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  • Global Challenges

    Workshop: Focusing on Integrity and Accountability to Strengthen Sustainability of Hydroelectric Projects

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    Workshop Coordinator: Dr. Donal O´Leary, Sr. Advisor, Transparency International and Member of the Steering Committee, Water Integrity Network

    There is a renewed interest in hydropower, partly because of its potential to contribute towards a low carbon economy, address energy security needs and catalyze improved water resources management. At the same time, hydropower development poses significant environmental, social and corruption risks. .

    This Workshop focuses on the recently completed 2010 Hydro Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) an-industry lead multistakeholder process to update the existing HSAP, which was developed and published in 2006 by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), a corporate member of the Water Integrity Network (WIN). The new protocol is resulting from a thirty-month process under the leadership of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum (HSAF), which includes representatives of Western Governments (Germany, Iceland and Norway), Southern Governments (China and Zambia), financing institutions (Equator Banks and the World Bank), civil society (The Nature Conservancy, Oxfam, TI and WWF) and the IHA. The Forum aims to establish a broadly-endorsed sustainability assessment to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector.

    In the course of its deliberations the Forum has met and reached out to local stakeholders in Brazil, China, France, Iceland, Laos, Turkey, the USA (California and Washington DC). Consultations and trials on the Protocol have occurred in 24 and 20 countries respectively.

    The Protocol consists of four sections (Early Stage; Project Preparation; Project Implementation and Project Operation)), that are designed as ´stand alone´ assessment tools applied at particular stages of the project life cycle. Within each Protocol section, is a set of topics important to forming a view on the overall sustainability of that project in the life cycle. Topics when taken together, provide a list of issues that must be considered to confidently assess the overall sustainability of a hydropower project. Topics can be further grouped according to perspective, including development; governance; technical issues; financial and economics; and environment and social issues.

    Throughout the process, there has been a consistent approach to addressing corruption (including from the environment and human rights angles) and other governance issues related to hydropower development as well as the realization of the importance of promoting integrity and accountability as part of an inclusive strategy to sustainable hydropower development. Within its overall objectives; this workshop brings together a representative of IHA, members of the Forum, a staff-member of a regional university and a representative of a regional organization involved in trailing the Protocol to: (a) present the final version of the Protocol; (b) to debate its usefulness in promoting sustainable hydropower development; and (c) to discuss the next strategic steps to assure wider adoption and use of the Protocol. In the course of their deliberations, each Panellist will be requested to focus from his particular perspective on those aspects of the Protocol that address corruption issues and promote integrity and accountability. A particular focus of the debate will be the impact of corruption from the environment, human and human rights angles.

    Moderator: Mr. Jeremy Bird, CEO, Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane, Laos

    Rapporteur: Dr. Erik Nielsen, Manager of Country Based Programmes, Water Integrity Network, Berlin, Germany


    Mr. Andre Abadie, Director, Sustainable Finance, pwc, London, United Kingdom

    Mr. Jean-Michel Devernay, Vice-President, International Hydropower Association, France

    Dr. Tira Foran, Research Fellow, USER – Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Dr. Joerg Hartmann, WWF Dams Initiative Leader, WWF- Germany, Frankfurt. Germany

    Dr. Donal O´Leary, Sr. Advisor, Transparency International and Member of the Steering Committee, Water Integrity Network

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