IHA publishes guide on responsible resettlement

Resettlement in hydropower needs to be handled with care and commitment, respecting the dignity and human rights of those affected.

Good practice requires a participatory process based on fairness and equity, with the aim of achieving a sustainable improvement in the lives of resettlees.

A new how-to guide published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will now support project developers to identify, manage and avoid risks associated with delivering a resettlement programme.

The How-to Guide on Hydropower Resettlement will help companies design and implement resettlement schemes based on international good practice as defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

Mapping out key steps

The guide clearly maps out the key steps for resettlement at each stage of the project development cycle. It explores the main themes and concerns related to resettlement caused by hydropower development and provides insights for the parties responsible.

Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, commented: “Resettlement is one of the most contentious issues in all infrastructure developments, but there are solutions available that put resettlees at the heart of the process.

“This guide offers a clear and transparent approach to resettlement planning and implementation. By following the measures and strategies presented, hydropower developers can provide clean and reliable energy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Helen Locher, an independent consultant and accredited assessor and the author of the guide, added: "Resettlement involves so much more than building replacement housing and moving people. This guide highlights the many dimensions and complexities involved, and should help inform decision-making, planning and management regarding resettlement in hydropower projects."

The success of any new hydropower project is inextricably linked with the success of any resettlement programme. By meeting good practice for resettlement, hydropower developers will be taking a significant step to ensure the sustainability of their project.

Download the How-to Guide on Hydropower Resettlement

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