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Dam nations


The item (NCE 8 February) on the meeting to discuss the report and recommendations of the World Commission on Dams was a curious, detailed snapshot of a small part of the day.

Some technical points were questioned, but the importance of the report in producing improved outcomes from dams, particularly on resettlement, was agreed by all.

The report might also have mentioned that Chris Mullin MP, minister at the Department for International Development, speaking for the government generally, assured us that every agency of the government is pulling in the same direction.

Derek Osborn speaking for the United Nations Environment & Development Forum suggested that a multi stakeholder group be established to keep government to this assurance.

The minister also mentioned Ilisu, the controversial dam project in Turkey, and said a decision on export credits would be taken when full environmental and social impact studies and reports were completed. Kate Geary from the Stop Ilisu Campaign also noted that one dam contractor had signed up to the Commission's recommendations.

Positive responses emphasised that most of the recommendations were guidelines, not regulations, on decision making processes.

Professor Tony Allan from the School of Oriental & African Studies urged engineers to take up these guidelines and continue the process. This prompted us to plan a further meeting to discuss implementation. Please watch What's On for details.

Rod Bridle, British Dam Society.

rodney. bridle@cwcom. net

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