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22.12.09 : L'Oural, 3e fleuve d'Europe, pourrait s'assécher à mi-parcours 

A l'instar de la mer d'Aral, le fleuve Oural est à la fois victime de la pollution et menacé d'assèchement. Troisième plus long fleuve d'Europe, l'Oural pourrait se trouver assécher à mi-parcours, au lieu d'achever son chemin en mer Caspienne.
Que cela soit en Russie ou au Kazakhstan, ce fleuve et plusieurs de ses affluents sont en effet mis au régime sec par de multiples prélèvements (industriels et domestiques) et barrages. En conséquence, son lit se comble progressivement, la biodiversité de ses abords chute faute de crues salvatrices, tandis que son débit insuffisant voit les taux de polluants (métaux lourds, hydrocarbures, etc.) augmenter considérablement tant dans la vase que dans l'eau.
Néanmoins, pour Alexandre Tchibilev, de l'Académie des sciences russe, le fleuve pourrait être sauvé si son lit était approfondi à son embouchure et que, lors des crues du printemps, les eaux du barrage situées dans la région d'Orenbourg, à environ 1400 kilomètres, soient lâchées pour un effet chasse d'eau.

Pascal Farcy, Univers Nature, Illustration © PNUE

17.12.09 : Sharp drop in Ireland's top quality rivers revealed

The percentage of Irish rivers meeting Europe's highest water quality standard, the "high ecological status", has decreased from 30% in 1987 to 17% for the period 2006-08, according to figures published by Ireland's environment agency on Wednesday.
The dramatic decline is due to nutrient inputs and acidification associated to activities such as agriculture, forestry and housing development, the agency believes. The largest number of high quality rivers is in less densely populated areas.
European legislation requires that all EU waters achieve at least "good" ecological status by 2015. Almost half of Irish rivers meet the requirement, compared with 55 and 60% for lakes and coastal waters respectively.

source : via EEB, Follow Up: Irish EPA report

11.11.09 : Australie : Peter Garret, le ministre fédéral pour l'environnement

annulle le projet controversé du barrage de Traveston sur le Mary River
plus d'info (e)      regardez la vidéo de la télé en Australie, site de l'association Save the Mary

20.09.09 : Iraq Reaches Water, Energy and Trade Agreements With Turkey

Istanbul (VOA) -- Iraq and Turkey have reached water, energy and trade agreements at the inaugural meeting of a new strategic cooperation council. Senior ministers from both countries have been meeting in Istanbul for two days.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the council had created a new model of cooperation for the two countries.
Analysts say Turkey's commitment to supply more water to Iraq was one of most important agreements at the two day session.

A severe drought in Iraq has strained bilateral relations, with Baghdad repeatedly calling on Ankara to release more water from its rivers which Iraq depends upon.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the issue has now been resolved.

"When it became clear of the need for water, we undertook to take special arrangement to help our Iraqi friends in this difficult situation we face," he said. "There is no problem between our countries on this issue and no need for new arrangements as there is already an existing satisfactory arrangement."

But Iraq's Water Resources Minister Latif Rashid, while welcoming the agreement by Turkey to increase the flow from the Euphrates River, indicated work still needed be done on a long term arrangement on water sharing. "The shortage of water in Iraq, has effected environment, has effected drinking water, has effected agriculture and livelihood of Iraq people. In this meeting we had very successful meeting because we have promised to increase the flow in the Euphrates for a season which go through agriculture. That will help us to pass through this critical situation and I hope the following years to be in a better position to come to make some permanent arrangement with our partners in Syria and Turkey," he said.

At the meeting agreements were also signed to enhance trade between the two countries.

Iraqi Foreign Minster Hoshyar Zebari stressed the important role of turkish businesses has and is playing in the redevelopment of Iraq. "The best investors and companies and risk takers over the last six or seven years have been the Turkish companies, in the worst and most difficult and serious situation and challenges they working under severe conditions in a war zone, intimidation or terror," he said.

