Today, Friday March 14th, is International Day of Action for Rivers, the 11th year in which the importance and irreplaceable beauty and necessity of Rivers are celebrated on this day, and the dams and barrages which are one of the most serious threats they face world-wide are opposed.
All over the world today, people are bringing attention to the necessity of rivers and demanding that their flow is not changed by human hands. Dams and reservoirs have a huge negative impact on nature, animal life, and human societies and the enormous damage these constructions cause can never be undone.Here by the River Ribble we celebrate the day by not only celebrating our success - so far! - in stopping the damming of the Internationally important River Ribble by a barrage, but by continuing to affirm our total opposition to any kind of barrage or weir or damn obstruction on our beautiful and irreplaceable intertidal river!
... and some Ribblesiders will undoubtedly take the time to walk alongside the Ribble some time today and enjoy listening to its free-flowing waters before the day is over…
We salute our friends and colleagues all over the world who are also fighting to defend their rivers from dams, barrages, and reservoirs which are still threatening the world's rivers, and the future sustainability of our environment, our precious water resources, and countless human communities.In Iceland where International Day of Action for Rivers will now be celebrated for the first time:
Friends of the Þjórsá River are going to meet by Urriðafoss waterfall and read poetry from 20:00 - 21:00þ The waterfall is now in its "winter costume" and people are asked to come and take a look at it and at the same time show solidarity and support with it, the Þjórsá river and the people fighting against Landsvirkjun´s plans (the national energy company) to dam the lower part of the river.
In Café Hljómalind (Laugarvegur 23, Reykjavík), Saving Iceland has organized a movie/discussion evening. The idea is to show short movies connected to the day, about the global impact of heavy industry and big dams. Between movies there will be discussions which will hopefully lead to further actions.You can catch up on what’s happening with the Saving Iceland Campaign here.
In Mesoamerica, dam-affected people will hold several conferences to coincide with the International Day of Action for Rivers.
Many of these meetings will concentrate on the concept of water as a human right, as well as on the imperative need to resist further privatization of this resource.In the United States, community members will join together to clean the Sacramento River, and Friends of the River will host a "California Rivers Festival," which will feature exhibitions and films.
International Rivers will host an event in Berkeley focused on the spectacular, pristine rivers in Patagonia that are threatened by impending plans for major hydro-electric projects.
Guests will have the opportunity to see both a slideshow of stunning images and a video of one of the first-ever expeditions down the Pascua River.In Germany there is a day of Action Against the controversial Ilisu Dam in Turkey.
A joint declaration will be presented to the Turkish government asking it to cancel its plans to build the Ilisu dam and instead, to develop a "truly participatory sustainable development plan for the region".In Spain - Into the Dams to Voice Protest!
In the province of León, participants will hold up and display dam protest posters in the dams and by some of the bridges that are visible from the road.In Portugal there is a Colloquium and Outdoor Activities in Honour of Rivers
The "Coordenadora de Afectados pelas Grandes Barragens e Transvases - Secção Portuguesa" (COAGRET-Portugal) will celebrate the International Day of Action for Rivers at the Tua River (Trás-os-Montes, NE Portugal), which is threatened with the prospect of a 100 meters-long hydropower dam. Starting in the morning, students in a Renewable Energy course at Mirandela High School will co-host a colloquium with COAGRET, titled, "Microgeneration of Energy = Macrogeneration of Jobs". Next, there will be a kayak demonstration at the Tua River next to Mirandela's city center, and a kayak trip from S. Lourenço to Foz Tua. The day will end with a train trip, up to the Tua valley and then back to Mirandela.During the weekend following the Day of Action, river defenders will take part in hikes, birdwatching trips and organized meetings with dam-affected peoples.In Italy - Italian Solidarity Against Dam Construction in Turkey
In attempt to stop the actions of the Unicredit Bank, there will be a demonstration in protest of dam construction at the Hasankeyf and Tigri's Valley in Turkish Kurdistan on March the 14th. There will also be protests at the Unicredit Banks in Milan and Rome.You can find out more about the International Day of Action for Rivers and events taking place all over the world today here at International Rivers
Long Live the World's Rivers Wild!
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