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International River Network (IRN): GERD Panel of Experts Report: Big Questions Remain”

Response by GERD National Panel of Experts

For so many years now the IRN, International River Network, this self-appointed “guardian” of all rivers of the world, has been leaving no stone unturned in its effort to subvert Ethiopia’s efforts to develop its water resources and lift its vast and growing population out of poverty.  This is manifested most glaringly in its incessant negative campaign against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), initiated from the very first days when the idea of water resources development on the Abbay was floated, including even through the Nile Basin Initiative.

 Apart from being amused, the NPOE so far had chosen to ignore IRN’s anti-Ethiopia lobbying which is driven by an ideological, if not fanatical-messianic mission to “protect [the world’s] rivers and … to stop destructive dams”. IRN is accuser, police, judge and jury all rolled into one.  IRN determines for countries, particularly for developing and poor countries like Ethiopia, how to do water resources development projects the “right” way. For these “backward” countries, IRN is the high priest that communes with God the Almighty and determines what is the most environmentally appropriate, most efficient and economical, and most beneficial for local, national and regional not only flora and fauna but also human communities too.  What paternalism!! 

A new program worth €33 million to improve land governance and help improve the food and nutrition security of family farmers and vulnerable communities in Sub Saharan Africa, was announced today by EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. “This will be done, among other things, through the application, at country level, of some Voluntary Guidelines set up by the international community in 2012 to improve land governance,” the EU said in a statement.  

Roughly 1.2 billion people worldwide live without permanent homes, land access or formal property rights, a reason which is often used for their land to be attributed to large scale land investors. Therefore, land governance issues are strongly linked to key challenges such as food scarcity, water shortages or urban and population growth.