But analysts say little progress had been made on the thorny question of security.

Turkey remains deeply concerned about the ongoing presence of Kurdish militants along the border and in particular the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, in Northern Iraq.

The PKK has used Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks against Turkey in its struggle for greater Kurdish rights. Zebari said they were cooperating with Turkey and the United States to eliminate the PKK, but he stressed the militants were operating in a region outside of their control. A second meeting between ministers of the two countries is scheduled to be held in Baghdad later this year.

By Dorian Jones,
Source : Press TV, 20.09.2009

20.08.09 : Massive river water transfers lacking scrutiny (WWF Report)

Stockholm, Sweden - Large scale transfers of water from one river basin to another are generally occurring without adequate scrutiny of their economic, environmental and social impacts, according to an analysis released to World Water Week by WWF.

“With the number of large water transfer schemes possibly nearly tripling by 2020 and the amount of water transferred expected to double, poorly assessed mega-transfers have the potential to inflict immense harm on both the communities donating the water and the communities receiving it,” said WWF-Germany Freshwater Director, Martin Geiger.

Pipe dreams? looked at existing and proposed large water transfer schemes in Spain, Australia, Lesotho and South Africa, Greece, Brazil, Peru and China and found the schemes to be high cost, high risk solutions to water problems “with the benefits much less, or likely to be much less, than the sales pitch,” Geiger said.

By 2020, large scale water transfers from one river basin to another are expected to reach around 800 cubic kilometres a year - around half a Lake Ontario or more than eight Lake Genevas. With problems evident in many of the 360 schemes implemented since 1950, the total number of schemes is predicted to reach between 760 and 1240 by 2020.

Australia’s Snowy Mountains Scheme took 99 per cent of the iconic Snowy River’s flows to produce power and provide for distant irrigation, causing generations of conflict. Despite expensive re-engineering and irrigation efficiency schemes, implementation of a decision to return a forth of the Snowy River flows is well behind schedule while climate change impacts are threatening to seriously reduce power generation.

Both donating and receiving basins experienced depletion and damage as Spain’s 282 km Tagus-Segura transfer provoked a unrestrained expansion of irrigated land, much now watered illegally. Planners were wildly optimistic about the water available and while users of the transferred water were to pay for the scheme and its operations only around 30 per cent of these payments have been collected.

Greece’s proposed diversion of the Acheloos River, mainly an economically questionable US$ 3.9-5.9 billion (€ 2.9 – 4.4 billion) prop to thirsty cotton farming heavily subsidised by the EU on the Thessaly Plains, is likely to go ahead following government circumvention of a Supreme Court declaration it was illegal and would be in violation of local, European and international laws on issues including water management, environmental assessment procedures and cultural heritage protection.

The report finds that in many cases there was little examination of alternatives to massive schemes, particularly in managing demand and promoting efficient water use in the mostly water scarce regions.
“Often it is going to make much greater sense to import water in extra food grown in wetter areas than to import water to grow food in a drier area,” said Geiger. “However, non-technical solutions such as this trade in virtual water, less water intensive farming or more water efficient industries and cities tend to be neglected in planning directed at just supplying more water continually.”

Water planning in isolation is also likely to lead to unforeseen problems. The report details the numerous examples of poor integration with land use planning, particularly for agriculture and inadequate consultation on schemes leading to often severe local and regional conflict.

“Don’t venture into interbasin transfers unless you have done your homework on impacts and alternatives,” Geiger said.

“Otherwise you could face serious planning deadlocks, operational shortfalls, unforeseen economic and environmental disruption, and expensive follow-up works that will only partly remedy the damage. If trends in water tables through climate change are not properly taken into account, the water planned for transfer might not be there any more in future.”

