International Rivers

Since 1985, International Rivers has been at the heart of the global struggle to protect rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them. We work with an international network of dam-affected people, grassroots organizations, environmentalists, human rights advocates and others who are committed to stopping destructive river projects and promoting better options. Seeking to protect the world’s rivers from destructive dams and amplify the voices of dam-affected communities, a small group of volunteers formed International Rivers Network in 1985. Their vision was simple and yet remarkably ambitious: to develop a worldwide network of people working to protect rivers and promote just and sustainable water and energy development. Today, almost everywhere that a big dam is being planned or built there is organized local opposition. In communities where existing dams have created severe problems, dam-affected people are demanding reparations.We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without degrading nature or increasing poverty, and where people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Based in five continents, our staff has expertise in dams, energy and water policy, climate change, and international financial institutions. We support partner organizations and dam-affected people by providing advice, training and technical assistance, and advocating on their behalf with governments, banks, companies and international agencies. The focus of our work is in Latin America, Asia and Africa. International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. We work to stop destructive dams and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.

Vision&Values

Rivers are vital to sustaining all life on earth. We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without degrading nature or increasing poverty, and where people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. We are guided by the following values:

  • Collaboration: We see ourselves as a part of a global movement to protect river ecosystems, and our colleagues as partners with whom we collaborate and consult to strengthen our collective efforts.
  • Integrity: We conduct our work honestly, keep our commitments, and expect others to do the same.
  • Accountability: We hold ourselves accountable to affected communities, partner organizations, funders, and the public at large, to act in accordance with our mission.
  • Inclusiveness: We promote open dialogue and decision-making that is transparent, inclusive and consultative.
  • Courage: We recognize and accept the responsibility to act on our mission even under difficult circumstances, and to confront our adversaries openly, while also protecting the safety of our staff and partners.
  • Accuracy: We are committed to rigorous research and analysis, providing accurate information, and basing our work on the best available evidence.
  • Creativity: We seek new, imaginative ways to inspire and maximize our effectiveness, both internally and externally.
  • Sustainability: We seek to maintain an organization that is dynamic, strong, just, and sustainable in its finances, programs, practices, leadership and administration.

International Rivers works to protect rivers and rights, and promote real solutions for meeting water, energy and flood management needs.

How:

  • Building the Movement and Empowering Civil Society: We have played a central role in building the global river protection movement and continually work to broaden and strengthen its reach. We foster grassroots organizations in more than 60 countries and promote the leadership of our regional partners by providing technical and strategic advice, and bringing them together at international meetings.
  • Changing the Terms of the Debate: We work to reform the top-down and opaque decision-making processes that have traditionally accompanied large infrastructure projects. We make sure that important social and environmental issues don’t get swept under the rug, and that affected communities meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives. We provide critical analysis for dam opponents and bring the concerns of local communities to the attention of dam funders as part of our efforts to reform their policies and practices. We seek to block the hydropower industry’s efforts to exploit concerns over climate change. We also raise awareness of greenhouse gas emissions from dam reservoirs and the impact of climate change on the performance and safety of dams.
  • Stopping Destructive Projects and Addressing Legacies: We coordinate international campaigns to discourage financial, government and industry support of harmful river projects. We hold responsible parties accountable for the damages caused by dams by advocating for social reparations, ecological restoration and decommissioning of existing dams.
  • Raising Awareness: Through publications, presentations and media outreach, we raise the visibility of the deplorable environmental, economic and human rights impacts of large dams and the viability of better options. We provide information on a wide range of water and energy issues and we put journalists in contact with people directly affected by destructive river projects.
  • Promoting Solutions: We generate awareness that efficiency and small-scale, decentralized and renewable solutions are essential for meeting water and energy needs, alleviating poverty and protecting the planet. We promote the best water and energy options and the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams for energy and water planning.

and one you may want to highlight, as it tells our story: http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/4350

Our quarterly magazine: http://www.internationalrivers.org/2012-wrr

Our blogs: http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/212

Three especially important Fact Sheets on general topics:

Two basic slideshows on our issues:

And an important report on "what we are for" regarding development projects: http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/7454

About Internat'l Rivers: http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/about-international-rivers-3679

And Annual reports here: http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/2263

for more information please visit: www.internationalrivers.org

Multimedia: http://www.internationalrivers.org/multimedia

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/internationalrivers

 

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