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WCD-CPP Project

World Commission on Dams Consultative Process in Pakistan (WCD CPP) Project

In April 1997, with support from the World Bank and IUCN, representatives of diverse interests met in Switzerland, to discuss controversial issues associated with large dams. The workshop brought together 39 participants from governments, the private sector, international financial institutions, civil society organisations and affected people, and resulted in the establishment of the World Commission on Dams (WCD). On 16 November 2000, with Nelson Mandela presiding, the Commission completed its work with the launch of its final report "Dams and Development: A New Framework for Decision-Making" and disbanded.

The Commission presented an integrated assessment of when, how and why dams succeed or fail in meeting development objectives. It undertook eight detailed case studies of large dams including that of Tarbela dam, Pakistan and prepared country reviews for India and China plus a briefing paper on Russia and the Newly Independent States. Its framework for decision-making is based on five core values - equity, sustainability, efficiency, participatory decision-making and accountability.

The report proposes:

  • a rights-and-risks approach as a basis for identifying all stakeholders in negotiating development choices and agreements
  • seven strategic priorities and corresponding policy principles for water and energy resources development; and
  • criteria and guidelines for good practice related to the strategic priorities.

The findings and recommendations of the report will be used as springboard for a consultative process in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) wishes to cause a public debate on the WCD report in Pakistan with a view to generate considered recommendations for policy reforms. Considering IUCN involvement in the setting up of the WCD itself and the organisation's extensive work in Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has asked IUCN to help in organising the debate and facilitating the generation of recommendations in partnership between IUCN and the Ministry of Environment.

Toward this end, seven countrywide consultative workshops: 4 provincial, 1 in Northern Areas, 1 in AJK, and 1 for decision-makers; and two community based customized PRAs will be held under the World Commission on Dams Consultative Process in Pakistan Project (WCD-CPP).

The primary goal of the WCD CPP is to ensure that future water and energy development in Pakistan with respect to large dams is economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. The consultative process is one of the first steps towards realization of this goal.

The purpose of the initiative is to generate recommendations for policy reforms by the Government of Pakistan by enhancing understanding of the WCD Report and its implication for public policy in Pakistan, and by contributing to the formulation of a shared view around the current (socio-economic and environmental) issues related to water conservation in general and large dams in particular.

The groundwork for the project is underway and the consultative workshops will soon be initiated.