Download the report (1.95 MB, pdf)

Source: WWF :


10.07.09 : European banks withdraw from Ilisu dam project in Turkey - Non governmental organisations welcome pullout as the right decision

BankTrack and its member organisations welcome yesterdays’ decision of three leading European banks – Société Générale, UniCredit/Bank Austria and DekaBank - to withdraw from the highly contested Ilisu dam project in Turkey. With this unprecedented step the banks responded to the withdrawal of cover by the German, Austrian and Swiss export credit guarantees on July 7th.

In a joint press release issued on July 8, the three banks stated that:

“In line with the decision of the Export Credit Agencies, the three banks will apply the mechanism foreseen in case the contractually agreed measures ensuring the World Bank guidelines on environment, resettlement and cultural heritage are not fully implemented.

The export credit granted by Bank Austria, DekaBank and Société Générale for the construction of the Ilisu dam is therefore no longer available.”

Société Générale, UniCredit and DekaBank had signed loan contracts of approximately 450m Euro for the project, after Germany, Austria and Switzerland awarded export credit guarantees in March 2007. In recognition of huge deficits in the project planning, the Export Credit Agencies attached no less than 153 conditions to their cover. Ever since, the experts commissioned by the Swiss, German and Austrian governments to monitor the project, identified gross violations of these conditions by the Turkish authorities.

As a consequence, the three governments withdrew the guarantees and thus rendered the bank loans void. The three banks then had no choice but to follow suit.

In contrast to the banks, the consortium involved in the construction of the project including Andritz AG, Alstom and Strabag/Zueblin is still pondering whether to stay involved in the project. In a response it voiced its regret over the withdrawal of the export credit guarantees.

When completed, the Ilisu dam project would displace over 55,000 people of mostly Kurdish origin and destroy precious environmental habitat and invaluable cultural heritage, including the 15,000 year old town of Hasankeyf. The impact of the dam would be felt far downstream in Iraq, which in violation of international law was not consulted in the project planning and repeatedly protested the project. After years of planning and preparation, there still exists no solution for the resettlement of the affected population and the protection of the cultural heritage.

“The Ilisu project never met international standards. While the banks should never have gotten involved in the first place, we greatly welcome that they now draw the consequence from this and step out”, states Heike Drillisch from CounterCurrent, leading the Ilisu Campaign in Germany.

“Ilisu became the symbol of failed export politics. Its reputation now equals zero”, states Yann Louvel from Friends of the Earth France. “So much of this trouble could have been avoided if the ECAs and banks involved had focused on assessing the projects’ numerous failures rather than bow for political pressure ”

“The developments with Ilisu are almost without precedent, but it is an encouraging sign that leading banks are ready to retreat when faced with massive violations of conditions”, says Johan Frijns, coordinator of BankTrack. “The proliferation of social and environmental policies adopted by banks in recent years slowly seems to raise the bar for obtaining project finance and export credits”

“The European non-governmental organisations which have campaigned against the Ilisu dam for years will continue to monitor the project. Any bank or company getting involved in Ilisu again will be faced with great protest and risk huge reputational damage”, says Ulrich Eichelmann from ECA Watch Austria.

"In order to avoid these blatant mistakes in the future, private banks should learn lessons from the Ilisu case and immediately include all recommendations of the World Commission on Dams in their credit policies", says Antonio Tricarico of CRBM Italy.

Heike Drillisch, CounterCurrent (Germany), +49 – 177 - 345 26 11,
Yann Louvel, Friends of the Earth (France), +33 – 1 - 48 51 18 92,
Ulrich Eichelmann, ECA Watch Austria, +43 – 676 – 66 21 512,
Antonio Tricarico, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale (Italy), +39 – 328 - 84 85 448,
Christine Eberlein, Berne Declaration (Switzerland), +49 – 7 – 94 26 30 56,
Johan Frijns, BankTrack, +31 - 24 - 3249220,

