International Rivers: Our Environmental Nerds

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Started in Berkeley, CA in 1985, International Rivers has had over 25 years of experience working for social and environmental justice by protecting local communities and natural rivers from being harmed by major dam projects. International Rivers has a strong history of success in campaigning against destructive environmental projects and helping to establish policy. Specifically, International Rivers has been battling for economic accountability for major international dams, and has helped to put checks on the World Bank’s financing of potentially destructive dams around the world. They are also active in monitoring other countries, such as China, funding similar projects in third world countries.

How they work

International Rivers operates many interacting programs, both policy and climate changed themed. The policy programs help to monitor the world funding of such projects, and the climate change programs conduct research on alternative water and energy solutions, adaptation, carbon financing, and reservoir emissions from dams. Within these there are many regional programs as well as the groups that monitor large financing projects and help to strengthen standards for dam project accountability. The organization is currently involved in a campaign to stop Chile from building five mega-dams and flooding its Patagonia region.

International Rivers also partners with other social and environmental justice organizations to provide them with strategy and legal advice. International Rivers truly embraces its nerd side with its education programs and communication with local tribes, often sending members to local tribes to translate documents and inform members of policy and courses of action. International Rivers’ policy, education, research, and communication efforts rely heavily on volunteers in communities around the world.

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