The official report of the World Commission on Dams (WCD), Dams and Develop-ment: A New Framework For Decision-Making, was launched in London, UK on 16 November. Over 300 individuals from governments, the private and civil sectors, non governmental organisations and the international media gathered at Cabot Hall in London’s Docklands.

WCD succeeded in bringing together opponents and proponents of dams. Gathering information over a two-year period, it used this knowledge base to illustrate the good and bad impacts of dams worldwide, with the ultimate goal of issuing guidelines for future implementation.

As the key findings of the report were revealed, WCD chairman Kader Asmal was quick to point out that the Commission wants to learn from past mistakes and successes to produce better development outcomes for the future.

Some NGOs are already calling for a moratorium on large dams until the report’s recommendations have been implemented, but Asmal stated very clearly that the report does not signal the end for large dam building.