For further information:,
GegenStrömung - Ilisu-Kampagne Deutschland
CounterCurrent - Ilisu Campaign Germany
Heike Drillisch, Tel. ++49-(0)177-345 26 11

09.06.09 : Ilisu Dam-Affected People Expropriated amidst Ultimatum
Turkish Government snubs Europeans shortly before the Deadline

(Berlin, Vienna, Zurich – 9.6.2009) The Stop Ilisu Campaign learned today that the Government of Turkey continues to expropriate people near the Ilisu Dam Site on the Tigris River. This is a clear breach of the export conditions from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. On May 6, courts in Turkey have withdrawn the land rights of 30 families near Hasankeyf, and have paid them a meagre compensation in return. This proves yet again that the Government of Turkey is not in a position, or not inclined, to fulfil international standards for dam building.

„The constant disregard for the conditions from the European governments as well as the ignorance of the Turkish authorities vis-à-vis the European partners has to have consequences. The Europeans need to permanently withdraw from the project”, says Ulrich Eichelmann, a spokesperson of the Stop Ilisu Campaign.

Ludwig Fliesser, a student of the University of Vienna, has uncovered the scandal concerning the unlawful expropriations while working on his diploma near the Ilisu Dam Site in Turkey. He did research in Ankara and in the hamlets near the dam site on the shores of the Tigris River. While in Turkey, the inhabitants of Kesmeköprü III, a small village opposite of Hasankeyf, showed him the court orders ordering the expropriation of 30 families. The court order was dated May 6, which is during the time when the Ilisu Dam contracts between Turkey and the European countries were suspended.

The Turkish authorities wanted to purchase land for “New-Hasankeyf” opposite of the antique town doomed to be flooded by the Ilisu reservoir. However, instead of compensating the affected people with a sum representing the replacement value of their land, and according to international standards, the authorities tried to compensate the people with a ridiculous amount. The farmers felt cheated and refused the compensation deal. The Government of Turkey, in response, went to the district courts in Batman in January 2009, to make the expropriation effective, notwithstanding the refusal of the affected people. In June, the affected people learned from the district court that the meagre compensation amount had been further cut by 40% and the land transferred to the government. The affected people are now faced with ruin.

„The decision of the court in Batman is a scandal. The water authority of Turkey once again plays with the Europeans and blatantly ignores the suspension of the contracts”, says Christine Eberlein of the Swiss NGO Berne Declaration.

The Turkish water authorities had already expropriated villages near the Ilisu Dam Site in 2007, paying them a meagre compensation amount. After pressure from the Stop Ilisu Campaign, the three European governments had stopped the process and Turkey had vowed to improve on the management of compensation. “With the latest expropriations, the Turkish government demonstrates that it has no interest in cooperating with Europe. It is high time to withdraw from this disastrous project”, states Heike Drillisch, the coordinator of the German Ilisu Campaign.

Experts and representatives of the Export Credit Agencies are near the Ilisu Dam Site this week to verify whether Turkey has fulfilled the conditions. Germany, Austria and Switzerland are likely to decide afterwards whether to remain in the project or to withdraw from it. This will impact the loans for the Ilisu project provided Société Générale, UniCredit/Bank Austria, and the German DekaBank who have been under heavy criticism from civil society organisations for their engagement in the project.

More information:
Ulrich Eichelmann, ECA Watch Austria, Tel. +43 – 676 662 1512
Thomas Wenidoppler, ECA Watch Austria, Tel. +43 – 650 822 5200
Christine Eberlein, Berne Declaration, Tel. +41 - 794263056
Heike Drillisch, GegenStrömung – Ilisu Campaign Germany, Tel. +49 (0)177 – 345 26 11

28.05.09 : Ilisu dam project on the Tigris: International Standards not reached despite ultimatum. Cultural heritage doomed to be lost.

