World’s first Hydropower Sustainability Standard assessment open for public consultation19 December 2022
Pamir Energy’s Sebzor hydropower project in Tajikistan was recently assessed using the Hydropower Sustainability Standard by independent auditors and the assessment report is now open for public consultation – with the project on track to become the first project certified by the Hydropower Sustainability Standard.
Stakeholders from around the world are invited to provide feedback on the findings of the project’s sustainability assessment, with the period set at 60 days. All public comments will be reviewed and addressed by the independent assessors, after which the report will be submitted to the Standard’s Secretariat for decision on its certification status.
“This is a fantastic moment for clean energy development. Now more than ever we need more low-carbon and sustainable energy projects to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. Sebzor is one of those projects,” commented IHA Senior Sustainability Specialist Alain Kilajian. “The Sebzor project underwent a previous assessment using the Hydropower ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) over a year ago. Pamir Energy has since worked closely with us and other international sustainability experts to address the gaps identified.
“This is a case study of how the hydropower sector can engage with the Standard to result in meaningful sustainability improvements. We encourage everyone to explore the Sebzor project’s assessment and leave their feedback.”
The Sebzor project’s previous assessment conducted in August 2021 identified two gaps in the ‘Community Impacts and Infrastructure Safety’ section. A year later, in the project’s Hydropower Sustainability Standard assessment, Pamir Energy demonstrated that it had not only closed Sebzor’s previous gaps but had also met all minimum requirements needed to qualify for a certification. Additionally, the project met enough advanced requirements to make it eligible to be certified at Silver level.
The Sebzor hydropower project’s sustainability assessment is publicly available online, and comments can be left through an online form. The report will also be translated into Russian and shared with local communities affected by the project for their input.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard is an independent, international certification scheme, which measures minimum levels of good practice in twelve sustainability topics from biodiversity and indigenous peoples to water quality and climate change mitigation.
Developed by a multistakeholder group comprised of industry, environmental and social NGOs, multilateral banks and civil society organisations, the Standard provides a framework to incentivise sustainable hydropower projects and improve less sustainable developments.