Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol to be applied in Costa Rica

The first assessment of the Hydropower Assessment Protocol in Costa Rica will be carried out at the Reventazón project, currently the largest facility in Central America. The World Bank selected the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad – ICE) to apply the protocol at Reventazón, with the first site on 22-27 May.

Dam Reventazon Costa Rica

Launched at the World Hydropower Congress in 2011, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a tool to evaluate the sustainability of hydropower projects, and can be used at all stages of project development, from preparation through to operation. It has so far been used in over 25 sites around the world.

The assessment is being led by the Canadian firm Golder Associates, and the first visit involved an introductory and technical workshop on 23-25 May with participation from state institutions, developers, NGOs, and other hydropower stakeholders.

Carlos Obregón, executive president of ICE, said: “The projects selected for this purpose must demonstrate a high level of commitment and achievement, which puts Reventazón in an elite group in the Latin American region. We hope this assessment will strengthen the project’s credentials as a leader in socio-environmental management, as it has done for other international organisations”.

IHA, with support from the World Bank, recently launched a collection of case studies, ‘Better Hydro: Compendium of Case Studies’, which features Reventazón as an example of the implementation of a broader initiative to offset biodiversity impacts.

The evaluation should conclude in September 2017, culminating in a seminar in November where the results will be shared.

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