Sustainability pioneer to chair hydropower sustainability council

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One of the world’s leading experts on sustainable development, Dr Ashok Khosla, has been appointed as independent chair of the global council that governs sustainability guidance for hydropower.

Dr Khosla will take up his new role on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council from 1 February 2021. One of his first tasks will be to introduce a Hydropower Sustainability Standard – a rating and certification system built on the Hydropower Sustainability Tools – following a three-month global public consultation that closes in February.  

According to the International Hydropower Association (IHA), Dr Khosla is widely regarded as a founding father of the concept of sustainable development.  

Dr Ashok Khosla. Image credit: Wikipedia.

On his appointment Dr Khosla said: “Sustainable hydropower has a major role to play in helping countries to achieve sustainable development, meet renewables targets and address climate change. I am excited to take on this position to bring greater attention to the need for hydropower projects that are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way.”

The appointment was made by the executive committee of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council – the multi-stakeholder body made up of representatives of social, community and environmental organizations, governments, commercial and development banks and the hydropower sector.  

Roger Gill, President of the IHA and previous chair of the council, commented: “Such an experienced appointment is an exciting opportunity to build and lift the profile of sustainable hydropower globally. I am sure Ashok will bring his huge experience, skills and credibility to the role, and thus elevate the conversation on sustainable hydropower in the 21st century.”

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council consists of seven chambers, each representing a different group of stakeholders:  

  1. Hydropower consultants, contractors or equipment suppliers;  
  2. Hydropower operators or developers;  
  3. Environment or conservation organizations;  
  4. Social impacts, project affected communities, and Indigenous Peoples organizations;  
  5. Development, public or commercial banks, financial organizations, and private investors and investment funds;  
  6. Emerging and developing economy country governments; and
  7. Advanced economy country governments.  

The council is supported by IHA Sustainability, a not-for-profit division of the International Hydropower Association (IHA). IHA Sustainability publishes the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and is the secretariat for the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council and executive committee, while delivering training to practitioners and professional accreditation courses for assessors. 

The public consultation for the Hydropower Sustainability Standard closes on 8 February 2021. Members of the hydropower community are invited to register for a public webinar on the consultation on Wednesday 20 January, from 14:00-15:00 GMT.

This article was originally posted on ESI Africa and was republished with permission.

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