. "Es
ist noch nicht zu
spaet. Bund und Land muessen sofort die Pruefung von
Sperrwerk in Angriff nehmen!" appelliert Beatrice Claus
an die zustaendigen
Politiker und Behoerden.
Fuer Rueckfragen wenden Sie sich bitte an:
am 7.10.99 Tel.: 0171-3426928
Weitere Informationen unter www.wwf.de
01.10.99 : Five european countries accused
of coservation failure
BRUSSELS, Belgium, October 1, 1999 (ENS) - The World Wide
Fund for Nature
(WWF) has identified five European Union countries where,
economic interest groups are successfully pushing their
governments to make
weak nature protection plans under the EU habitats directive.
Published in cooperation with ENDS Environment Daily
For full text and graphics visit:
05.10.99 : Announcement: Ten'th "Days
of Volga 1999" 21-23 October 99
"Days of Volga" will be held
from October 21 through October
23! We have a Jubilee! We are terribly happy to
inform you , that the
Coordination Center of the Movement "Let's help the river"
ted to prepare for the Jubilee 10-th Days of Volga.
This has become possible thanks to the financial
support of the
Institute of Sustainable Communities (ROLL project) and
for nature protection and rational nature use of the
Nizhni Novgorod province.
We won the grant competition and were awarded a
grant for the
project "Days of Volga - for the Rivers of Russia"!
What is the "Days of Volga-99"
This is a part of our new project, which is called "Days
- for the Rivers of Russia". Environmental activists
from Amur, Ob',
Irtysh, Chusovaya, Angara, Baikal,
Northern Dvina and other rivers
will come to the conference, as guests to learn from
For the 10 years that passed we managed
to create a network of
groups which fight to protect the Volga river,
implement many pro-
jects, conduct various actions and campaigns - accumulate
a lot of ex-
perience of work.
For this 10 years, thanks to annual "Days of Volga"
, where we
plan our common actions we have turned
into a rather well organized
movement, which is able to act and to render mutual support.
Now, having a lot of experience behind us we have stepped
the initiative of establishment of the Rivers Network
* Results of the activities of the movement "Let's help
ver" for 10 years: from the program to the movement
center and NGOs of the Volga river basin).
* Presentation of specific directions of the movement.
detailed structure of the movement in accordance
with directions of
* Presentation of the projects of the movement.
* Cooperation with the governmental bodies : results
tives: Round table "Experience of cooperation of
the authorities of
Nizhni Novgorod province with environmental
NGOs", how to replicate
and disseminate this experience?
* Developing a section about public participation
in the Federal
program "Revival of Volga".
* Continuation of work on the issue
"Persistent Organic Pollu-
tants": public actions, planning for a joint Russian
- American confe-
rence on the problems of POPs.
Day of Rivers of Russia
* Development of the Russian anti-dam campaign.
* Actions for the protection of small rivers.
* NGO from the other rivers of Russia introduce themselves.
tion of the Network of Rivers of Russia and developing
an action plan.
603134, Nizhni Novgorod, Kostina str.
House 2, off 164,"Let's help the river".
Days of Volga 99"
Phone number for contacts:
(8312) 30-28-81 - Coordination center of the movement
Fax: (8312) 30-28-90
04.10.99 : India : Narmada: third day of
indefinite fast of Mheda and others in Dhule jail.
Prisoners remanded for 14 more days
Taloda Court Rejects NBA Application Again: Dy. CM Munde
The indefinite fast by Medha Patkar and six other Satyagrahis
in Dhule jail
continued for the third day today (Monday, 4th Oct.)
as the junior court in
Taloda rejected the application for release of over 386
men and women from
Narmada valley on personal bond. They have been remanded
for further 14
days judicial custody. Already, the people have undergone
12 days in jail,
without being tried.
The learned judge of Taloda court did not give any reason
for rejecting the
application of release of the detainees under Section
144 of the Indian
Penal Code (which prohibits the gathering of groups of
more than five
people). The Satyagrahis fasting inside the jail, others
who are jailed
illegally and the ones who are on indefinite Dharna in
front of the jail
have decided to further intensify the agitation. Declaration
of the actions
will be done later. The Andolan would also be approaching
the higher courts
for appeal on this order.
The same judge had rejected the appeal for release on
personal bond of the
386 detainees on October 1. The Andolan has challenged
the earlier order as
unwarranted. It is a normal procedures to get Personal
Bond when arrested
under Sec.144. Mr. N.D. Suryavanshi, Advocate of Andolan,
today made a
strong plea for the unconditional release of all the
detainees as they have
lready undergone detention without trial for over 10
days. It is learned
that the court has given another 14 days of detention.
