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close this bookInitial Environmental Assessment: Hydropower Development - Series no 6 (NORAD, 1993)
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Foreword

The natural resource base in our world today is exposed to constantly increasing pressures. Environmental problems are on the increase in developing countries as well as in developed countries. In developing countries, ecological stress strikes large and vulnerable population groups, and hinders social and economic development in many areas.

In 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development, in their report «Our Common Future», described the problems we are facing, and the measures which must be taken to solve them.

Environmental problems in developing countries make demands on Norwegian development aid. Three Norwegian White Papers (Nos. 36 (1984-85) and 34 (1986-87)) on major questions concerning Norwegian aid to developing countries, and No. 46 (1988-89) on Norway's follow-up of the recommendations of the World Commission, have stressed the importance of taking environmental issues into account in Norwegian-assisted development aid projects. In 1990 this was further articulated in the NORAD strategy paper «NORAD in the nineties». In the NORAD strategy document Part II «Strategies for bilateral aid» (1992) it is determined that all ongoing and planned development aid projects must be assessed with regard to environmental impacts.

This booklet has been compiled to help NORAD desk officers and planners to integrate environmental considerations into hydropower projects at an early stage in the planning process. It is one of a series of booklets presenting guidelines for environmental impact assessment (EIA) of various type of development projects. Experience and ideas from corresponding material compiled by other countries (OECD), the World Bank, have been integrated in this EIA-system.