The launch of the Polish language Overview of the World Commission on Dams Report, Dams and Development, last week marked the beginning of a multi-stakeholder dialogue for development of water policies in Poland bringing together academics, civil engineers and environmental NGOs, in cooperation with other stakeholders and representatives of Polish authorities. The dialogue is also crucial in light of EU environmental legislation.
"Following the recommendations of the EU Framework Water Directive public consultations should constitute a key element in the process of development and implementation of programmes for integrated river basin management," said Prof. Janusz Kindler, President of GWP-Poland.
The document that will form the basis for the Polish dialogue is the first specifically national translation of the WCD summary of Dams and Development, A New Framework for Decision-Making, from English into Polish . It is an independent publication and a model venture involving both the spirit and practical efforts of a truly multi-stakeholder approach. The joint WWF/GWP initiative forms the basis for future collaboration within and between constituents.
"Our joint efforts to implement a participatory approach to decision-making on water issues in Poland have gathered all stakeholders at one table," - said Jacek Engel, WWF Vistula project leader- "We believe, that this will result in future decisions that bring benefits to both people and nature."
The WCD report captures the lessons learned by other countries in their search for solutions to meet water and energy needs of people without destroying the environment. It mentions that while dams have brought benefits of development, "in too many cases an unacceptable and often unnecessary price has been paid to secure those benefits, especially in social and environmental terms".
The Polish version of the Report makes the findings and recommendations of the WCD available and useful to a wider constituency of more than 2,000 individuals planning to use the Report to turn dam controversies of the past into development consensus for the future. The document is addressed to governmental agencies and NGOs, civil engineers and ecologists, politicians and local communities.
"The act of translation can be difficult," said James Workman, senior advisor on the Commission. "But by coming together to review and verify the sensitive phrases in the Report, all constituencies can unite in order to review and verify the even more difficult work on the landscape."
For further information contact:
Jacek Engel, WWF Vistula project leader, Tel: +48 608 384242. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org **WCD Overview can be found on www.dams.org, associated materials on www.wwf.pl