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International Rivers

How a Big Dam Fuels Landgrabs, Hunger and Conflict in Ethiopia

Peter Bosshard | Posted 11.12.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

As food prices rise, the lands of rural communities are being snatched up for plantations at an alarming rate around the world. According to the World...

Don't Sacrifice the Planet's Arteries to Save Her Lungs

Peter Bosshard | Posted 08.14.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

A new IPCC report demonstrates that there is a vast potential for energy technologies that have much lower environmental and social impacts than hydro-powered dams.

Extreme Weather Makeover: The Dam Effect

Lori Pottinger | Posted 08.08.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

Big dams are, in effect, experimental technology. Those who design, build and operate them can't predict with any certainty the many serious impacts they will have on life-giving river systems.

Mao, Tao and the Three Gorges Dam

Peter Bosshard | Posted 07.26.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the world's largest hydropower project. Now the Chinese government has officially acknowledged the project's serious social, environmental and geological problems.

People's Power Blocks Dam Construction in Northeast India

Peter Bosshard | Posted 07.11.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

With more than 150 dams proposed for construction and 11 projects in operation, Northeast India is one of the hotspots of global dam building. The big...

Mighty Mekong to Be Dammed?

Peter Bosshard | Posted 06.01.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The mighty Mekong River is about to face its greatest test, when the governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will decide whether to give approve the construction of a dam.

Climate Funds to Underwrite the World Bank's Love Affair With Big Dams?

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.29.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Small, decentralized renewable energy projects such as wind, small hydropower and geothermal power plants provide a win-win solution for poverty reduction and resilience to climate change.

Grand Illusions for African Energy in Davos

Lori Pottinger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

Ritzy Davos might not be the best place to encourage this kind of "small is beautiful" thinking. Maybe future talks on "lighting up Africa" should be held in a rural hospital, where doctors deliver babies in the dark.

New Chinese Dam Project to Fuel Ethnic Conflict in Sudan

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Peter Bosshard

Dams have impoverished tens of thousands of people and triggered serious human rights violations in Sudan. Now Chinese companies have won contracts to build three more hydropower projects in the country.

Become an Aluminum Scrooge for the World's Rivers

Lori Pottinger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

As you "tent" your turkey and wrap leftovers this holiday season, keep in mind that the aluminum foil you're using has its roots in a dirty industry -- one that deserves a lump of coal in its stocking.

Swiss Bankers Clean up Their Act

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Peter Bosshard

UBS, one of the world's biggest banks, has been accused of dirty business for years. Now, a leaked document shows that the bank is now making an effort to clean up its act.

It's the Climate, Stupid (Not the Deficit)

Patrick McCully | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Patrick McCully

If you care about your grandkids' welfare, by all means be concerned about the deficit -- but be very, very, very concerned about the need to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Breaking a Path for Rivers and Rights

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The time for a rights-based approach to development has come, and the WCD report offers great guidelines on who to turn it into practice. Happy Birthday, World Commission on Dams!

Conflict at Zambian Mine Casts a Shadow on Chinese Labor Practices

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Peter Bosshard

Only days after the rescue of the Chilean miners, Chinese supervisors shot and wounded eleven workers in a Zambian coal mine, reminding us that they are the international canary in the mine shaft.

Global Grassroots Network Emerges From "Rivers for Life" Meeting in Mexico

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

Southern civil society groups need to create their own transnational networks to protect the environment and human rights in such projects.

Global Scientific Review Finds That it Pays to Protect Rivers

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

In spite of billions of dollars in investment, the threats to river ecosystems are particularly high in Europe and the United States. The good news is that smart and cost-effective solutions are available.

River Defenders Gather in Mexico to Warn of Global Crisis

Lori Pottinger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

This week, I join hundreds of activists traveling to rural Mexico for a global gathering of people whose livelihoods are threatened by destructive dams. Don't turn away -- you're likely in the picture too.

Google Earth Animation of Brazil's Disastrous Dam Accompanies "Avatar" Re-Release

Patrick McCully | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Patrick McCully

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian government wants to build a massive, nasty dam called Belo Monte. The hydropower plant has long been at t...

China's Biggest Bank "Not a Mercenary" in Africa

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

If ICBC declines to fund Gibe 3, China's biggest bank will demonstrate that it respects international environmental standards in its funding decisions.

German Company Faces Criminal Complaint Over Abuses in Sudan Dam

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

The criminal complaint against Lahmeyer International is a pioneering example of how transnational corporations can be held to account for human rights abuses on their projects.

Big Hydro Falls Behind

Patrick McCully | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Patrick McCully

The fact that wind is now a bigger and more dynamic industry than hydro means that the new renewables industries will increasingly have more economic and political clout.

The Forgotten Downstream Victims of Large Dams

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

An estimated 472 million people have likely been negatively impacted by the downstream impacts of large dams. This is the main finding just published by a group of eminent global freshwater experts.

James Cameron in the Amazon: Avatar Meets Real Life

Peter Bosshard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Peter Bosshard

It is not International Rivers or Amazon Watch which have just denounced large dams as "an ecological disaster." It is the director of the Avatar movie, James Cameron himself.

Sold Down the River; Fishers Fight for Healthy Rivers

Lori Pottinger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

Recent protests in Thailand, Kenya and California have focused attention on the ecological and social risks of dam-building.

Of Oil Spills and Big Dams: What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us

Lori Pottinger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lori Pottinger

It's time to say no to dangerous projects whose destructive powers can't truly be mitigated, and to start demanding full risk disclosure and funded plans for dealing with risks on the rest.