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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

International Rivers Network dba International Rivers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

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;

Community Stories

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Billions of dollars are being invested in building dams throughout the Amazon that will devastate the environment and displace local communities and cause massive emission of green house gases as the vegetation decomposes. International Rivers is at the forefront of ensuring that local communities and the environment is put before economic greed and is the leading expert on these issues.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers is a global authority on river restoration and fighting unjust dam development. I would highly recommend supporting their work in any way possible.

39

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

its been great reading from you. I highly commend the efforts through positive advocacy and lobbying of the International rivers. Personally I am always encouraged by your noble work. i have started a water governance institute in Uganda and I wish borrow from your leaf to save the rivers of the great lakes region in eastern Africa. Please identify for us funding organizations that can support us. You are simply the BEST.

39

Board Member

Rating: 5

International Rivers is an amazing force for protecting and revitalizing the world's rivers and the cultures and and traditions that flow with them. They have done so much around the globe to link water and human rights that they should be recognized for this important work every day of the year. Without water there is no life. With sustainable rivers and strong cultural traditions we all thrive!

39

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was a great experience to go through the postings on International Rivers.I got good teaching resource material here.I have advised my students to be a part of this group and share their experiance. Extraordinary!!!!!!

36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think its great in what you do for our waterways as water is a source of life for plants and animals and humans. We have to keep them clear and clean and every little bit helps. I could not see this planet with out the water it would be a desert with no life at all. We have to do everything in the world to keep it clean and safe. I want to thank you for all that you have done so far, and keep up the good work.

30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While a river near yuo may be flowing fine, rivers around the world are suffering at an alarming rate! Dams in China and Tibet, pollution and runoff in Central and South AMerican and Droughts secondayr to climate cahnge world wide. Rivers are the arteries fo the earth and when they are not flowing properly illness will occur. International Rivers is on the forefront of providign advocay, edcationa nd support concerning our world water ways. Their web page and action emails call people to act not just for themselves but for others, usually the disenfracnchised and poor. Internaitonal Rivers role will continue to increse as global warming effects the climate and the worlds energy crisis calls for more hydorecletric power. They need all the support they can get to pursue their mission of protecting these vital habits for all animal, plants, and people.

27

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Your Service is excellent. I am also a reader of World Rivers Review. In Vol. 20, No. 3, 2005 on page 9 P. McCully said that 48 dam failures have killed more than 10 peoples outside of China. I have found that more than 18,000 people have been killed by some 60 dam failures outside of China in the past 50 years.

26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"International Rivers" is a perfect choice for a green choice awards - this group protects WATER the very essential element, in any way possible, and also environment of people living close to rivers.. I find the work of this organization very important for our lives... and also this organization is very transparent about its activities... they have my trust and biggest support!!!!

24 JamesShelton

Donor

Rating: 5

This is great worlwide organization covering issues such as the effects of dams on rivers which many other groups are not doing. They work around the world in Developing nations as well as industrial nations. They have very good information and wage advocacy campaigns to save these important resources.

21

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started subscribing to International Rivers in the 1980s when I got a grant to study and write about Canada's major rivers. It took me across the country finding out how people treated their rivers and how rivers shaped societies and vice versa. I learned that yes water sometimes does run out. Flying over the Nile is unforgettable. It's cheering to see that now the media seems to recognize and respect our most valuable natural resource. International Rivers must take credit for this. It certainly helped make me a lifetime river addict!

26

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers (or IRN as it was formerly known) is a non-govt. organisation that in my opinion is exemplary in its approach and gets to the heart of the problem. By this I mean that in terms of its approach and philosophy towards confronting the very real threats that face the world's rivers, it has always led the way in getting the right balance between public information and pragmatic lobbying and advocacy work behind the scenes. No other organisation that I can think of manages to achieve the same amount of public awareness of environmental issues, while still keeping its original values and visions to protect human rights of communities along with free-flowing rivers. I can speak from my experience of working in the countries of the Lower Mekong Basin, that International Rivers has consistently been vocal and ubiquitous in speaking out for the rights of affected communities in the face of devastating impacts caused by hydropower dams and ill-conceived development projects. As a result, they are widely respected and have achieved much progress in raising thorny issues concerned with individual dam projects and wider development programmes with a variety of actors on all sides of the debate, which might otherwise have been brushed under the carpet. Furthermore, I can vouch for the integrity and selfless commitment of the IR staff members I've had the pleasure to meet and work with over the past eight years, who are totally dedicated to fighting for the interests of rivers and the people that rely on them for lives and livelihoods. This was brought home most clearly by the incredible feat of organising the Rivers for Life meeting of dam affected people from across the world at Rasi Salai in Thailand in 2003. Despite difficult conditions and limited budgets, the staff and local people involved managed to pull off a fantastic conference without the need for a fancy hotel so beloved of more profligate organisations that claim to act on behalf of the environment, that really cemented solidarity amongst the hundreds of people involved to fight on against bad dams, ill-conceived policy, corruption, human rights abuses, poor governance, etc. To sum up, International Rivers encapsulates for me everything that an environmental NGO should embody and I hope it never loses sight of the principles and goals on which it was founded. It deserves praise for the struggles it engages in and light it shines on often hidden issues in the Global South.

