International Hydropower Association Reveals “Good Practice” Guide for (Damming) Protected Areas
It looks like the hydropower industry is getting on nerves of the big international NGOs (BINGOs) who have “cooperated” with the IHA for a decade in common search for “sustainable hydropower”. And there was a good reason for that at a webinar held on September 21 by the industry association to present its historic commitments.
The new “historic commitment” taken on by the industry promises to spare from dam-building only World Heritage but continue to dam protected areas and remaining free-flowing rivers (in a sustainable manner). Commitment born after two years of discussion, coupled with industry expansion plan, basically promises to dam all remaining rivers.
At the thematic panel on protected areas at on-going World Hydropower Congress Amy Newsock of TNC raised the same issues, that Eugene Simonov of RwB presented at the 2019 Hydropower Congress. She stated that performance of the industry in not good AT ALL, and that a version of “mitigation hierarchy” adopted in by IHA in its “hydropower sustainability tools” downplays “avoidance”, as the first choice of action, and stresses other less desirable and questionable means such as “offsets”. Finally she said, that the plan to build additional 850GW of greenfield hydropower projects means complete extermination of remaining natural river ecosystems.
Unabashed, IHA CEO Eddie Rich confessed that personally he does not want to see any new dam built again if not for an imperative to save the global climate entrusted to him by other world bureaucracies from United Nations system.
When forced by the moderator to answer the RwB’s question whether he envisions widening “no-go” commitment to other protected areas and free-flowing rivers, he said that it would be difficult, because International Energy Agency and International Renewable Energy Agency pushes the hydropower industry to build more dams, as much as 850 GW of those and that requires sacrifice of new rivers ….
!!! Now we finally know those are IEA and IRENA who push innocent IHA members to dam protected areas and free-flowing rivers???!!!
We will ask the IRENA and IEA to confirm that position the days of global biodiversity crisis and see what their response would be.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) claims that “in collaboration with conservation groups” it has published guidance for hydropower planners to design and implement projects that carefully co-exist with and support protected conservation areas. Here it is their Guide and it does not carry any other Logos but the IHA’s
Interesting enough that two conservation groups listed as by the IHA Guide as partners: TNC and WWF simultaneously published and apology of free-flowing river conservation which is quite antithetical to the IHA’s guide and especially “Hydropower Standard” and “Hydropower Sustainability Tools”. See https://brighterfuture.panda.org/ and https://rivers-of-food.panda.org/
Meanwhile we informed the IHA and other webinar participants that civil society groups published the DECLARATION FOR RIVERS AND CLIMATE The Declaration remains open for new organizational endorsements until the Climate COP 26 in Glasgow via this link:https://bit.ly/3hRUsGL