International Rivers Network dba International Rivers

Rating: 4.98 stars   43 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Environment, Water

Location: 2150 Allston Way Suite 300 Berkeley CA 94704 USA

Mission: International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. We work to stop destructive dams and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. To achieve this mission, International Rivers collaborates with a global network of local communities, social movements, non-governmental organizations and other partners. Through research, education and advocacy, International Rivers works to halt destructive river infrastructure projects, address the legacies of existing projects, improve development policies and practices, and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. The primary focus of our work is in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Target demographics: people who are working to protect their rivers and communities from destructive big dams.
Geographic areas served: Africa, Asia, Latin America
Programs: International Rivers combines reforming global policies with campaigning on specific key projects. In our global policy work, we provide critical analysis for dam opponents and bring the concerns of local communities to the attention of dam funders as part of our efforts to reform their policies and practices. In our project campaigns, we support grassroots social movements and non-governmental organizations to oppose corporate and government plans for specific destructive dam projects, or to campaign for fair compensation for projects that cannot be stopped or have already been built. Specific programs include: -- Building the capacity of local groups and working to stop destructive river projects in Ethiopia, DRC, Brazil, Peru, Chile, China, Laos, Burma and India; -- Reforming policies and standards of international financial institutions such as the World Bank; -- Exposing the hydropower industry's efforts to use climate change to promote the false solution of big-dam hydropower;
2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

My work as an African partner of International Rivers began in 1998, around the World Commission on Dams process and around the social and environmental impacts of large dams in Africa. Throughout this decade plus time, International Rivers has been a very strong, supportive and enthusiastic partner on many different projects. Examples include the Development of the African Rivers Network, a network of African organisations working on large dams, working on specific projects such as the MPhande Nkuwa Dam - where we did a joint field trip to the dam site in Mozambique, and then I subsequently made two net movies of the campaign which International Rivers have included on their website. Projects are too numerous too mention. ANother example is when we worked together to make the Rasi Salai meeting in Thailand in 2003 a great success especially for the African delegates who went to Thailand as a team. More recently I have developed a new NGO called EcoDoc Africa, and I anticipate International Rivers being one of the strongest partners. It is good to mention that their approach of working with and strengthening local partners is much appreciated as often first world NGOs compete with or replace local voices. THis is not true of International Rivers. Aluta continua! Liane Greeff EcoDoc Africa

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

numerous ways in Africa and the rest of the world as I was privileged to be with them in Brazil, SriLanka, Vietnam, Joburg, Lesotho, Mozambique, Poland, Prague, London etc etc on the WOrld Commission on Dams Process and in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda etc on African dam issues. Always International Rivers brings both expertise and senstitivity

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

congratulate myself on a job well done.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Mutual support and feedback. More recently since I have been developing DVDs of case studies, the most positive feedback that I receive is from International Rivers staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, enthusiastic, open and sesitive to local issues and politics.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Continue to do the great work it has been doing since I met it in 1998, and before that. It could amplify its voice in international policy processes that would result in a better world for future generations.

Ways to make it better...

Not applicable.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Similar to other environmental NGOs, the mindset of governance that centers around economic growth at the cost of environmental degradation that occurs constantly on all fronts and erodes our Mother Earth's ability to sustain us. Climate change is just the beginning, and even that the growth mongers are using as a reason to build more mega hydropower projects.

One thing I'd also say is that...

We hope you support International Rivers who in turn supports those of us on the ground in developing world contexts.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

International Rivers is an excellent organization. Their approach to addressing the issues dam-affected peoples face is multi-faceted and necessary, they have strong connections to the communities they work with in all of their campaigns and they have been scaling up their work carefully. I hope that more people learn about their work and support them!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

approachable and down to earth - and very smart!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

The ideal non-profit aims to empower the underdog- the marginalized, those who have no voice- to fight for their own interests. I have come across few organizations who do this better than IR. Those most affected by dams are those who still depend on rivers for their livelihood, and the insensitive corporate machine gives less credence to their opinions and needs because of their lifestyle. IR ensures that these people are not quietly displaced- the organization gives them a voice and ensures that governments and companies are aware of the global, ardent moral support that they have. I will continue to support IR in any way that I can, and hope that many others follow.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Protecting the people and beauty of the Aysen region is southern chile.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Stop the social injustice of large-scale dams.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

great org ,get alot heads up about issues in that part of the world you don`t hear too much about as well as good work conserving watersheds which protect a whole bunch of species.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all parts of the world

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

probably change very little

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the reports they bring of things they are involved in