Berlin, May 28th 2009 – 40 days before the deadline of a 6-months-ultimatum, indications grow that Turkey is unable to fulfil the main conditions for the Ilisu dam project. Attempts to at least save parts of the ancient city of Hasankeyf seem to have been abandoned completely. According to World Bank expert Robert Goodland, the entire project is not in line with World Bank standards. He recommends a withdrawal of the European project participants.

On the occasion of the “Ilisu Summit”, an international conference concerning the Ilisu dam in Berlin on May 28th, Robert Goodland, who developed the World Bank’s social and environmental standards, criticised the Ilisu dam project for not complying with these standards as promised: “The World Bank would reject this project. The impacts are too severe; the preparations by Turkey are by far insufficient. Even Europe’s conditions for the project are not adequate to protect the affected 60,000 people, unique cultural treasures and the environment.”

Germany, Austria and Switzerland had repeatedly argued that with the 153 conditions they had attached to their export credit guarantees, the project would comply with World Bank standards. In fact this is not the case. “If the European states continue their involvement in this project, they will undermine the standards that the World Bank has put in place and they will set a bad example internationally”, Mr. Goodland continued.

In December 2008, the three countries ordered the suspension of delivery contracts for the project, as the Turkish government grossly violated the conditions tied to the guarantees. This also put on hold the loans provided by Société Générale, Unicredit/Bank Austria and German DekaBank. Behind closed doors, intensive negotiations continue. Just recently Turkey submitted new reports which seemed to indicate that some of the conditions had been complied with. However, the reality at the site is disillusioning. Heike Drillisch and Christine Eberlein from the „Stop Ilisu“ Campaign visited the region last week. As they discovered, no plans exist to save the ancient city of Hasankeyf. The promised relocation of single monuments is not possible. „Even the Turkish specialists admit that they see no way to rescue the most important monuments. This means that the people of Hasankeyf, who live mainly of tourism-income, will lose their means of existence without any replacement,” said Heike Drillisch. A detailed resettlement plan exists for only six villages; the remaining 190 villages are still unaccounted for.

„On July 6th, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have to abandon the project if they don’t want to lose face internationally. These days it is especially important to show strength of character instead of giving in to short-term economic interests,” Ulrich Eichelmann from the Campaign „Stop Ilisu“ added.

Hasan Janabi, former Consultant for the Iraqi Water Ministry, draws attention to the devastating effects the dam will have in Iraq. If the dam is built, districts in Iraq lying downstream from the dam will receive significantly less water than they do now; the water they do receive will be of very poor quality. Millions of people in Iraq depend on the Tigris River for their livelihood. Equally affected will be one of the world’s most significant natural habitats, the Mesopotamian Delta. If the dam is built, its marshes will dry out. „The Ilisu dam would cause great damage in Iraq; it would endanger peace and stability in the Middle East“, said Hasan Janabi. „Unfortunately the protests by Iraqi politicians have remained unheard by the European decision-makers. This is not acceptable.“

Nejdet Atalay, mayor of the city of Batman (population 300,000), travelled to Berlin to represent the people in the affected region. „We don’t want this project. Hasankeyf is more than just an ancient town. It is a central part of our identity and the economic future of our entire region. There are many alternatives to Ilisu“, stated Atalay, who advocates for the formation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in and around Hasankeyf. He continued to emphasize that the Turkish government has up to this time not contacted the city, even though tens of thousands of people will move to Batman if the dam is constructed, increasing social tensions.

Güven Eken, president of the Turkish environmental organisation Doga Dernegi, emphasized the impending ecological disaster and criticised the fact that there has never been an environmental impact assessment, as would be the case for even a minor power plant in Europe. „We cannot understand why the German government wants to participate in a project which they would never force onto their own citizens or their own environment. If the European states pull out of the project, we have a great chance to stop Ilisu completely. But even if they stay in, we will stop Ilisu. The support for our campaign by the Turkish population is growing day by day.”

