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Indigenous peoples


One of the greatest challenges for hydropower developers is to understand and properly manage project activities that affect indigenous peoples and their land.

Experience shows that successful projects have dedicated time to consulting with indigenous peoples, respecting their cultures and practices, and ensuring that the project brings tangible benefits to affected communities.

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Indigenous peoples account for 4.5 per cent of the global population. Living in more than 70 countries, they continue to be among the most marginalised and vulnerable population groups worldwide.

Indigenous peoples can play a key role in protecting natural resources and hold a unique position in preserving traditional knowledge and ways of life. 

Addressing issues around indigenous peoples and hydropower development requires comprehensive planning as well as a solid understanding of the reality of working with isolated, vulnerable communities. 


Supporting indigenous peoples

In support of guidance on indigenous peoples in the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocolwe have brought together an international working group to develop a how-to guide for developers to support these communities.

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The guidance will be designed to be used by project planners, developers, owners and operators and aims to allow a non-expert to go through the process of supporting indigenous peoples on any hydropower project.

It will provide guidance on how to meet a score of 3, representing basic good practice, and later a score of 5, representing proven best practice, using the preparation, implementation and operation tools of the protocol.


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