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

great

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

lots of more great things

Ways to make it better...

they could have done even more

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

are lack of funds

One thing I'd also say is that...

great org

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

IRN is a cutting edge non-profit. I think they do a really good job as a relativly small organization making a big impact. I commend their efforts to translate documents and resources into other languages, especially non-Western languages. They continue to support grassroots efforts to improve water management around the world without reinforcing historical relationships of imperialism.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

China. The Chinese language resources produced by IRN have been used by grassroots hydropower opposition.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

Our state of Michigan has many beautiful rivers. As I fly fisherman I have waded in many of them, and while I enjoy the fishing, I am each time, impressed with the beauty and quiet of the peaceful places I fish. International Rivers does a great job of keeping me informed about issues related to rivers, generally speaking, but also shares information about specific rivers and problems and solutions relative to each. If we want to continue to have beautiful rivers available to us and to share with our children, we need to support fine organizations like International Rivers. Kudos to them for the great work they are doing!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I feel like I am kept well-informed about something important to me and the state of the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They should keep up the good work!!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

i have been impressed with all my contacts with the organization.

Ways to make it better...

it had begun earlier. I can't say enough about the good work that IR is doing.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

Rivers are our lifeblood. The life they bring is vital to us. IRN are the protectors of rivers, from source to sea, anywhere in the world. Their work on the impact of major dams for example is pioneering in making us understand the dangers of trying to master nature. We simply would not know the damage we are causing to our river systems without the vital work of IRN. Please support their cause. Our lives and our rivers depend on it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The media.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a great job!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The cause and seeing it's effects published in the media.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Make more of a difference

Ways to make it better...

I could have more time for this!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Water resource extraction coupled with globel climate change. We need clean water!

One thing I'd also say is that...

Protect rivers.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

i learned about International Rivers in the early nineties when my husband and I were working on water issues in India. Since then I have watched the organization take on major international issues related to stopping harmful dams that will destroy entire watersheds, thoughtless self interested investment by powerful governments like China in developing nations of Africa and elsewhere, meant to enrich the investor, without concern for the destructive impact on the recipient nation, as well as the complex false economies of the false representation of some allegedly "green" concepts involving carbon trading. IR is real people, who work hard for the greater good. It is a pleasure to know that they are there, working for all of us -- to protect our world. Kris Seeman

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

India...in it's efforts to stop the building of the Tarai Dam In Botswana...in it's efforts on behalf of the Limpopo and other rivers In Cambodia...in it's efforts on behalf of the Mekong River In the US...their spin-off group: River of Words, an international watershed writing project for youth founded by former Poet Laureate, Robert Hass

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do exactly what they are doing: marshal resources to focus on local dam building projects that are being railroaded into countries who have no defense against large money and power.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The people who work for IR, and being able to gain a real understanding of specific environmental issues through the group...not superficial "save the X" style of thing, but deep environmental, economic and political analysis.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

All terrific...and knowledgeable, and smart, and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do a great dela more of exactly what it does now, working at the grass roots level, and at the banking level, to stop harmful dams that will do irreversible damage if allowed to go forward.

Ways to make it better...

It could not have been better...

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial...and finding the energy to continue to be the "David" who is facing the "Goliath" of banking interests (particularly from China) who do not have the interests of the countries they are working in at heart.

One thing I'd also say is that...

These guys are fun...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

International Rivers provides timely and effective information regarding the rivers of the world. They help a person stay in touch with the hardships in protecting the world's waterways.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the battles they have won to protect rivers in Chile.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the timely information and the readers ability to respond easily to make a difference.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

none in person. I have read the great email letters various people from International Rivers send.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

protect hundreds of miles of rivers throughout the world.

Ways to make it better...

nothing, my experience has been great.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting the word out to the public and legal battles in earning protection.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

A great site in informing the public about the environmental state of major rivers throughout the world, along with what are the current threats, and how can one add to the support in trying to constructively protest against these threats.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

generating awareness about problems rivers are facing today, many of which are transboundary in nature.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make such links clearer, links to grassroots level NGOs involved not just in protesting big dams and pollution but also working towards sustainable watershed m anagement.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they have a good to the point coverage of issues as well as are successful in mobilizing support from the public via signature campaigns.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

fund scolarships for third world NGO schools, as wsell as a few first world colleg grads to spend like 4 weeks with a field based NGO to observe the realities of conxerving watersheds and hence riverine ecosystems.

Ways to make it better...

i personally had more time to explore links from their website to grassroots based NGOs.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

people have very little time to read about other issues. i refer to the general public, not ecologists or students.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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