Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is an enhanced sustainability assessment tool used to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector. 
The Protocol assesses the four main stages of hydropower development: Early Stage, Preparation, Implementation and Operation. Assessments rely on objective evidence to create a sustainability profile against some 20 topics depending on the relevant stage, covering all aspects of sustainability.

What the Protocol Is:

  • A method for the assessment of individual projects against globally applicable criteria
  • A series of assessment tools applicable to all stages of hydropower development in all global contexts
  • An evidence-based objective assessment of a project's performance, prepared by an accredited assessor
  • Involving leadings NGOs (eg WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Transparency International)
  • Developed and governed by a multi-stakeholder, consensus-based structure

What the Protocol is Not:

  • A standard, or a pass/fail mark – It provides the means to improve the sustainability of specific topics within a project.
  • A mechanism to provide a 'sustainable hydropower' or 'certified' stamp of approval
  • A replacement for national or local regulatory requirements
  • A replacement for an EIA or ESIA that is required to meet regulations or international lender's demands. (Rather the Protocol assesses the quality and extent of EIA's undertaken.)

Figure 1: Topics covered by the Protocol
[Click to enlarge]

Figure 2: 'Spider Diagram' example of protocol result summary [Click to enlarge] 
The spider diagram provides a snapshot of how a project scores against the Protocol. This sits at the front of a full assessment on each topic. This format allows for an overview of the entire project as well as the ability to find more information on specific topics if required.


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