The problem of rivers has gathered around 80 representatives of civil society from different corners of the world to the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. In the frames of international meeting of river and dam activists, 'Rivergathering', they have gathered to discuss dangers threatening to rivers due to hydropower development, protection of human rights, application of different mechanisms of combating, the impact of hydropower on climate change, policies run by international financial institutions, as well as to exchange their experience and to find partners. Bankwatch together with International Rivers and Green Alternative has organized this conference with the EU support launched on 28 March and to be continued up to 31 March.
“The threats to river are increasing more and more, so we should protect our water resources. We can share our experience and understand how we shall work more effectively. We shall do our best to discuss river issues at international and national levels,” said International Rivers Executive Director Kate Horner.
When welcoming the participants of “Rivergathering”, “CEE Bankwatch Network” Campaigns director Petr Hlobil outlined in this speech this gathering is taking place in a country, where the state promotes the development of hydropower.
'Very many people were resettled because of SHPPs, climate conditions deteriorated and the local crop productivity had got worse,' Manana Kochladze, Regional coordinator for the Caucasus of CEE Bankwatch Network and President of 'Green Alternative' NGO, spoke about the problems arisen because of hydropower.
The representative of Israel-based 'Ecopeace' organization Mira Edelstein presented the problems in the river basins in the Middle East mentioning that wars may be waged for water in this area. According to Mira Edelstein, the government are currently taking first steps not to dump wastewater into rivers after year-long campaigns.
Columbian environmentalist Juan Pablo Soler presented the situation in Columbia and Latin America and particularly said, 'Our rights are violated and our fertile land areas are alienated to construct dams.' He outlined that 130 activists were killed in Latin America, who didn't deal with politics.
Wang Yong Chen from China mentioned in his speech that 1 billion people could face deprivation of irrigation and fishing in his country, as all the problems are almost identical in all countries – lack of water, violation of human rights, decrease in crop productivity and resettlement of people.
16:37 March 29, 2017