Our guide, “Dam Standards: A Rights-Based Approach,” attempts to summarize the strongest social and environmental standards related to each stage of a dam’s project cycle: from strategic planning, to project analysis, to implementation, operation, and dam decommissioning.
The guide takes the position that the most eff ective standards are those that safeguard the rights of damaff ected people, avoid risks, and allow the public to hold governments, institutions, and companies accountable. Some of the topics described include International Human Rights Law, Integrated Resources Planning, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Gender Impact Assessment, Cumulative Impacts Assessment, Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, and others.
However, as with any standard, a policy commitment is only as good as the results of its implementation on the ground. Too often, dam builders and fi nanciers make commitments on paper, only to follow business-as-usual in practice. Th at’s why we hope that this guide can help build the capacity of civil society organizations to monitor, track, and hold dam builders and fi nanciers commited to high standards before, during, and after any dam is built.