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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

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.