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Will it be business as usual for dam building? The case of the San Roque Dam. Presentation by Joan Carling, Cordillera Peoples Alliance.

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will it be business as usual for dam building the case of the san roque dam

Will it be business as usual for dam building? The case of the San Roque Dam

Presentation by Joan Carling, Cordillera Peoples Alliance

slide2

AGNO RIVER IS ONE OF THE MAJOR RIVERS IN THE CORDILLERA REGION, which is very important to the life and culture of the ibalois and kankanaey indigenous peoples

AMBUKLAO DAM WAS BUILT IN THE 50’s

BINGA DAM WAS BUILT 60’s

San Roque Dam is the

3rd dam along the Agno river

slide3

Construction begun in 1998

  • Impoundment of reservoir started in August 2002
  • Construction completed and became
  • Operational in May 2003
slide4

SAN ROQUE DAM

Height: 220 meters

Length: 1.13 km

Reservoir capacity: 850 million c

Surface area of reservoir: 12.8 km

slide5

Purposes:

Power generation: 345 megawatt: present level of power generation- 270-280

Irrigation: 7,800 hec

Flood control

Water quality improvement

cost of the project and ownership
Cost of the project and ownership
  • Cost: US $1.2 billion

> $ 800 loan by project proponent

guaranteed by Philippine government

> $ 400 loan by Phil. Government as subsidy to the project

***MAINLY FUNDED BY EXPORT CREDIT AGENCY (ECA)

Ownership: privately owned by San Roque Power Corporation-100% foreign company

contract
CONTRACT
  • Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): BOT for 25 years
    • National Power Corporation-NPC(government) needs to pay $9 to $10 mil / month to SRPC regardless of whether there is sufficient water available to generate power for 10 years
    • No accountability of project proponents to environmental and social impacts
    • Project proponent can pull out of the project if deem not commercially viable

** the contract guarantees return of investment and big profit, while environmental and social adverse impacts are not accounted for

did it lead to poverty alleviation in line with the millennium development goal mdg
Did it lead to poverty alleviation in line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) ?
  • More than 2,000 hectares of agricultural land was used for the dam site which used to provide food security for hundreds of peasant families
slide9

Relocation of 781 peasant families who used to have sustainable and self sufficient livelihood

More than 2,000 hectares of agricultural land was used for the dam site which used to provide food security for hundreds of peasant families

life is not better off as promised because of lack of livelihood sources for them

Most cannot even pay their water and electric bills

slide10

The amount given for compensation was lower than what was written in papers. Agreement for relocation was not well explained and written in english which most of those relocated cannot understand

slide13

Livelihood projects provided are not sufficient and sustainable , leading to and increasing problem of hunger and poverty amongst relocated families

slide14

At least 3,000 gold panners were economically displaced. This is a major source of cash for farmers to support the basic needs and education of their children

As many as 10,000 people do gold panning along the Agno river

impacts
IMPACTS

Gathering of scrap metal in the dam site out of desperation, but declared as illegal lead to the shooting of 3 people with 1 dead and 2 seriously wounded in 2002

slide16
Is it environmentally sustainable vis a vis commitments made to the World Summit on Sustainable Development ?

The reservoir is a depository of toxic mine-waste due to decades of massive mining activities in the upstream of the dam

slide17

Flooding caused by the release of water from San Roque dam after just over a year of operation: rice fields and hundreds of fishponds destroyed affecting 250,000 farmers and fisher folks

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Siltation of the dead ambuklao dam is more than 18 kilometers long and still growing. Binga dam is partially operational due to serious siltation problem. San roque dam will easily get filled up with silt coming from Binga and ambuklao

The Environmental Impact Assessment of San Roque Dam was issued in 1985 which was based on a feasibility study done in 1979

Inspite of the protest and concerns raised by the Ibalois, the project commenced like business as usual

was it socially acceptable
Was it socially acceptable?
  • The project did not have the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Ibaloi people as reported by the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP): FPIC is part of the national law- Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA of 1997)
  • At the start, the ibalois upstream were not considered as affected communities
  • Consultations centered on promises of community projects and not on the potential impacts of the dam
slide23

Economic upliftment of the Filipino people?

Debt burden: $ 10 million every month of payment for power surplus generation below target- a public burden for power consumers and tax payers

Massive economic displacements of thousands of farmers, gold panners and fisherfolks due to land destruction, siltation, flooding

Destruction of productive land and poor water quality due to toxic minewaste pollution

lessons
lessons
  • The San Roque Dam, like most large dams did not lead to sustainable development nor alleviate poverty
  • Did not meet the target of the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) on poverty alleviation and of the World Summit of Sustainable Development
lessons1
lessons
  • Large dam projects do not necessarily deliver or meet its objectives: target power generation, irrigation, flood control and water quality improvement
  • The environmental and social impacts are tremendous and irreversible- most of which cannot measured in monetary terms for compensation or can be mitigated
    • -The inherent siltation build-up of upstream
    • -Flooding of downstream
  • -Destruction of lands and livelihoods, aggravating food insecurity and poverty
lessons2
Lessons:
  • Need for greater transparency and accountability of project proponents and funders to adverse social and environmental impacts, proper compensation, provision for sustainable livelihoods and rehabilitation of the damaged environment
way forward
WAY FORWARD:
  • The objectives of any dam project must be reviewed in terms of meeting actual peoples needs and of other more viable options ( options assessment) which are more sustainable and with minimal adverse environmental and social impacts.
  • Recognition of the right of affected communities on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)- this is a workable mechanism with clear guidelines on community decision making processes
  • Participation of affected communities in all stages of the project
way forward1
WAY FORWARD
  • Stronger criteria and guideline on environmental and social adverse impacts must be given serious consideration over commercial viability of the project prior to project funding

- inherent problem of siltation and other adverse environmental impacts to marine and biodiversity

- destruction of peoples sustainable livelihood sources

- Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of affected communities and accountability to human rights violations

*** independent and comprehensive environmental and social feasibility studies which are participatory to include mechanisms on social acceptability and not simply on mitigating measures and “benefits”