Forum FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Forum and the Draft Protocol

How was the Forum established?

The Forum was initiated by a meeting in 2007 with WWF, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) about endorsement of the IHA Sustainability Assessment Protocol (2006) by parties outside of the sector.

The initial joint-review proposed by WWF and TNC evolved into a broader cross-sectoral review process. Identification of and approaches to potential Forum members was undertaken through the common efforts of WWF, TNC and IHA, as were the initial efforts to obtain the necessary funding support.

Who are the Forum members?

The members of the Forum cover representatives of developed and developing countries, environmental and social NGOs, commercial and development banks and the hydropower sector.

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What was the Forum’s work plan?

The Forum operated over a two year period. Following the launch in March 2008 in Washington DC, Forum meetings were held in July 2008 (USA), September 2008 (Zambia), October 2008 (China), December 2008 (Brazil), March 2009 (Turkey), and June 2009 (Iceland), with a further two meetings in 2010. 

Two public consultation periods were built into the Forum work plan – Phase 1 Consultation in January-February 2009, and Phase 2 Consultation in September, October and November 2009. A period of trialling of the Draft Protocol was undertaken alongside the Phase 2 Consultation.
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How were the views of stakeholders beyond Forum members obtained and taken into account?

The Forum provided a diversity of expertise and cross-sectoral views relevant to consideration of sustainability issues for hydropower projects throughout their life cycle. The Forum did not claim to be fully representative of all stakeholder groups. There were four NGO representatives on the Forum, representing Oxfam, The Nature Conservancy, Transparency International and WWF. The establishment of reference groups helped inform Forum members of different viewpoints.

The Forum Work Plan included two consultation phases to further include stakeholder input in the revision process.

  • Phase 1 Consultation (Jan-Feb 09) was focussed on raising awareness and developing relationships with stakeholders, assisting stakeholders to understand the Forum process and progress, and providing an opportunity for early stage feedback.
  • Phase 2 Consultation (Sep-Nov 09) focused on the content of the Draft Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol August 2009, and the practical application of this assessment tool.

The Forum was committed to independent reporting on consultation issues raised, and to publicly respond to these issues.

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