Women and hydropower: exacerbating vulnerability without resettlement


The disproportionate impacts that the Nenskra hydropower project in Georgia will have on women are not being assessed by the project company, in spite of its financiers’ standards. One of the development phraseologies du jour is ‘sustainable and inclusive growth’, often used to mask the impacts of a pending piece of large infrastructure on socially-vulnerably …


Powerline to nowhere: Georgian villages take stand against badly routed transmission lines


Mountain villages in the country’s northeast protest for changes to the routing of high voltage lines in a series of local protests. Construction on a powerline in Georgia was put on hold one month ago after villagers blocked excavation machinery in the village of Pasanauri.  About 150 residents contested the routing, claiming that the project threatens people’s …


Who really benefits from Georgia’s Nenskra hydropower plant?


Today the Asian Development Bank started its annual meeting and one of the projects that we will be discussing with the bank’s management and Board of Directors is a loan for the 280 megawatt Nenskra hydropower plant in the Svaneti region of Georgia. The ADB is planning to provide a loan of USD 176.70 million and a …


River defenders gather forces in Georgia


Free-flowing rivers are often the unsung heroes of the natural world. They support immense biodiversity, as in Macedonia, where the Mala Reka nourishes the scenic Mavrovo National Park, the country’s largest. The park is home to fifty animal species, 129 species of birds, and over a thousand invertebrate species – many of which are strictly protected. …


New mudflow hits Georgian village as rainy season reveals poor assessment of hydropower plans


As rains cause mudflows in Georgia's mountains, locals from different regions unite to protest hydropower developments in geologically unstable areas. In the night of June 30, strong mudflow hit the village of Nakra in Upper Svaneti, in Georgia’s Caucasus mountains, damaging several properties and destroying two bridges. Caused by torrential rains the mudflow from the …


Campaign update: Georgian mountain communities consider restoring long abandoned tradition to tackle threats to their land


With hydropower and mining projects encroaching on their lands and livelihoods, Svan communities in Georgia’s northwest consider convening in an ancestral assembly to discuss their course of action. Georgia’s indigenous Svans, an ethnic subgroup in Georgia’s Caucasus mountains with their own language, laws and traditions, are considering restoring a traditional council to debate energy and …


New damage to hydropower project a bleak reminder of development bank missteps in Georgia


On June 23 mudflows from the Devdoraki glacier again hit the Dariali gorge and washed away a road and infrastructure connected to two hydropower projects planned in the north of Georgia. The destruction included the water intake for the 19 megawatt Larsi hydropower plant and the derivation pipes for the Dariali hydropower plant. The Tergi …


Eight arrested in protest against Georgian dam


Protests against large dams in Georgia's Svaneti mountains have led to confrontations with police. Locals are losing patience over the protracted consultation process on the project. Police special forces were deployed last Friday, 20 May to clear a blockade of an access road leading to the planned Nenskra dam site in Georgia’s northwest. The confrontation …


In Georgia, protests against dams precede development bank meetings


Protests have in recent weeks broken out across rural Georgia after construction resumed on several large dam projects. At the sites of the Shuakhevi, Nenskra and the Dariali hydropower plants, demonstrators have complained that the projects were decided behind closed doors, and that poor assessments of the social and environmental consequences mean their livelihoods are …


New agreement for Georgian Khudoni dam signals expropriations and tariff hike


After hitting a snag, the Khudoni dam in Georgia’s mountains is back in the game threatening to expropriate private lands and to bump up electricity prices for Georgian consumers. The controversial changes in an amended contract have inflamed the passion of the Svans who have for years tried to protect their communities from flooding. For …


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