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Side Event

Impacts of dams on biodiversity: Socio ecological dimensions in the context of climate change

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) (South Asia and Western Ghats), International Rivers (South Asia) , Himdhara (Himalayas), River Basin Friends (North East India), Himal Prakriti (Himalayas), Samvardhan (Central India), Individual SANDRP Contributers

Date and Time
8 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Dams, Hydroelectric projects, diversions and unregulated water abstraction have majorly affected aquatic, riparian, estuarine and coastal biodiversity in South Asia, specifically in India. Dams have a multi-pronged impact on biodiversity by submerging forests, changing the natural hydro graph of a river, reducing sediment discharge in rivers, affecting groundwater recharge, increasing salinity, increasing pollution concentration, etc.,. All these impacts severely affect associated biodiversity, ecosystem goods and services and dependent livelihoods. In India, these impacts have taken a toll on riverine fisheries, endemic and endangered fish diversity, mangrove and estuarine ecosystems as well as forests in eco sensitive regions. It has been widely accepted that biodiversity and other ecosystem goods and services are not only important for local livelihoods, but are also an integral measure to cope with Climate change impacts. This side event brings together more than six organisations across India and South Asia, working on different facets of rivers: aquatic biodiversity, climate change adaptation, fisheries, dams and hydro power projects, local livelihoods, community conservation methods, river restoration and governance. The event will look at the impacts of undemocratic and unsustainable dam construction, management and operation in South Asia, its impacts on biodiversity and will try to put forth possible adaptation and mitigation measures, success stories of community conservation and river restoration and its impacts on biodiversity. The event will brainstorm on how to internalise these in the current policy,management and planning processes.