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International Hydropower Association

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Gaining Indigenous Peoples’ consent for sustainable hydropower 

7 May 2020

Good practice guidance seeks Indigenous communities’ free, prior and informed consent for hydropower development

New sustainability guidance will give increased confidence to local communities, industry and investors that hydropower projects can be successfully developed while respecting Indigenous People’s lands, rights and culture.

Achieving Indigenous consent for hydropower in Nepal

7 May 2020

In Nepal, the Tamang Indigenous People gave their free, prior and informed consent to a new 216 megawatt run-of-river project.

The River Trishuli flows down the steep Himalayas and enters Nepal with such force and speed that it was named after the trident of Lord Shiva, the most powerful of Hindu gods. Legend has it he drove his trident into the ground to create the source of the sacred river.

Hydropower assessment tools aligned with World Bank standards  

Sustainability assessment tools have been enhanced to better align with ESG requirements set by international financial institutions such as IFC and the World Bank. 

Use of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools will mean hydropower developers better understand how their project can achieve the performance standards required by major investment banks for all types of infrastructure projects.  

Q&A: Indigenous Peoples, FPIC and hydropower

In May 2020, the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council updated the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, which are used by independent assessors to assess a hydropower project’s performance in accordance with internationally recognised good and best practices.

The changes include the addition of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as a requirement of meeting good practice for hydropower projects that affect Indigenous Peoples.

Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines


The Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP) define performance expectations for hydropower projects.

IHA Annual Report 2019-2020


IHA's 2019-2020 Annual Report outlines our contribution to global decision-making on hydropower and renewable energy, and our initiatives to advance sustainability and share best practices across the sector.

“Now, more than ever, collaboration and dialogue are needed to advance global sustainable energy and the transformation towards a low-carbon energy future,” writes IHA President Roger Gill in his foreword.


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