The Jirau hydropower project is a 3,750 MW project on the Madeira River in Brazil.
The project was assessed between 20-28 September 2012 using the implementation tool of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. The Protocol assesses 20 topics and assigns scores for each between 1 and 5, with 5 representing Proven Best Practice and 3 representing Basic Good Practice.
The Jirau HPP is a very strong performer across its sustainability profile, with 4s and 5s on all topics with the exception of two. Topic I‐10 Resettlement has one significant gap against basic good practice, despite being fully compliant with Brazilian legislative requirements, due to an inability to track and ensure positive outcomes for living standards and livelihoods for several sub‐groups. Topic I‐15 Biodiversity and Invasive Species meets Basic Good Practice, but has two significant gaps against Proven Best Practice because of present uncertainties about outcomes of environmental compensation and fish passage measures.
Across all of the topics, including the two mentioned above, the project has implemented impressive policies, management systems, programs and procedures to back up the strong sustainability commitments of the project, its shareholders and financers, and the regulatory authorities. Alongside these management structures is a communications approach, through a Sustainability Forum and a number of types of grievance mechanisms, and a level of public disclosure that is exceptional.