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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Call to action on dam builders - Montreal, June 16-20
[Haven't heard who's organizing on this, but here's the call-out
_sans_ contact info. -j.]
CALL TO ACTION
From June 16 to 20, 2003, almost 1,200 dam (and some mining) industry
specialists will be gathering together in Montreal. The occasion will
be the 21st Congress (held every 3 years) of the International
Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD).
Dams have had major negative impacts on communities, rivers,
eco-systems, and wildlife, in Canada and around the world. For
example, the World Commission on Dams estimated that in India and
China, between 26 and 58 million people were displaced as a result of
new dams built between 1950 and 1990. People who are forcibly removed
from their land rarely recover with the same quality of life and
rarely receive adequate compensation. Dams cut short the life of
rivers, wetlands, flora and fauna. They disrupt the livelihoods of
coastal farmers and downstream fisheries. Hundreds of thousands of
acres of forest are clear cut or drowned. Former shorelines are
devastated by repeated flooding and emptying of reservoirs. New
research even indicates that dams are now a significant source of
Who will be there?
Groups such as Noranda, who plan to build an aluminum smelter and six
dams in Patagonia, Chile, are part of a sub-committee. Brascan Power
Corp, a major Noranda shareholder, are an associate partner in the
SNC Lavalin, that is behind the construction of Europe's largest open
cast gold mine in Romania, is a sponsor.
General Electric, that provided turbines for Three Gorges in China,
generators and cables for Bio Bio in Chile, and turbines for the
Yacreta Dam in Argentina and Peru are part of the committee.
Acres International, that worked on the Bujagali Dam in Uganda -
currently under a corruption investigation, and the Lesotho Highlands
water project where Acres was charged by a Lesotho High Court for
corruption, is a committee member.
What should we do?
The Canadian government, as well as some of these companies, gave
money to a World Commission on Dams. The Commission, made up of
dam-affected people, industry and governments, concluded that
large-scale dams have had an enormous negative impact. The World
Commission on Dams made a series of recommendations to ensure that
dams would not negatively impact human rights and environment. The
World Commission on Dams placed great emphasis on enhancing the
meaningful participation of affected groups. The ICOLD meeting in
Montreal closes the doors to all but the dam building industry.
Where and when
June 16-20, 2003, Palais de Congrès de Montréal, 1001 de Bleury
Street West, Montréal, QC H2Z 1X7
Telephone: (514) 871-8122; Fax: (514) 871-9389
Further information about the meeting can be found at
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