The Ilisu Summit took place on May 28th in the Auditorium Friedrichstrasse in Berlin. Other participating guests were a representative of the Federal Ministry of Economics, and the Turkish Popstar Tarkan, a strong supporter of the campaign “Stop Ilisu”.

Ulrich Eichelmann (ECA Watch Austria),, 0043 676 662 1512
Heike Drillisch (CounterCurrent, Germany),, 0049 177 345 2611
Christine Eberlein (Berne Declaration, Schweiz),, 0041 794 263 056
Ercan Ayboga (Initiative To Save Hasankeyf),, 0049 163 757 7847

more information on Ilisu

GegenStrömung - Ilisu-Kampagne Deutschland
CounterCurrent - Ilisu Campaign Germany
Heike Drillisch, Tel. ++49-(0)177-345 26 11

14.05.09 : Ilisu-Staudamm : Internationale Petition fordert Welterbe statt Untergang

Wien/Berlin/Bern 14.5.09 Die antike Stadt Hasankeyf und das angrenzende Tigristal in der Südosttürkei sollen nicht im Ilisu-Stausee versinken, sondern unter den Schutz der Vereinten Nationen gestellt und als UNESCO Weltkultur- und naturerbe ausgezeichnet werden. Das fordert eine internationale Petition, die türkische Umweltschutzorganisationen und die europäische Ilisu-Kampagne heute starten. Zahlreiche Prominente wie der bekannte Filmemacher Fatih Akin erklärten bereits ihre Unterstützung.

Die Petition richtet sich an den türkischen Premier Tayyip Erdogan, der formal für den Antrag an die UNESCO zuständig ist, und an die Regierungschefs aus Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz. Angela Merkel, Werner Faymann und Hans-Rudolf Merz werden darin aufgefordert, aus dem Ilisu-Projekt auszusteigen und so den Weg zum Welterbe zu ebnen.

Türkische Wissenschaftler hatten im April aufgezeigt, dass Hasankeyf samt dem Tigristal eine der wertvollsten Kultur- und Naturlandschaften der Welt sind. Laut ihrer Studie erfüllt das Gebiet neun von zehn möglichen Kriterien der UNESCO. Zum Vergleich: Venedig mit seinen Lagunen erfüllt sechs, die Pyramiden in Ägypten vier, die Salzburger Innenstadt drei, das Dresdner Elbetal vier Kriterien und die Altstadt von Bern ein Kriterium.

Zahlreiche Prominente schlossen sich gleich zu Beginn der Initiative an und unterzeichneten die Petition, darunter der bekannte deutsche Filmemacher Fatih Akin, der Träger des Alternativen Nobelpreises Michael Succow, der Generaldirektor des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien Bernd Lötsch,, die Bundestagsabgeordnete und Mitglied der deutschen UNESCO Kommission, Monika Griefahn sowie die Chefin der österreichischen Grünen, Eva Glawischnig. Auch der ehemalige Türkei-Direktor der Weltbank, Andrew Vonkink, erhob kürzlich die Forderung, die Finanzierung des Ilisu-Projekts zu stoppen.

„Es gibt eine Zukunft für die Region und die heißt Welterbe. Die europäischen Staaten sollten in den Erhalt der Region investieren, statt deren Untergang zu finanzieren“, so Stefanie Hermsen von der Bremer Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung, die sich gemeinsam mit Organiationen wie GegenStrömung, International Rivers und die Erklärung von Bern seit Jahren für den Stop des Ilisu-Staudamms einsetzt.

„Die Zukunft von Hasankeyf und des Tigristals ist nicht nur ein türkisches Anliegen, sondern es geht um das natürliche und kulturelle Erbe der gesamten Menschheit! Unterstützen Sie diese Inititative und unterschreiben Sie die Petition“, fordert Ulrich Eichelmann von der österreichischen Stop Ilisu Kampagne.

Am 6. Juli müssen Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz endgültig entscheiden, ob sie die Bürgschaften für den Ilisu-Staudamm kündigen oder das Projekt weiterhin unterstützen.

