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International Rivers

The Attack of the Zombie Dams

Peter Bosshard | Posted 10.29.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

We've come up with creative ways to fight these bad projects -- we target the financiers, the governments, the companies. We work with local residents to publicize their stories, support their struggle and win them a place at the table so they have a say over decisions that could change their lives.

Does the World Bank's "Success Story" on Dams Still Hold Water?

Peter Bosshard | Posted 11.09.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

As the World Bank again invests in large dam schemes with the promise of "sustainable hydropower," it has unfortunately failed to learn from its past mistakes.

More Than 1 Million Malaria Cases Per Year Due to African Dams, Study Finds

Peter Bosshard | Posted 09.23.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The connection between dams and malaria has long been known. The stagnant water of reservoirs and the puddles along their shorelines create perfect conditions for the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria, to breed. Yet until now, the problem has never been comprehensively examined.

Will the World Take Action to Stop the Destruction of a Unique Global Heritage?

Peter Bosshard | Posted 06.30.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The member states of the World Heritage Committee have so far declined to declare Lake Turkana a World Heritage in Danger. They have instead asked the Ethiopian government to avert the destruction of Lake Turkana by carrying out a strategic environmental assessment of the projects in the Omo Valley. Yet so far, the Ethiopian government has thumbed its nose at the UN body.

Wind and Solar Power Are Taking the Lead

Peter Bosshard | Posted 06.22.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Dam builders like to claim that hydropower is the world's largest source of renewable electricity. But new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that the picture is quickly changing.

How the Inga Dams Are Holding the Congo's Energy Future Hostage

Peter Bosshard | Posted 06.10.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

It is time for the World Bank and the DRC government to embrace more feasible solutions and stop holding the Congolese population hostage to their multi-billion dollar dreams.

The Power of Rivers -- in Whose Hands?

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.27.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Sustainable water and energy development requires public participation in decision making just as much as money and technical expertise. The Nature Conservancy makes a strong case that smart planning needs to address the systems level rather than just individual dams. It now needs to expand its approach and give the rights of affected communities the place they deserve.

Rainwater Harvesting Pioneer Wins International Water Prize

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.20.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

By empowering poor farmers, reviving traditional knowledge and building small rainwater ponds, Indian activist Rajendra Singh has brought five rivers and a thousand villages back to life over the past 30 years. On August 26, Sweden's King Carl Gustav will present the highly reputed Stockholm Water Prize to the rainwater pioneer.

Why We Celebrate Rivers

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.14.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Please take a moment to think about what you can do to protect the arteries of our planet. We can all avoid products that waste and pollute valuable water. We can educate our children about a way of life that respects the ecosystems of our planet.

12 Dams That Changed the World

Peter Bosshard | Posted 03.14.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The Hoover Dam was the world's highest and most powerful dam when it was completed in 1936. It spurred the agricultural and industrial development of the US Southwest, and destroyed the Colorado River's rich downstream fisheries.

The Hidden Hand Behind 'Natural' Disasters

Peter Bosshard | Posted 02.07.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Floods and droughts in many parts of the world are getting ever more frequent and intense. Scientists have long warned that a changing climate is making such weather events more extreme. What is often neglected in the public debate is that the impacts of climate change on flood and drought disasters are exacerbated by environmental destruction.

A Health Check-up for Our Environment -- Ignored at Our Own Risk

Peter Bosshard | Posted 01.11.2015 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The Chinese river dolphin has disappeared before our eyes within only two generations. Will we change course before other branches on the tree of life die off? It would be foolish to assume that we can somehow maintain our prosperity and our very future without the rich biodiversity on Planet Earth.

No Need to Sacrifice the Planet's Arteries to Save Her Lungs

Peter Bosshard | Posted 11.22.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The People's Climate March will hopefully set some official pants on fire and speed up the capitalization of the new fund. At the same time, we need to be vigilant that the powers that be don't abuse the GCF as honey pots from which they can fund business-as-usual or outright destructive projects.

Government Audit Finds Hydropower Aid Doesn't Benefit the Poor

Peter Bosshard | Posted 09.07.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Norway is a leading voice in the global dams debate and is often considered a model in development and energy finance. A new audit adds to the growing evidence that large hydropower projects are not effective at reducing poverty, and that better tools for achieving this goal exist.

10 Things You Should Know About Dams

Peter Bosshard | Posted 07.27.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Dams are not climate-neutral. Particularly in the tropics, organic matter rotting in their reservoirs emits methane, an aggressive greenhouse gas.

Life-Giving Deltas Starved by Dams

Peter Bosshard | Posted 07.23.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Our deltas are literally sinking, shrinking and in grave a peril, and some may not survive in the coming years. This will impact millions of people, major food producing regions as well as valuable ecosystems.

Large Dams Are Uneconomic, Scientific Study Finds

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.10.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Dam builders and financiers frequently acknowledge the problems of the past, but claim that they have learned from their mistakes.

World Bank Hands Africa's Biggest Dam Project Over to the Private Sector

Peter Bosshard | Posted 04.13.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Working with a Chinese company, the Bank now plans to develop the dam as a private investment through the International Finance Corporation (IFC), rather than as a public project. This is bad news for poor people and the environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congress Takes Landmark Decision for Rivers and Rights

Peter Bosshard | Posted 03.19.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The World Bank is eager to re-engage in large dam projects around the world, and other financiers are following in its wake. The US Congress has now poured cold water on these plans.

Can Lake Turkana Be Saved?

Lori Pottinger | Posted 02.12.2014 | Green
Lori Pottinger

For hundreds of thousands of people who call the lake environment home, these changes could bring a slow death of their livelihoods and communities.

A New Approach to the Global Power Crisis

Peter Bosshard | Posted 02.11.2014 | World
Peter Bosshard

Development finance has focused on big power plants that destroy the environment and bypass the rural poor. This week civil society groups are making a push for a new approach to the global energy crisis.

Protecting Rivers, Reducing Climate Vulnerability

Peter Bosshard | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Climate change is water change. Learning from earlier flood disasters and preparing for climate change, governments, scientists and environmental organizations have started to remove levees and recreate floodplains on rivers such as the Rhine, the lower Yangtze and the lower Danube.

Why the World Bank Continues to Fund Environmental Destruction

Peter Bosshard | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Peter Bosshard

If the Chad-Cameroon pipeline is a prism, what is wrong with the World Bank's approach? A new book by Bruce Rich, a veteran Bank observer and critic, provides a compelling answer.

How the World Bank Puts Self-interest Before Development

Peter Bosshard | Posted 10.08.2013 | Green
Peter Bosshard

If they are serious about promoting least-cost solutions to the world's energy and climate crisis, they need to redirect their funds towards institutions that are better equipped to support renewable energy, energy conservation and efficiency improvements.

Grand Inga -- The World Bank's Latest Silver Bullet for Africa

Peter Bosshard | Posted 07.21.2013 | World
Peter Bosshard

Close to 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a state of permanent power outage. The Grand Inga Dam would divert the Congo River near its mouth and meet the electricity needs of more than 500 million people.