The police and
administration has been acting illegally, after the Chief
Minister Mr. Rane
had made uncharitable comments on NBA and Medha Patkar.
wondered why the normal procedure of releasing the people
s.144 on personal bond is not followed in the case of
the satyagrahis of
Curiously, the police did not produce the detainees before
the court citing
flimsy and false reasons. The detainees, including Medha
Patkar insisted on
taking them to Taloda for the hearing.
Munde Has No Answers
Meanwhile, a delegation of NBA met the Deputy Chief Minister
Maharashtra, Mr. Gopinath Munde today at Dhule. Mr. Munde,
who had earlier
came to Manibeli and extended support for the cause of
the Andolan, had no
answers to the questions raised by the delegation. The
delegation made it
clear that the Maharashtra Government is responsible
for the submergence
which has occurred in the Narmada valley, destroying
thousands of hectares
of agricultural lands and houses. The delegation also
challenged him to
come forward for a dialogue with facts and details on
availability of land
for rehabilitation, rather than uttering irresponsible
far-off places, particularly by the Chief Minister, Mr.
All the satyagrahis in jail - including Medha Patkar,
(Kadmal), Doorsingh Vasave (Domkhedi), Naharsingh Pavara
Mahadeo Patidar (Chhota Barda) and Dadliya Munda Vasava
(Domkhedi) and Ms.
Komal Patidar who are on indefinite fast against the
illegal detention and
the indifference and frigidity of the State - are weak
physically but high
in spirits. They are determined to take this peaceful
agitation ahead, and
not to yield to the wicked tactics of the State. A further
five people who
are jailed and 11 of the Satyagrahis outside, observed
24 hours of relay
ast. Prominent among them are Tembarya Vasave (Gaman
Tadvi (Waghadia village, Gujarat), Narsing Vasave (Amli
site) and Nikki (England). Ms. Mercy Mathew continued
her fast for the
As the Dharna entered the 10th day, more and more people
are coming down
from different parts of Maharashtra and the country to
strengthen the hands
of the people against the unjust callousness of the State.
Delhi, representatives of students unions from Kerala
organisations have come today. Oustees' representatives
from Gujarat too
have joined the dharna on Monday. Senior activists like
Kalpanabehn Tadvi and Bhimabhai Tadvi are among those
who came in support
for the struggling people. Senior economist, Mr. H.M.
Desarda today visited
the dharna and expressed support.
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
b-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda-390007
Camp: 16, Ashoknagar, Dhule- 424001 (Ph. 02562-34519,
Joe Athialy, Alok Agrawal, Sanjay Sangvai
01.10.99 : Urgent request for support - Vistula
URGENT REQUEST FOR HELP - PLEASE SEND YOUR VERSION OR
COPY OF THE SUGGESTED LETTER BELOW BY POST,
FAX AND/OR E-MAIL TO MEMBERS OF THE POLISH PARLIAMENT
Below is a brief background to our request for help and
the suggested letter.
We write from Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczno-Kulturalne "Klub
Gaja" (Ecological and Cultural Association "Klub Gaja").
SEK "Klub Gaja" is an independent, non-governmental organisation
which has led the national campaign
"Teraz Wisla" ("Vistula Now") for several years.
This campaign works to stop the building of a cascade of seven dams
on the lower Vistula river and to work towards the development
of alternative methods of working with the river and its valley
to enable social and ecological needs to be met.
The Vistula River, known in Poland as the "Queen of Polish
Rivers" is one of Europe's largest rivers and one which remains close
to its natural state with very close to natural river
dynamics, unique and rare habitats, flora and fauna. In terms of
the Vistula is divided into 3 sections, the upper, middle
and lower Vistula, due to its different characteristics in these three
Ecologically it is one of Europe's most important corridoors
linking the Dniestre Basin and the Danube to Scandinavia and Siberia.
The Vistula rises in south west Poland and runs
northwards through the centre of the country finally forming a delta which
into the Baltic Sea. In addition to its ecological
value, there is tremendous cultural heritage along the Vistula. The
a unique opportunity for Poland to develop in a pro-ecological,
sustainable way. The building of the cascade series
would take away this opportunity for new ways of development.
