The Congress, a biennial event, follows the highly successful Congresses held in Antalya, Turkey (2007) and more recently in Reykjavik, Iceland (2009); which brought together more than 40 partner organizations and representatives of over 50 countries, including some of the world’s most influential political, technical, financial, social and environmental decision makers, and figureheads from business and industry.

The theme for the 2011 Congress will be ‘Advancing Sustainable Hydropower’, reflecting the Association’s mission. Presenting the Congress theme, Richard Taylor, iha Executive Director said: “The worsening trends associated with climate change, coupled with the lack of a legally binding treaty arising from the COP15 Climate Change Conference, ensures that water, energy and climate issues remain high on the global agenda.

“As an advanced, renewable energy, hydro power stands at the crossroads of these issues, providing proven solutions for water management and smarter power systems, as well as tackling climate change, which it is both affected by, and also serves to mitigate.” The World Congress will tackle critical issues in relation to hydro power development, such as water and energy security, climate change and financing development, whilst impacts on the role of hydro power and other water and energy services will be discussed with a view to specifying action.

Delegates will also be informed about the current status and accomplishments of IHA’s sustainability work, including the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum (HSAF), a high-level, cross-sector forum of representatives, reviewing the IHA Sustainability Guidelines (2004) and Sustainability Assessment Protocol (2006). The HSAF aims to achieve a broadly endorsed sustainability assessment tool to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector.

IHA will also present the UNESCO/IHA GHG Measurement Guidelines for Freshwater Reservoirs, the development of which has been a multi-year project, engaging 100+ scientific institutions across the world, to arrive at a broadly supported consensus on how to address the greenhouse gas status of freshwater reservoirs.