Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 10, 2017–IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and The Nature Conservancy today jointly
called for a new system-scale approach to hydropower development to ensure
more sustainability in projects across the world. Participating at
the ongoing World Hydropower Congress here, they said this approach encourages
planning beyond a single project’s immediate, site-level impacts.
“Traditional approaches to understanding environmental and social risks
of hydropower projects are evolving to achieve sustainability,” said Morgan
Landy, Director, Environment, Social and Governance, IFC. “Experience
shows that hydropower projects that operate in isolation are falling short
in achieving their potential and could face unforeseen risks.”
Globally, 1.4 billion people live without access to electricity. Two-thirds
of this population lives in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. If developed
sustainably, hydropower could be an important part of the renewable mix
to help meet growing energy demands.
“Constructive dialogue among stakeholders is essential for both water
and energy security,” said Giulio Boccaletti, Chief Strategy Officer and
Global Managing Director, Water, The Nature Conservancy. “System scale
planning for hydropower offers an opportunity for such a dialogue and improves
the delivery of sustainable development goals, increasing the benefits
that countries can derive from their water resources while minimizing impacts
to environmental and social values. It also reduces risks associated with
projects and increases financial revenues when compared to a project by
project business as a usual approach".
As stated by IFC and The Nature Conservancy, system-scale, or “landscape”
planning approaches for sustainable hydropower development allow for comprehensive
and simultaneous hydropower planning and management that fully integrates
other sectors and environmental and social issues from the earliest stages.
The approach sustains ecosystem services and offers the potential for broad
economic benefits to countries in addition to energy generation, such as
water supply, flood-risk management, irrigation, and habitat for migratory
fish and biodiversity. Additionally, it provides a platform to better engage
projects with stakeholders, including government, project-affected communities,
and other projects operating in the same basin.
IFC and The Nature Conservancy have led sustainability efforts in the hydropower
sector for decades. From 1990 to date, IFC has financed a total of 82 hydropower
projects globally totaling 9.3 gigawatts. The Nature Conservancy has been
working hands-on for the past 65 years to protect rivers due to their immense
value to riverine communities, economies, and the environment. The
two organizations are working jointly to achieve more sustainable hydropower
in the Republic of Congo and Myanmar.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated
to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by
science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s
toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are
tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented
scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65
countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities,
governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit
or follow @nature_press on Twitter.