Large Dams evoke intense hostility. The governments interpret as an engineering marvel for their ability to control floods, provide electricity, and irrigate farmland, thereby improving the lives of millions of people. Yet, these benefits can come at a cost of environmental damage, displacement of people whose lands are flooded, and economic burdens.
The most serious problems associated with the building of large dams arise because of lack of public participation in decision-making processes, together with inequitable distribution of the benefits and a lack of compensation for negative consequences. This also demonstrates the absence of any coherent water management strategies at all levels and a result of shortsighted planning and political inertia.
The governments should agree that people who will be directly affected by large dam projects should be drawn into the decision-making process, and particularly emphasize the importance of avoiding land-use changes that are so detrimental to the culture of indigenous people and the natural resource base on which they depend, that their way of life is threatened. In this connection, ILO convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, and especially to Article 27 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, refer to the obligation states have under these agreements to consult indigenous peoples and ensure that they are able to participate in the process that affect them.
The governments should review social benefits, decision-making processes and basic principles for planning and carrying it out. A comprehensive public debate reduces unintentional adverse effects on dam project, and particularly its social, environmental and cultural impacts. The government should urge the importance of taking these aspects into account in the decision for large dam project and not merely consider the economic aspects.
The government’s portrayal of the benefits give little weight to the description of its socio-economic and welfare advantages for the population it is intended to serve. It would be interesting to see a more thorough discussion of the alternatives to building dams and of what the economic costs and environmental and social consequences of such alternatives would be.
The decision-making process should emphasize negotiations between the government and local communities that shall be directly affected by KBD and that will give indigenous peoples the right of veto over development projects. All stakeholders should support the intentions behind this point. The adversely affected local populations must be given much more influence over decisions.
The government should go rather too far in the direction of consensus-based decision -making systems. This model might reduce the influence of public-sector bodies on the decision-making process to be a constructive way of dealing with major infrastructure projects, which frequently involve conflicts of interest.
Governments need to adopt a decision-making framework to guide future development of water and energy resources including dam construction. It should seek to go beyond a simple cost–benefit analysis and present a more inclusive approach to analyzing the dam project. This framework should include steps such as looking for options other than dams to meet the objectives, making sure the benefits of the dam are equitably distributed, and safeguarding the rights of people whose homes and livelihoods are destroyed or jeopardized by dams. The issue of the rights-and-risks approach is very important.
People whose livelihoods and communities are harmed by large dam must play a role both in negotiations that mitigate the harm done as well as in development agreements. Such agreements are fundamental commitments and responsibilities of the stakeholders.
Joint negotiations with adversely affected people result in mutually agreed upon and legally enforceable mitigation and development provisions. These provisions recognize entitlements that improve livelihoods and quality of life, and affected people are beneficiaries of the project.Successful mitigation, resettlement, and development are fundamental commitments and responsibilities of the stakeholders.
Storage and diversion of water on trans-boundary rivers has been a source of considerable tension between provinces. Specific intervention for diverting water, KBD requires constructive cooperation. Consequently, the use and management of resources increasingly becomes the subject of agreement between provinces to promote mutual self-interest for cooperation and peaceful collaboration. This leads to a shift in focus from the narrow approach of allocating a finite resource to the sharing of rivers and their associated benefits in which provinces are innovative in defining the scope of issues for discussion.
A dam may be built to serve several purposes, for example flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, drinking water supplies, etc., and a number of conflicting interests will generally be involved. The decision-making process therefore can be very time consuming and costly and can end in disagreement.
In some cases the legislature should take the final decision on large dam, which can ensure that the advantages and disadvantages are assessed at the highest political level. Inadequate legislation is a serious obstacle to sustainable and equitable utilization of water resources.
There is a need for legislation that makes it possible for the government to take decisions that are important to achieve national goals and safeguard considerations of national importance. The large dam project should be evaluated thoroughly before a decision is made, and to ensure that all those affected receive an equitable share of the benefits from the project. A decision to build large dam should not be taken until all affected parties have had an opportunity to express their views on social, cultural and environmental matters relating to the plans and the environmental impact assessment and their concerns fitted in. Asif J. Mir, Organizational Transformation
Traditional Control Systems - Traditional Control Systems are based on setting standards and then monitoring performance. These systems include three categories of controls: diagnostic ...
6 years ago