Large dams are constructed for the purpose of power generation, water utilization, flood control, etc. NGOs and local residents around the world have been raising the issue of large dams, and FoE Japan, together with these NGOs and local residents, has been conducting various activities to ensure that appropriate environmental and social considerations are taken into account in large-scale water resource projects for which Japan provides financial support.
The World Commission on Dams (WCD), established by the World Bank and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in response to the world’s opposition to large dams, has found huge environmental and social impacts caused by large dams. The WCD stated that while “dams have made an important and significant contribution to human development,” in “too many cases an unacceptable and often unnecessary price has been paid to secure those benefits, especially in social and environmental terms, by people displaced, by communities downstream, by taxpayers and by the natural environment. It also reported that large dams have forced 40 to 80 million people to relocate from their homes and lands.
In recent years, large hydroelectric dams are being planned as a source of renewable energy, and large dams are being planned as a countermeasure to floods caused by frequent extreme weather events. These ”false solutions to the climate crisis” need to be paid further attention.