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Bulletin 164Internal Erosion of Existing Dams, Levees and Dikes, and their Foundations
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Paris, May 30th 2012 -- Following recent statements by some organizations according to which International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) was currently conducting an inspection of the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam, in Myanmar, ICOLD wishes to clarify the following:
What is ICOLD and what are its missions
ICOLD follows UN rules respecting national sovereignty. It issues recommendations on the state-of-the art of dam engineering but it does not have any operational role in dam building.
ICOLD is therefore not entitled to evaluate a particular dam project and has never been engaged in any mission to do so.
ICOLD is mainly a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering. With an annual meeting in a different country every year and a Congress every three years (this year in Kyoto), ICOLD has built up nearly one century of knowledge, since its founding year 1928. ICOLD leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
ICOLD is a professional organization, dedicated to advancing the art and science of dam engineering and promoting the wise and sustainable development and management of world's water and hydropower resources.
ICOLD is assisting nations to prepare to meet the challenges of the 21st century in the development and management of the world's water and hydropower resources, as defined again by the last World Water Forum in Marseille.
The builder of the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project in Myanmar has directly asked experts coming from countries with long term experience in building and operating large dams to assess its work.
Independently of that project, Myanmar has begun last year a process of obtaining ICOLD membership. As many other developing countries which have recently joined ICOLD (most recently, in 2011, Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan), Myanmar knows that dams are a crucial tool for development and wishes to share the technical knowledge with the 95 countries composing ICOLD. ICOLD will be glad to welcome Myanmar, once the preparation process is ended. That will include the creation of a Myanmar Committee on Large Dams.
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