Between the middle and lower Vistula is one existing
large dam located at Wloclawek which has had many negative
The Current Situation
The Wloclawek dam has erosion of the riverbed by 3 metres
on its downstream side. Behind the dam is a collection
of 29 years pollution of untreated city, town and village
waste and heavy industrial pollution. This sediment is highly
toxic and has formed a strange substance which in some
places is 3 - 5 metres deep. The argument is that the second dam
is necessary to reduce erosion and stop the first dam
collapsing. Some scientists do not agree with this argument and have
other ideas such as the building of a by-pass.
Forced by civil actions and scientific opinion a study
was commissioned by the Ministry of Environment to examine 3 options: 1)
to keep the existing dam at Wloclawek only; 2) to build
one more dam at Ciechocinek; 3) to build the full cascade.
At the beginning of 1999 a consortium was established
to build the next dam in the cascade series at Ciechocinek.
This consortium includes the largest Polish company Elektrim
The decision whether to build the next dam at Ciechocinek
is a parliamentary one. Our sources of information lead
us to believe that the majority of politicians are ready
to vote in favour of the building of the next dam at Ciechocinek.
We expect the Polish parliament to be making the decision
very shortly. We therefore ask for your support by posting,
faxing and E-mailing your version or copy of the following
letter urgently to:
The President of the Republic of Poland
Sz.P Aleksander Kwasniewski
Prezydent Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
Tel: + 48 22 695 29 00
Fax: + 48 22 695 22 38
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
Sz.P Jerzy Buzek
Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3
Tel: + 48 22 694 69 83
Fax: + 48 22 62 86 946
The Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sz.P Bronos³aw Gieremek
Minister Spraw Zagranicznych
al. Szucha 23
Tel: + 48 22 628 96 23
Fax: + 48 22 625 76 52
Please also send us a copy of your letter to:
Fax: + 48 33 8 12 36 94
SEK "Klub Gaja"
PO Box 261
43-301 Bielsko-Biala 1
We are the (NAME OF ORGANISATION).
It has come to our attention that the Polish parliament
is to make a decision about the future of the lower Vistula
river and its valley.
We here express our deep concern about the proposed plan
to build new stages of fall in the lower Vistula River relating
to the "Lower Vistula Cascade" project and further to
express our belief that a decision in favour of building any new dams
would be seriously flawed.
The Vistula is one of Europe's largest rivers and one
which remains close to its natural state. The Vistula River is
very important for Europe, it has unique and rare habitats,
flora, fauna, very close to natural river dynamics
and tremendous biodiversity. In addition, it is
one of Europe's most important ecological corridoors.
Information received from the Ecological and Cultural
Association "Klub Gaja" relays that the Polish parliament
has to decide from three options relating to the development
of the lower Vistula. In our opinion the variation which
does not propose the building of any new dams is good
as this variation provides the best opportunities for nature,
culture and people.
Additionally, the building of any new dams would be against
Poland's current commitments to a number of
international Conventions including Resolutions under
the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Berne Convention.
We urge the Polish parliament to take the best of the
three options, the option which does not propose the building
of any new dams. We look forward to receiving your
From everyone here at Klub Gaja we thank you very much
for your support.
Jacek Bozek, President and Sally Naylor, International
Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczno-Kulturalne "Klub Gaja"
PO Box 261
43-301 Bielsko-Biala 1
Tel/fax: + 48 33 8 12 36 94
23.09.99 : India : Narmada : 484 Arrested
in Dhadgaon as Police clamp sec.144 :
many beaten up badly, dragged, without food
Four hundred and eighty four people sitting on an indefinite
in Dhadgaon (Maharashtra) were arrested today morning
authorities clamped Sec. 144. in this tehsil HQ. The
in a very bad manner, beating and badly dragging the
women. Medha Patkar, who is also among those arrested,
was also dragged
by the police. Activists Ravi, Ashish were among those
The arrested people were presented before the Magistrate
arrest. The people unanimously refused to take personal
bond for the
release but demanded that the police release them unconditionally
they had committed no crime. The people have been charged
144, 188 of the IPC and 37/1/35 of Bombay Police Act.
It is not known
what orders the magistrate has made after the people
bond, but the police are taking them to some unknown
Dhule or Aurangabad.
Just outside Dhadgoan, the police stopped for food but
as there was not
enough food for everyone, the arrested people moved on
to the roads and
blocked the road in protest. The people were still sitting
on the road
block as this note was being written.
