Book Review "Dams and Development-A New Framework for Decision-Making by the World Commission on Dams"
Publisher Information: London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 2000.
ISBN: 1-85383-798-9, 404 pp., £12.95, U.S.$19.95 (pbk); 1-85383-798-0, £55.00 (hbk).
Reviewer: Yutaka Takahasi, Senior Programme Adviser (Environment and Sustainable Development), United Nations University; Board of Governors, World Water Council.
Dams and Development-A New Framework for Decision-Making, by the World Commission on Dams, is the most influential and important report related to water resources management today.
The World Commission on Dams (WCD) was born out of a significant IUCN-World Bank-sponsored workshop in Gland, Switzerland in April 1997. Representatives of diverse interests came together to discuss the highly controversial issues associated with large dams. After much discussion, and being unable to reach consensus, they proposed the establishment of a "World Commission on Dams" to discuss the issues more in-depth and to try to arrive at some kind of conclusion.
The commission began its work in May 1998 and presented its completed findings on 16 November 2000 in London, after heated discussions and input from many specialists and related personalities.
The reports consists of Part I, "The WCD Global Review of Large Dams," and Part II, "The Way Forward," which includes many tables, figures, and annexes (bibliography, glossary, etc.). Following Chapter 1, "Water, Development and Large Dams," Part I consists of five chapters: "Technical, Financial and Economic Performance," "Ecosystems and Large Dams: Environmental Performance," "Options for Water and Energy Resources Development," and "Decision-Making, Planning and Institutions."
Part II consists of four chapters: "Enhancing Human Development: Rights, Risks and Negotiated Outcomes," "Strategic Priorities," "Criteria and Guidelines-Applying the Strategic Priorities," and "Beyond the Commissions-An Agenda for Change."
Because the report has plenty of statistical and historical information on large dams all over the world, it is useful and important as databook.
International Review for Environmental Strategies (IRES) Volume3 Number2 (Winter 2002)