Activists protest against dams at World Water Forum

14 March 2012

Marseille, France – While big multinational water companies met in Marseille for the 6th World Water Forum, Friends of the Earth France made its voices heard at the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME) today.

Activists from Friends of the Earth and numerous international organisations created a living river and inflated a large dam in central Marseille to protest against the corporate greenwashing of dams which are destroying the world's freshwater biodiversity and causing irreversible losses to the world's cultures.

Friends of the Earth France denounced the impacts of large dams and the involvement of international financiers in this form of energy which is not clean, not green and which has catastrophic environmental and social impacts.

Ronack Monabay of Friends of the Earth France, stated, "Large dams are not green. 60 percent of the world's rivers are dammed, and freshwater ecosystems are losing species and habitats faster than any other type of ecosystem. Millions of people have been displaced because of dams worldwide. These are the reasons why we are protesting today. Life depends on healthy rivers."

Presented as a source of renewable energy, mega dams are in reality devastating for the environment. As well as their negative impacts on climate change, dams affect more than 60 per cent of the world's rivers and are the reason for the displacement of 40 to 80 million people.

The protestors warned that the World Water Forum has turned into a trade show for corporate initiatives to greenwash the dam industry. The action is one of over 100 occurring simultaneously in more than 40 countries across the world, as part of the International Day of Action for Rivers.

Friends of the Earth France has produced a guide, 'Who really profits from large dams? Why Europe finances large dams in the South'.

Photos courtesy of Fame image