Adresse der Petition zur Unterzeichnung und weitere Informationen:
Ulrich Eichelmann – ECA Watch Österreich +43 676 662 1512
Heike Drillisch – GegenStrömung +49 (0)177 – 345 26 11
Christine Eberlein – Erklärung von Bern +41 – 44 – 277 7008
Stefanie Hermsen – Manfred-Hermsen-Stifung +49 - (0)421 - 3466229

more information on Ilisu

21.04.09 : China to build 20 hydro dams on Yangtze River

BEIJING (AP) ? China plans to build more than 20 dams along the country's longest river by 2020 as part of a plan to further develop the Yangtze River's hydropower, an official said Tuesday.
The river already has the world's largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam. China is looking to hydropower as an important alternative to help it move away from coal, which provides more than 70 percent of the country's energy supply.
Hu Siyi, the vice minister of water resources, announced the plans during a forum in Shanghai that called for hydropower projects on the tributaries and upper reaches of the Yangtze, a notice on the Web site of the Ministry of Water Resources said.
But environmentalists and scientists have questioned the effect of big dams on the environment, with some reporting problems.
A recent Chinese Academy of Sciences report said the Three Gorges Dam is harming water quality and ecosystems of the wetlands as well as fish stocks, the official China Daily newspaper reported Monday.
Climate change is also likely to reduce the river's water supply because rainfall has decreased every year since 2006, it said.
Cai Qihua, director of the Yangtze Water Resources Committee, was quoted by the newspaper as saying Tuesday that the government plans to use 60 percent of the river's hydropower resources by 2030. Only 36 percent of those resources were currently being used, he said at the forum.
China boasts the world's largest hydropower resources, the paper said, at a theoretical potential of 540 million kilowatts.
The Three Gorges Dam has produced enough electricity since 2003 to supply about 8.8 percent of China's electricity consumption last year, the official Xinhua News Agency said this month.
Hydro projects will be developed in the upper reaches of the tributaries, including on the Yalong, Dadu and Wujiang Rivers, the China Daily said.
source :

14.03.09 : World Water Formum 5 in Istanbul. First day : 19 persons arrested ! (d)

Weltwasserforum Istanbul: 19 Festnahmen am ersten Tag

Das heute in Istanbul beginnende Weltwasserforum hat noch nicht wirklich begonnen, da hat es schon seinen nächsten Eklat: Während der Eröffnungszeremonie am heutigen Vormittag hielten zwei Naturschutzvertreterinnen ein Banner mit "No Destructive Dams!" in die Höhe. Daraufhin wurden sie umgehend abgeführt. Bei den beiden Frauen handelt es sich um Mitarbeiterinnen der NGO "International Rivers" mit Sitz in Berkely, USA. Ihnen droht die Abschiebung. Derzeit versuchen Rechtsanwälte, die beiden frei zu bekommen.

Weitere 17 türkische Personen wurden fast gleichzeitig festgenommen, weil sie vor den Gebäuden des Weltwasserforums protestierten.

Erst vergangene Woche hatte die UNESCO auf Druck der Türkei eine Präsentation auf dem Weltwasserforum absagen müssen. Die UNESCO wollte auf die negativen Folgen von Staudämmen auf das kulturelle Erbe hinweisen.

"Das rücksichtslose Vorgehen der Türkei entlarvt das Motto der Veranstaltung "Gräben überbrücken" schon am ersten Tag als Farce. Es zeigt einmal mehr, dass dieses Forum vor allem eine Marketingveranstaltung der Kraftwerks- und Wasserprivatisierungslobby ist," so Ulrich Eichelmann von der "Stop Ilisu" Kampagne.

Die Proteste werden weitergehen. Das Weltwasserforum endet am kommenden Sonntag.

