IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower

The IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower was announced on 16 November 2020 on the occasion of IHA’s 25th anniversary.

Approved by the IHA Board at its 83rd meeting, it marked a milestone in confirming the commitment of the association and its members to the responsible development of hydropower.

The charter was superseded by the San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, a global call to action supported by a broad range of stakeholders issued at the World Hydropower Congress in September 2021.

Read about IHA’s membership values.

IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower (2020)

The International Hydropower Association's Charter for Sustainable Hydropower symbolises the commitment of the association, and its members, to the responsible development of hydropower.

The charter was announced on 16 November 2020 on IHA's 25th anniversary.

We recognise:

·       that hydropower plays an important role as a renewable energy source in the clean energy transition, in water management, and in providing solutions to climate change;

·       that sustainably developed and operated hydropower can make a significant contribution to national and international efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 6-9 and 13, as well as global climate change targets;

·       the important role that hydropower can play in accelerating the adoption of variable renewable energy forms as part of a coherent, holistic energy policy;

·       the wider benefits and services that hydropower reservoirs can provide on flood control and drought mitigation, resilient water resources, irrigation, transport and leisure;

·       the positive impact that hydropower projects can have on local communities and environments, when well planned and executed in line with international good or best practice in sustainability;

·       the low carbon emissions of well-designed and appropriately sited hydropower projects;

·       the importance of learning from experience, adhering to and maintaining internationally agreed standards, and developing tools and systems to continuously improve.

We agree that:

-     a commitment to sustainable hydropower should be expected when designing, developing and operating hydropower projects. Projects should be in accordance with internationally recognised levels of good or best practice as defined by the Hydropower Sustainability Tools;

-     good or best practices such as those indicated in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools should be followed and encouraged in stakeholder and business relations, for example within a project’s supply chain;

-     hydropower projects should be continuously monitored and gaps against sustainability performance adequately addressed;

-      industry needs to respect, encourage and continue developing strong sustainability standards in collaboration with non-industry stakeholders.

This Charter was adopted by the IHA Board at its 83rd meeting on 22 October 2020.

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