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Destructive hydro-power projects, mining, oil extraction, pollution continue to choke rivers

Statement on this year’s International Day of Action for Rivers by the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), a global network of Indigenous Peoples rights activists, advocates, and organizations committed to advancing the rights of indigenous peoples to self determination, land and life:
Great rivers gave birth to ancient civilizations and today, they hold the key to a future with rich water biodiversity, energy sources, food and livelihood. Free-flowing rivers are one with the identity, traditional wisdom, culture and territories of Indigenous Peoples.
Let us remember that this day is born out of the struggle of water defenders everywhere. This day is when dam affected indigenous communities and peoples raise their voices in unison against destructive projects, to reclaim the health of waters, and demand equitable and sustainable future of rivers.
This day is also a day to honor the many heroes and martyrs who lay their lives in defense of rivers and indigenous peoples’ rights.
And the fight is not over. Destructive hydro-power projects, mining, oil extraction and pollution continue to choke our rivers.
Capitalist powers, international finance institutions, extractive businesses, transnational corporations and the governments continue to be the biggest problems of rivers. And for what? For selfish interests and superprofits. We can hear the same lies of “clean energy” and greenwashing about mega-dams and giant hydro power projects.
The false narratives of so-called development of rivers drowns not only our ecosystem, biodiversity, indigenous communities dependent on the rivers but also our future. The profit-oriented power and water sourcing can never hide behind the irreversible damage and climate crisis contribution of mega-dams, extractives and corporate industries.
Massive human rights violations, forced displacement and relocation, criminalization, militarization and killings with impunity became the norm for those defending their rights and their rivers. Justice and accountability remains elusive while dissent and resistance in defense of rivers become death sentences.
But the fight for the future of our rivers will flow. We deserve people controlled sustainable water and energy sources free from onerous loans and debts. At the center of river management is democratic participation and protection of our planet. Our rivers and resources must benefit community and local development, not the interest of the imperialist and few elites.
We are linking together in reclaiming our rivers in the fight for our future. Defend our rivers, uphold Indigenous Peoples rights over their lands and waters.
It’s time to moratorium on all destructive hydro power and mining projects affecting our rivers.
Let’s demand for justice and reparations for all the communities and water defenders victims of rights violations by government forces and corporations.
A brighter alternative is possible in a sustainable, free and just world away from the current world order that puts profit over people.



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