Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

I have lived mostly all my life near the Great Lakes. I should say, The Laurentian Great Lakes because there's another group of lakes called The Great Lakes.

And since they are in the continent of Africa, they are called the African Great Lakes. But Africa is a very big place, so let's call them by their preferred names (according to Wikipedia) : African Rift Valley Lakes or East African Lakes.

I wasn't able to spend as much time on this mission as I had hoped today. I was hoping to find an environmental organization that supported the protection of the African Rift Valley Lakes, not unlike many of the organizations I'm familiar with here at home. (if you know of any, please let me via comment!)

But I did find International Rivers - Africa.

Their mission is this:

International Rivers' mission is to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them. We oppose destructive dams and the development model they advance, and encourage better ways of meeting people’s needs for water, energy and protection from damaging floods. To achieve this mission, we collaborate 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 the global South.


Now, while I'm aware of many of the negatives that are associated with large dam projects, I'm not educated enough on the matter to say if I am 'categorically' against dams. Are they always bad? I just don't know.

But I did immediately respond to International Rivers' Vision Statement:

International Rivers seeks a world in which rivers and the ecosystems they support are valued, and the importance of the links between healthy environments and healthy societies are understood. We envision a world where development projects neither degrade nature nor impoverish people,
and where all people have a voice in decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods.



That statement I can wh***heartedly follow.

Views: 20

Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 1, 2010 at 7:00pm
Mita-- that's a very good question. I was in China recently and I have been wondering about the Three River Gorges project ever since.

These are the things I understand are bad about damns:
1) They have a fairly brief life, since there's no way (as far as I know) of keeping them from silting up.
2) They steal water from other regions or other countries.
3) They decimate populations of migrating fish.
4) The lakes behind them can cover valuable land or cultural monuments.
5) They can displace large populations.

Whether there are positives that equal outweigh the drawbacks I don't know. Heigh ho, another thing to research!
2)

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