International Hydropower Association (IHA) members have confirmed support for the Association’s adoption of the revised Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, ensuring that the Protocol excels as a sustainability assessment tool to measure and guide performance in the hydropower sector.

iha’s adoption of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol follows a two and a half year collaborative journey, with representatives from different sectors, resulting in significant review and redrafting of the Association’s previous “2006” Protocol.

The Protocol is the product of considerable effort by parties represented in the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum. The Forum, assisted by associated reference groups, has been deeply involved in research, analyses, meetings, outreach, trialling, review, exchanging views, negotiating content and finding solutions to divergent views. The revised Protocol reflects a shared vision that it will make a significant contribution to advancing sustainable hydropower.

The adoption process started in September 2010, with the IHA Board recommending that the Protocol be adopted by the Association, in place of its 2006 version. The IHA Board also set the stage for future development and improvement of the Protocol by recommending that the Protocol tools should be subject to periodic updating, incorporating the experience gained through ongoing consultation and its application. In accordance with its constitution, IHA issued a Board Resolution in support of adoption to its members and, following a consultation period where there was overwhelming support in favour of adoption, the Protocol is now officially adopted.

This adoption also marks the start of a new process of investigating future developments surrounding the Protocol. IHA is once again embarking on a cross-sectorial collaborative process, working closely with partners for the next phase of the Protocol’s ongoing development.

Considerable progress has already been made in the investigation of a governance model for Protocol implementation with a meeting being held between IHA and its partners in November, which resulted in the development of a framework for the incorporation of an interim entity to guide the process. IHA. The fruits of this work will be presented at the next IHA World Congress, which will be held Iguassu, Brazil, during 14-17 June 2011.

Commenting on members’ support for Protocol adoption, IHA Executive Director, Richard Taylor, said: “The call to adopt the revised Protocol resulted in the Association’s membership clearly indicating its support for the Protocol’s role as a sustainability assessment tool to measure and guide performance in the sector.

“The 2006 Protocol has undergone a significant review and redrafting over the past two and a half years, under the guidance of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum. IHA’s Board believes that the tools contained in the Protocol can make a significant contribution to the advancement of sustainable hydropower. We acknowledge the considerable work that was undertaken by all the members of the Forum to deliver the revised version,” Taylor added.