A new charter for sustainable hydropower on IHA’s 25th anniversary

The International Hydropower Association today celebrates 25 years since its foundation in 1995.

On this historic date, the association’s board is delighted to announce the adoption of a new IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower.

The Charter symbolises the commitment of the association, and its members, to the responsible and sustainable development of hydropower.

The IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower also emphasises hydropower’s important contribution to the clean energy transition, to responsible water management, and to providing solutions to climate change.

Celebrate IHA’s 25 year anniversary:

-      View the IHA Charter for Sustainable Hydropower

-      Message from Eddie Rich, IHA CEO

-      Why IHA matters: in the words of our members

-      Our story: IHA at 25

-      Timeline: from the World Commission on Dams to the modern day

Defining IHA membership

Signatories to the Charter agree that all hydropower projects should be designed, developed and operated in accordance with good and best practice, as defined by the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

The Charter states: “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”.

Recognising the need for continuous monitoring and learning, the Charter also notes that “industry needs to respect, encourage and continue developing strong sustainability standards.”

“Good or best practices such as those indicated in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools should be followed and encouraged in stakeholder and business relations,” it adds.

A charter of clear principles

Roger Gill, IHA President and Chair of IHA’s Board, speaking on the adoption of the Charter, highlighted the association’s 25-year journey, during which it has promoted the adoption, recognition and exchange of sustainable practices.

“IHA has used its 25 years of experience to set out a Charter with clear principles that will define the way its members contribute to energy development across the world,” he said.

“It is with great thanks that we recognise the contributions of many individuals and organisations that have shaped IHA to be a strong voice for sustainable hydropower.”

The IHA Charter announcement comes after a public consultation was launched for a new Hydropower Sustainability Standard. The new Standard, if adopted, would provide hydropower stakeholders with the means to demonstrate – and certify – their commitment to sustainable hydropower.

“This certification system would publicly recognise and reward projects that meet minimum expectations based on established definitions of good and best practice,” said Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA.

“This would give local, national and international stakeholders the vital reassurance they seek that a hydropower project is independently verified as sustainable. From 2021,there is no excuse for any hydropower development not to meet good sustainability standards.”

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