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IHA launches training academy for sustainable hydropower

The Hydropower Sustainability Training Academy launched by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) will expand and improve knowledge in hydropower sustainability.

The academy builds on IHA’s 25 years of experience in developing guidance on hydropower development, as well as its expertise in delivering training and capacity building, according to a press release. The courses are based on the internationally recognized Hydropower Sustainability Tools.

IHA’s Chief Executive Eddie Rich says the academy marks a major step in widening access to knowledge about responsible hydropower development. “IHA’s mission is to advance sustainable hydropower. This new suite of courses aims to grow professional expertise across a range of sustainability performance areas. Restrictions on travel and social distancing measures as a result of the global pandemic have accelerated IHA’s plans to provide these courses virtually,” he added.

The Hydropower Sustainability Training Academy offers three professional training courses. Two help participants develop the skills and knowledge to become either a certified user or accredited assessor of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools. The third caters to practitioners who want to know how to accurately estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from hydropower projects using the G-res Tool.

The courses will soon be available in a variety of languages, with plans to expand the courses on offer in 2021.

Widely endorsed by industry, governments, financial institutions, and social and environmental non-profit organizations, the Hydropower Sustainability Tools are also aligned with World Bank and IFC standards. They are used by developers and operators around the world to design, build and assess hydropower projects of all types and sizes.

The training courses are targeted at professionals working with the public and private sectors, including but not limited to program managers, operations, energy, environmental, social, legal and dam specialists, and compliance officers.

“IHA’s training courses aim to equip participants with essential knowledge about good and best practices on sustainable hydropower,” IHA’s Head of Sustainability Joao Costa said. “Providing insights on matters such as biodiversity, climate resilience, financial viability or resettlement, the trainers will cover all aspects that need to be managed in hydropower projects. Participants will become familiar with the sustainability assessment process, and will be able to recognize how and when to apply the Hydropower Sustainability Tools to elevate the way hydropower projects are developed.”

The newly launched online platform provides a blend of live and self-paced learning. Participants in the online courses take part in virtual classrooms where trainers deliver live stream lessons, lead group activities and host interactive Q&A sessions. To complement the live sessions, participants work on self-paced activities, including reading, pre-recorded screencasts and individual assignments.

Certified User Training: a three-week online course will start on Nov. 10, 2020. This course will provide participants with the skills and competences to support and manage an assessment using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) or the Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG).

G-res Tool training: a one-week online course will start on Dec. 7, 2020. This course will provide participants with the basic knowledge of geographic information systems and reservoir GHG dynamics to assess the GHG emissions of hydropower projects.

IHA is working with leading experts to create more courses, including specific topics from the Hydropower Sustainability Tools.