Indigenous people shown leaving Bato Kelau village for the last time due to construction of the Bakun Dam in Malaysia. Photo source: ©© International Rivers
The sixth World Water Forum (held this year in Marseille, France from March 12-17) the world’s largest meeting devoted to water – is to create solutions to the water, energy, and food challenges presented by climate change and economic growth.
But critics say new scorecard to evaluate social and environmental impacts of hydropower projects serves dam builders not local communities and denounced the protocol as an attempt to “greenwash” the industry.
“The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP), proposes to replace the “best practice” recommendations of the World Commission on Dams with a voluntary, non-binding scorecard that allows dam builders to assess the social and environmental performance of each other’s projects. HSAP is more about protecting the right to build large dams than protecting the rights of the millions of people who depend on rivers for their daily needs. It is conceivable that HSAP could be used to greenwash some of the world’s most destructive dams…”
The Bakun Dam in Malaysia. Photo source: ©© Mohamad Shoox