More than 25 participants from various disciplines were trained in a two-day workshop to discuss sustainability in Hydropower in Heidenheim, Germany.
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a comprehensive tool to assess the sustainability of hydropower projects globally. It provides a rigorous, evidence-based assessment of between 19-23 sustainability topics, depending on the development stage of the project. These topics include issues such as downstream flow regimes, indigenous peoples, biodiversity, infrastructure, safety, resettlement, water quality, and erosion and sedimentation. It is the product of a rigorous multi-stakeholder development process involving representatives from social and environmental NGOs (Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, Transparency International, WWF); governments (China, Germany [as an observer], Iceland, Norway, Zambia); commercial and development banks (including banks that are signatory to the Equator Principles, and the World Bank [as an observer]); and the hydropower sector, represented by IHA.
The development process of the Protocol involved field trials in 16 countries, across 6 continents, and stakeholder engagement with 1,933 individuals in 28 countries. Implementation of the Protocol in the European Union is supported through Hydro4LIFE, a European Commission funded project, under the European Commission's Life+ Environment Policy and Governance programme. Hydro4LIFE will demonstrate the Protocol in the EU, raise awareness about the Protocol and serve to consolidate hydropower sustainability performance knowledge.
The Voith Hydro training, which took place from 7-8th February, was facilitated by Doug Smith and Simon Howard, IHA Sustainability Specialists.