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Eight activists arrested in Nenskra power plant protests

Source: Dominik K. Cagara, Democracy & Freedom Watch

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Svan campaigners declare that their protests will continue as long as no alternatives to the current project assuming flooding of their native valley are presented.

Police special forces arrested eight activists protesting against the construction of Nenskra Hydropower Plant and released them after imposing financial penalties.

Eight arrested in protest against Georgian dam

Protests against large dams in Georgia's Svaneti mountains have led to confrontations with police. Locals are losing patience over the protracted consultation process on the project.

Briefing: Nenskra hydropower plant, Georgia

This briefing was prepared and presented during the annual meetings of the Asian Development Bank on 2 May 2016 in Frankfurt.

Tensions are rising over hydropower and the lack of participation in Georgia's mountains

The mistrust and frustration of communities in the mountains of north-western Georgia is deepening over make-shift consultations on large dam constructions.

Nenskra hydropower plant, Georgia

For the last decade, the government of Georgia has promoted hydropower as a way of tackling energy security and turning the country into a regional energy player. The EBRD has been one of the key catalysts of this hydro boom. Yet the presence of the EBRD and other international financial institutions has not been enough to ensure the development of comprehensive energy strategies, robust project assessments and meaningful public consultations. The potential for social and environmental problems is therefore prevalent. The Nenskra hydropower plant is yet another project that lacks the proper assessment and has failed to gain acceptance from the local communities.

External review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the Nenskra hydropower plant

The Georgian Ministry of Environment has commissioned an external review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the Nenskra hydropower plant before issuing its ecological expertise opinion which is a prerequisite for a construction permit. This review indicates that the ESIA report for Nenskra fails to sufficiently define the area of influence, suggest project alternatives, assess the impacts on the local communities and evaluate the costs and benefits of the project for the Georgian society.

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