24

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers have played a crucial role in exposing the fraudulent nature of carbon emissions trading and in defending the rights of riverine peoples from corporate and governmental exploitation. Their research and advocacy are superb. Professor Michael Northcott, University of Edinburgh, UK

25

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers does great work supporting communities, promoting good global governance, and protecting precious water resources. Thanks to them for their efforts!

24

Board Member

Rating: 5

International Rivers works through smart engagement in international processes, solid research, and respectful support for regional partners. The staff are exceedingly bright and capable, and they are deeply committed to IR's mission.

25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best and most powerful NGO around the world to protect rivers. Its efforts to spread public awareness are also substantial.

24

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've followed International Rivers since 1996 and (full disclosure here) served on its board until 2007. I previously worked for five years on the staff of a major foundation and have served on the boards of five other nonprofit organizations. I can say without hesitation that International Rivers is one of the most professional, forward-thinking, courageous, efficient and exciting organizations I've ever had the privilege to know. They have done a better job of combining grassroots, bottom-up activism with effective global policy influence than any other environmental group I know. I recommend in the highest terms to any donor.

22

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

International Rivers is a fantastic organization which is focused on humanitarian environmentalism. They work directly with individuals to get their message out and inspire activism. They are working for the simple cause of human rights to water access and fighting humankind's apparent increasing desire to control nature for the benefit of few. International Rivers is a team of highly dedicated men and women working kindly and cooperatively to better our planet. What could be better?

24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned about the International Rivers Non-profit organization through the retailer Patagonia. I shop them on line because there are no stores in San Antonio where I live. I also shop Patagonia because of their commitment to the environment. Though Patagonia's web site I got involved with International Rivers. About a year ago, I saw a link to petition to save a river. It was then that I started learning the real impact of our rivers on the environments well being. I was amazed. I started receiving regular emails about rivers around the world and how I could help. I am so proud to be part of something greater than myself as well as make a difference seemingly so easy! I am grateful for this organization, as our rivers are the life blood of our world and without their health who knows what will happen to our world.

24

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In its careful documentation of the impacts of large dam development International Rivers has managed to put people and the environment on equal standing. The awareness that water IS life resonates in everything that they do. Their work with communities is illustrates the best in collaborative engagement: respectful work that enhances knowledge and the capacity of affected peoples to assert basic rights to life, health, and livelihood.

19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

International Rivers truly understands that the best way to effect change in a sustainable way is to support local communities and their work, thereby empowering them to make their voices heard.

19 Chaz Groves

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Newsletter is very informative in concise bursts. It allows one to scan for important information and then dig deeply. It keeps one informed about specific issues on a selected segment of the environment without getting too deep into the weeds.

18

Board Member

Rating: 5

With the world population constantly increasing, the demand for fresh wateris at the point that the aquifers are being depleted faster than they can be recharged. It is therefore imperative that the whole world work together to keep our rivers clean and as un-polluted as possible to provide a constant fresh water source. International Rivers is getting the word out to people all over the world and their efforts to date have been commendable. Grant Campbell South Florida Audubon Society Director of Wildlife Policy Conservation and Environment Chair

18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the International Rivers Website. I find there site very informative and educational. I learn something new everytime I am on the site. I feel that the site delivers unbiased views in their articles. When I read this site I am also learning about stories that are not covered by the mainstream media. This is a great thing. Overall I would have to recommend International Rivers To anyone who cares about the Environment.

19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers takes on giant entities— national governments and international agencies such as the World Bank— and, with a tiny fraction of their adversaries' financial resources, often succeeds in stopping their ill-advised plans for dams. With fewer than 40% of the world's river systems still undammed, the planet needs International Rivers to do its work.

18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The information from International Rivers is valuable material when I go lecturing on board cruise liners. It is also usefu material in creating awareness on specific issues concerning the Transition Town initiatives. I am involved in one of these initiatives in Spain. I also publish on the web an information news letter cocerning the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Central & South America, so again the International Rivers information is vital to my work

19

Donor

Rating: 5

Very good organization. To the point, effective. Good communicators and I believe good results. I will continue to support International Rivers, both through donations and online activism.

20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This is a well organize organization that has a unique focus that is not addressed by other groups or agencies. Their material is timely, unique, and unlike many organizations, is peer reviewed and meets scientific scrunity

19

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

No one else does what International Rivers does -- protecting ecosystems and human rights from large dams, while also promoting sensible solutions for development. They develop unique educational tools for communities affected on the ground, while also doing advocacy at the international level, educating the public, and building a global movement to stop the command and control development of dams.

21

Donor

Rating: 5

Great cause, great people, great results. Works effectively at the intersection of human rights and environmental sustainability. Community organizing with a global impact.

20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

19

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

19 flip

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

19

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!!!

19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

International Rivers Network is the leading organization for river protection. They provide support for local activists as well as promoting projects around the world. The organization is an excellent resource for educators, which I am, who are in need of current information to provide to students regarding the crucial problems we are confronting regarding our approach to water and our use of this essential element of life.

23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

International Rivers is a small organization that is fueled by an incredible amount of passion,expertise and social awareness. IR seeks to truly understand the impacts of dams on people in every region of the world, and dig deeply to understand how dams affect humans by degarding aquatic biodiversity, displacing communities and altering the lifestyles and livelihoods of riverside communities. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and positive and committed to defending the people who are directly impacted by dam development across the globe.

23

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

International Rivers leads the fight for people, rivers and ecosystems everywhere. They supply documents and advice that are very valuable for river defenders everywhere.