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Decision-making and dialogue relating to large dams and hydraulic infrastructures

Research report

Written by Peter Newborne

Research report

This is the report of a study on the approaches to decision-making and dialogue on large dams and hydraulic infrastructures in developing countries and emerging markets, particularly the policies and practices applying to environmental and social aspects, and engagement of stakeholders around projects, including project affected populations.

This study has comprised an international component and two case studies in-country. At international level, the policy debate relating to large dams/hydraulic infrastructure projects has been ‘scoped’ through the perspectives of organisations participating in, or observing, that discussion.

The first case study focuses on the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project, a large retaining dam and reservoir which the Government of Cameroon is planning in the Eastern Region of the country, designed to regulate flows on the Sanaga River for existing and future hydropower plants downstream, with also a small 30 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant to be built at the foot of the Lom Pangar dam, for electrification in the region.

The second case study focuses on the Charter of the Waters of the River Senegal (la Charte des Eaux du Fleuve Sénégal) and efforts in Senegal, as one of the States party to the Water Charter, to promote participation of water users and civil society organisations (CSOs) in dialogue on the management of the river and utilisation of its waters.

The aim of this research study is to support IUCN’s steps to enhance civil society’s contribution to debate on dams and large hydraulic infrastructures, internationally and as part of river basin dialogue in the West Africa and Central Africa regions.

Peter Newborne