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Initiatives in the hydro sector post-World Commission on Dams -€“ The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum

Helen Locher
Sustainability Forum Coordinator, International Hydropower Association;
Geir Yngve Hermansen
Senior Advisor, Department for Energy, Norad, Norway;
Gudni A. Johannesson
Director General, National Energy Authority, Iceland;
Yu Xuezhong
Associate Professor, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, China;
Israel Phiri
Manager, Ministry of Energy and Water Development, Zambia;
David Harrison
Senior Advisor, Global Freshwater Team, The Nature Conservancy;
Joerg Hartmann
WWF Dams Initiative Leader, WWF Germany;
Michael Simon
Lead - People, Infrastructure and Environment Program, Oxfam Australia;
Donal O'€™Leary
Senior Advisor, Transparency International;
Courtney Lowrance
Vice President, Environmental & Social Risk Management, Markets and Banking, Citigroup Global Markets Inc;
Daryl Fields
Senior Water Resources Specialist, Energy, Transport and Water, The World Bank;
André Abadie
Forum Chair, Sustainable Finance Ltd;
Refaat Abdel-Malek
MWH Global, Inc;
Andrew Scanlon
Manager Business Sustainability, Hydro Tasmania, Australia;
Zhou Shichun
Senior Engineer, China Hydropower Engineering Consulting Group Co., Beijing, China;
Kirsten Nyman
Policy Advisor for Sustainable Hydropower, GTZ, Germany;

ABSTRACT: The World Commission on Dams (WCD) has called for developers, governments, civil society, etc. to use its Strategic Priorities as a starting point for dialogue and initiatives to address issues regarding the development of dams. One very notable follow-up initiative has been led by the hydropower industry. The International Hydropower Association developed Sustainability Guidelines (IHA, 2004) and a Sustainability Assessment Protocol (IHA, 2006), and most recently has been involved in a two-year process with governments, NGOs and the finance sector to develop a broadly endorsed sustainability assessment tool based on review and update of the IHA Sustainability Assessment Protocol. This cross-sectoral process, known as the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum (HSAF), has drawn on the knowledge base and many of the findings and recommendations of the World Commission on Dams, as well as a number of other developments in the last ten years. A fundamental premise of the work of the Forum is that an industry-driven and -owned initiative has far-reaching potential to influence performance in the hydropower sector. At the same time, the potential for the use of a broadly endorsed sustainability assessment tool for hydropower by those in other sectors is well recognised and aspired to by the Forum. This paper describes the work of the Forum up to August 2009 and the contents of the Draft Protocol released publicly in August 2009, and considers some of the commonalities and points of departure between this process and the WCD. The Forum'€™s work on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a work in progress, so this paper can describe but not give a full analysis of the work while it is in train.