It may be recollected that Medha Patkar and 300 people
were arrested and
brought to Dhadgaon, by the police late Tuesday
night after an intense
fight by people of the Narmada valley, as the waters
level of the Samarpit Dal at the Domkhedi Satyagraha
House and as waters
entered villages destroying fields and homes, for the
third time this
season. After these, hundreds of tribals started moving
Dhadgaoan, and even as Medha Patkar and others were released,
started an indefinite dharna in Dhadgaon since yesterday
The dharna was started with a demand that the Government
dialogue with the people and answer their questions and
against the suppression of the real issues through the
against the satyagrahis who have been challenging the
increase in back
water due to the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
In a statement Medha Patkar had said "When people have
been raising the
basic issues and have been challenging injustice, the
response of the
State Government was to trivialize it with the police
actions. This is
not at all a law and order problem but the situation
has arisen due to
the wrong policies and actions regarding the dam and
displacement on the
part of Maharashtra rulers. It is the question of tribals'
The people arrested are demanding that the Government
stop cat and
mouse game with them of arresting and releasing and rearresting.
are serious on their demand and their resolve. The State
cannot shrink from its responsibility by hiding behind
the police. They
demanded that the Chief Secretary or some such functionary
of the State
Government must come to Dhadgaon where the people were
answer their questions.
Meanwhile, the water levels in the Jalsindhi Satyagraha
centre in M.P.
receded today even as the tribals had braved and stood
in 1.5 feet deep
water for 24 hours.
About 50 people from Kerala, Bangalore and other places
have reached the
satyagraha centres today to express solidarity and support
From Thailand, the people affected by the Pak Mun dam,
who have occupied
the dam site since April this year, setting up de facto
over 8000 people demanding that the dam be removed, have
solidarity to the Narmada struggle and have said that
everyday at 7.00
pm, the people sitting at the Pak Mun dam are offering
support of the Narmada struggle.
Nandini Oza, Sukumar M.K., NBA
for more Information : www.narmada.org
17.09.99 : S.O.S. Loire Vivante, lauréat
des Trophées de l’eau 1999 de l’Agence de l’Eau.
Le projet « Rivières d’Images et Fleuves
de Mots » a été désigné lauréat
hors catégorie de la première édition des Trophées
de l’eau organisée par l’Agence de l’Eau Loire-Bretagne.
Ce concours récompensait les initiatives les plus
exemplaires dans le domaine de la protection de l’eau dans le bassin Loire-Bretagne.
Les collectivités territoriales, les entreprises industrielles,
les exploitations agricoles et les associations étaient invitées
à concourir en présentant des actions réalisées
dans des domaines tels que : la gestion cohérente de l’assainissement,
la gestion de l’eau dans l’industrie, la protection ou la gestion économe
de la ressource, la gestion des cours d’eau et des milieux naturels, la
réduction des pollutions agricoles, etc.
Le projet « Rivières d’Images et Fleuves
de Mots » ne relevait pas des catégories qu’avait défini
le règlement des trophées 1999. « Rivières d’Images
et Fleuves de Mots » consistait en effet à inviter les écoles
(maternelles, primaires et collèges) de tous les départements
du bassin15 de la Loire ou de ses affluents à participer à
un concours de poésie et d’arts plastique. Au travers d’une œuvre
collective, plastique et/ou poétique, les enfants étaient
invités à représenter leur « coin » de
ruisseau ou de fleuve, à partir de leur expérience –sur le
terrain- d’exploration de ce cours d’eau, l’ensemble des œuvres créant
ainsi une « carte artistique du bassin ». Cette action était
accompagnée par la réalisation d’un guide pédagogique
développant la notion de bassin versant et la notion d’éco-citoyenneté:
il faut protéger son ruisseau à l’amont pour protéger
l’aval. Les cinquante toiles géantes (2,5 m sur 1, 5 m) sont depuis
leur création régulièrement exposées sur différents
points du bassin de la Loire.
L’attention du jury a notamment été retenue
par la qualité du concept de ce concours qui mêle approche
de terrain, contenu pédagogique et expérience artistique
visant ainsi une sensibilisation durable. Par son exemplarité, ce
projet a amené l’Agence de l’Eau à s’interroger sur la nécessité
d’une nouvelle catégorie de ces trophées de l’eau : celle
de la sensibilisation et de la communication.
L’équipe du projet :
Edith PLANCHE, coordinatrice du projet - responsable
pédagogique et artistique ; Stéphane PARAISOT, animateur
nature / éducation à l’environnement - logistique ; Timmy
Sous la direction de Roberto EPPLE