Peter Bosshard, International Rivers, 0090 - 531 - 725 9438
Ulrich Eichelmann - ECA Watch Österreich + Stop Ilisu Kampagne
+43 676 6621512

02.02.09 : Der Chapala See in Mexiko wird zum Ramsar-Schutzgebiet erklärt (Global Nature Fund)

Vor genau fünf Jahren ernannte der Global Nature Fund anlässlich des jährlich am 2. Februar stattfindenden Welttags der Feuchtgebiete den Lago del Chapala, Mexikos größten See, zum „Bedrohten See des Jahres 2004“. Nun wird der Chapala See am 4. Februar 2009 offiziell unter den Schutz der Ramsar-Konvention gestellt.

Radolfzell/Guadalajara, 02.02.2009: Die Beharrlichkeit der Living Lakes-Partnerorganisationen in Mexiko zeigt endlich Erfolge: Der Chapala See wird in wenigen Tagen als Ramsar-Schutzgebiet ausgewiesen. Noch im Jahr 2004 wurde der Lago de Chapala, der größte Süßwassersee des Landes, zum „Bedrohten See des Jahres“ ausgerufen. Seit der Aufnahme des Chapala Sees in das internationale Seennetzwerk Living Lakes im Jahr 2002 wurden unzählige Protestschreiben und Petitionen an die mexikanische Regierung gesandt, um auf dramatische Situation aufmerksam zu machen.

„Zwar löst die Ausweisung des Chapala als Ramsar-Schutzgebiet nicht alle Probleme in der Region, doch ist sie ein Meilenstein für die langjährigen Bemühungen unserer Partner in Mexiko“, so Marion Hammerl, Präsidentin des GNF. Denn seit Mitte der achtziger Jahre droht der Flachwassersee, der einst doppelt so groß war wie der Bodensee, vollständig zu verschwinden. Aufgrund schonungsloser Übernutzung seiner Wasserreserven musste der See in seinen schlechtesten Zeiten bis zu drei Viertel seiner ursprünglichen Größe einbüßen. Darüber hinaus ist das wenige Wasser des Rio Lerma, das in den See gelangt, durch ungeklärte Haushalts- und Industrieabwässer sowie Nitrate und Phosphate aus der Landwirtschaft äußerst stark belastet und weist eine hohe Konzentration an Schwermetallen auf. Damit ist nicht nur das Ökosystem des Sees selbst bedroht, sondern auch die sechs Millionen Menschen der Metropole Guadalajara, die das Wasser des Sees als Trinkwasser nutzen. Mit einem riesigen Staudammprojekt soll hier Abhilfe geschaffen werden. Doch die Living Lakes-Partnerorganisationen Fundación Cuenca Lerma Lago Chapala und Amigos del Lago sind der Meinung, dass die enorme Investition von mehreren Milliarden Euro, die der Bau des Acrediano-Staudamms verschlingen würde, bei einem vernünftigen Wassermanagement in der Region nicht notwendig wäre. Nur durch eine Sanierung des maroden Wasserleitungssystems und der Verbesserung der Wasserqualität kann der Chapala See langfristig als Trinkwasserspeicher für den Menschen erhalten bleiben.

Der Chapala See ist eines der letzten Rückzugsgebiete für seltene Tier- und Pflanzenarten. Rund 80 Vogelarten wie Schmuck- und Silberreiher und bis zu 3.000 Weißpelikane leben oder überwintern in der Region. Außerdem wird der See von mehr als 2 Millionen Wasservögeln während ihrer Wanderung aufgesucht.

Das Living Lakes Netzwerk setzt sich erfolgreich und nachhaltig für die betroffenen Regionen ein und wird hierbei auch von weltweit tätigen Unternehmen wie Daimler, Reckitt Benckiser, der Deutschen Lufthansa, T-Mobile, Ziemann, Sika und Osram unterstützt.

Quelle : Global Nature Fund (GNF) , +449 7732-99 95-0 E-Mail: Web:

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