International Rivers Conference
Date: May 18, 2013
Venue: Kadikoy Halk Egitim Merkezi, Istanbul
Time: 09:00 – 17:00
The International Rivers Conference will bring together representatives of the DAMOCRACY movement from around the world with the aim of debunking the myth of dams as ‘clean’ energy. Scientists, environmental experts and civil society representatives will share their experiences on the struggle to protect free-flowing rivers from large-scale dams and their impact on culture, nature and people.
Over 50,000 dams have been built on more than half of the world’s major rivers causing massive social and ecological repercussions. The negative impacts of dams are not limited to wildlife as these large dams destroy cultural sites and the homes of tens of thousands of people. The Ilisu Dam in Turkey and the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil are perfect examples of the destruction caused in the Amazon basin (the lungs of the earth) and Mesopotamia (the cradle of civilization) through massive dam projects.
Key note speakers at the conference include Chief Megaron Txucarramãe one of Brazil’s most important indigenous leaders over the last 30 years leading the struggle against the Belo Monte dam, and Dr Azzam Alwash winner of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize for his work to save the Basra Marshes in Iraq, which are now threatened again by the Ilisu dam.
Following the conference, the international delegation will travel to southeast Turkey on May 20–21 to meet with community representatives in Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf, where construction of the Ilisu dam is ongoing. The dam will sink the historic town of Hasankeyf, which dates back to the Bronze Age and meets nine out of 10 criteria for World Heritage Status.