THE KURDISH HUMAN RIGHTS Project [KHRP] has called for a moratorium on planned hydro dams in the Munzur Valley, in the Kurdish regions of Southeast Turkey.

In a recent report, KHRP focuses on eight hydro dam projects planned for the Munzur Valley National Park. The projects will develop an estimated 362MW. KHRP says there is no economic or energy related justification for the projects that would offset their human rights and environmental impacts. It is estimated that up to 40,000 local residents may have to be relocated if the projects go ahead.

The centrepieces of the Munzur projects, the Konaktepe dam and hydroelectric power plant, are to be built by a consortium of companies led by US engineering firm Stone and Webster. Other companies include the Austrian firms va-tech-hydro and strabag and the Turkish firm Soyak and ATA. The estimated cost of the projects is over US$2B.

The World Wildlife Fund has also called for additional protection for the area’s unique ecosystem which would be damaged by the projects.