Peter Bosshard

Ikal Angelei, the founder of Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco today (16 April). The award will honor an activist who is defending the interests of 500,000 poor indigenous people against a destructive hydropower dam, and has successfully taken on many of the world’s biggest dam builders and financiers.


With serious human rights concerns surrounding the development of the Kajbar dam in Sudan, Peter Bosshard of International Rivers says the companies involved need to respect the interests of local people.


Across the globe, from the floodplains of the Amazon to the foothills of the Himalayas, from Burmese forests to Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, peasant and indigenous communities are fighting against destructive dams. Dams have deprived hundreds of millions of people of their homes, farmlands, fisheries and forests. Millions more are threatened by projects that are planned or under construction, writes Peter Bosshard.

Recent environmental standard reforms and initiatives by Chinese corporations have earned international applause but emerging Chinese companies and a leading bank that now support Ethiopia’s Gibe III Hydroelectric Dam are threatening the reputation of Asian dam builders, writes Peter Bosshard. The controversial Gibe III is scheduled for construction despite the destructive threats to surrounding populations and fragile ecosystems. Support for the project from Dongfang Electric Corporation more


With the Merowe dam project in northern Sudan having caused the displacement of many thousands of people, Peter Bosshard writes on efforts to bring German company Lahmeyer International to justice.

A few years ago, Chinese dam builders and financiers appeared on the global hydropower market with a bang. China Exim Bank and companies such as Sinohydro started to take on large, destructive projects in countries like Sudan and Burma, which had been shunned by the international community. Their emergence threatened to roll back progress regarding human rights and the environment which civil society had achieved over many years. But new evidence suggests that Chinese dam builders and more


Foreign investors are pouring billions of dollars into large extractive projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, writes Peter Bosshard, but in ‘a classic case of the resource curse’, the projects ‘are not promoting the country’s long-term development’, but attracting ‘short-term profiteers, conflict, and corruption’. The World Bank’s rehabilitation of the Inga 1 and 2 hydropower dams are the latest example of this trend.

Despite promises from former World Bank President James Wolfensohn back in 1996 to take vigorous action to combat bribery, a new book by bank insider Steve Berkman suggests that nothing has changed, writes Peter Bossard. Citing case studies from Nigeria and Gambia, Bossard says Berkman's 'combines number crunching with vivid detail and moral outrage'. Berkman concludes that not one of the more than 100 projects he worked on 'did not reek of corruption', says Bossard, estimating that more

A coalition of NGOs campaigning for China’s leading dam builder to adopt international environmental standards has received a promising response from the company, writes Peter Bosshard. , whose investments include several dams in Africa, confirmed its commitment to global and host country regulation, including ISO 14001. The company also expressed willingness to continue dialogue with the coalition. has great strategic interests in Africa, and Africa will benefit from a continued strengthening of its cooperation with China, says Peter Bosshard. Such South-South cooperation will promote growth and much-needed investment. However, economic growth should not come at the cost of environmental destruction. more