International Rivers Network dba International Rivers

People, Water, Life

aka International Rivers   |   Oakland, CA   |  http://www.internationalrivers.org

Mission

International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. We work to stop destructive dams and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.

Ruling year info

1992

Executive Director

Darryl Knudsen

Main address

344 20th Street

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

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EIN

94-3158295

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Water is essential for life on earth. But for too long, river and water defenders—people who’ve dedicated their lives to protecting our most precious resource—have labored in obscurity, starved of resources, and often facing persecution for their courageous work. As a result, our waterways have been polluted, neglected and fragmented, transformed from vibrant, connected ecosystems supporting humans and wildlife alike to stagnant dead zones. The movement to protect a river is often local, but the consequences of failing to protect a river are global: displacement, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity. And yet global decision-makers have often overlooked rivers in their conservation work. Healthy rivers feed our most vulnerable people, sustain diverse ecosystems, protect us from floods and droughts, and are central to the cultural identity millions worldwide. For all these reasons and more, we fight to protect rivers and the communities that depend on them.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Africa

Across Africa’s great rivers from the Nile, to the Niger, the Congo and Zambezi, dams have been built in the name of meeting Africa’s water and energy needs. However, its large dams have not only failed to meet those needs but have caused considerable social, environmental and economic damage. Current and planned dams in Africa represent a development model that results in forced resettlement, disrupted ecosystems, damaged livelihoods, unsustainable debt, corruption, and a threat to the largely riparian and agrarian livelihoods of nearby communities. Modern energy and clean water are essential, but dams have a poor record of delivering these in Africa.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Asia’s rich tapestry of cultures and unparalleled ethnic diversity are connected by important transboundary river basins, including the Mekong, Salween, Indus and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna. These rivers originate in the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau, connecting ecosystems fed by glaciers and snowmelt to floodplains and major river deltas downstream. We work closely with local communities to protect these sacred, productive and biodiverse rivers. We seek to ensure that women, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities have their voices heard and rights respected in the decisions that affect their lives, and we build movements to stop destructive projects and promote a just energy transition.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Latin America is a vast and ecologically diverse region known for the power and beauty of its river systems, including the Amazon, the world's largest river basin; Colombia’s Magdalena River and Peru’s Marañon; the Usamacinta River flowing through the Mayan rainforests; and the crystalline waters of Patagonia. These magnificent rivers are fountains of life for an incredible diversity of plant and animal species, as well as for indigenous peoples and riverine communities. Despite the fundamental social, economic and ecological importance of rivers, corporations and governments treat these natural treasures as a resource to be exploited for electricity, industrial-scale irrigation and mining. Fortunately, International Rivers and its partners are organizing to fight new dams, demand reparations for harm caused by old ones, save the region’s imperiled freshwater from industrial pollution, promote permanent protection of these vital waterways, and enable a just energy transition.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of organizational partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of research or policy analysis products developed, e.g., reports, briefs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Mission
International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. We work to stop destructive dams and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.

Our Vision
Rivers are vital to sustaining all life on earth. We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without degrading nature or increasing poverty, and where people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.

International Rivers helps to build well resourced, active networks of civil society groups to demonstrate our collective power and create the change we week. Key strategic areas include:
1. Community voice: We work with river-dependent and dam-affected communities to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are respected.

2. Networks and movements build power: We provide technical expertise and campaigning support. We help our
networks understand the global trends in hydropower and financing sectors, and monitor and campaign on projects
that affect the world’s major rivers and ecosystems. We collaborate with a wide network of partners in civil society,
academia, the media, and other sectors to implement innovative approaches and timely, influential strategies. We catalyze local and international experts to advise and support the movement.

3. Leverage evidence and data drive change: We undertake cutting-edge research and on-the-ground investigations informed by the experience of river-dependent and dam-affected communities to inform policy recommendations. We carry out primary and participatory research on the value of river ecosystems as well as the impacts of dams and fragmentation on communities, ecosystems, and sustainable development. We value indigenous traditional knowledge
and community-generated research alongside institutional research by academics, policymakers, and NGOs.

4. Engage stakeholders, while maintaining independence: We have a track record of achieving significant conservation and livelihood impact by shifting the policies and practices of financiers, governments, and the private sector.
We remain independent and fearless in campaigning to expose and resist destructive projects, while also engaging with all relevant stakeholders to develop a vision that protects rivers and the communities that depend upon them.

Through these we have 6 main strategic goals:
1. Strengthen the movement for healthy rivers
2. Ensure corporations are accountable in policy and practice
3. Promote clean and fair finance for energy and water solutions
4. Secure human rights for river communities and water protectors
5. Support equitable and effective governance that sustains rivers
6. Gain permanent legal protections for the world’s iconic rivers.

(Go to https://www.internationalrivers.org/sites/default/files/attachedfiles/ir_strategic_report_2017_fa_web_spreads.pdf for more details on each of these 6 goals).

Goal 1: Enhance our programs through improved monitoring and evaluation in order

Help to build a global consensus and momentum toward a shared agenda for river protections. Attract financial and other resources to support partner organizations and social movements and help coordinate philanthropic support for river communities and movements. Ensure a strong, globally-connected river movement that’s formed around NGO partners rooted in communities and local movements, and effective in protecting rivers and defending communities’.

Goal 2: Strengthen regional offices in order to...

Monitor compliance and advocate for company commitments to the highest international laws, standards, and policies, such as those articulated in our Dam Standards guidebook.14. Update and expand the application to evaluate company policy and performance in environmental management, community and labor
relations, and risk management. Document poor performance in specific projects and advocate for
redress, including through the judicial system. Monitor and expose projects that harm the environment and
undermine human rights to influence the private sector and its supporters. Engage in dialogue and debates with
governments and financiers about standards and safeguards for the private sector of our assessment methodology

Goal 3: Build and diversify our Board of Directors in order to...

Document and expose the financial risk of investing in large hydropower infrastructure. Monitor the lending and operational safeguards of multilateral development banks, including emerging institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, as well as national development
banks and nascent climate finance mechanisms. Support financiers and financial mechanisms that catalyze further investment in renewables.

Goal 4: Stabilize, diversify and grow our funding in order to...

Document and monitor projects where rights violations are occurring. Identify strategies and make recommendations within the hydropower sector. Support project-affected peoples to seek redress for human right impacts through the complaints and grievance mechanisms

Goal 5: Support equitable and effective governance that sustains rivers

Work with peoples’ movements and civil society networks to engage with river governance processes. Increase information available to project-affected communities promote planning at the basin and transboundary scales. Undertake and disseminate primary and collaborative analysis of river governance issues.

Goal 6: Gain permanent legal protections for the world’s iconic rivers

Prioritize key rivers that present the strongest need and greatest opportunity for permanent legal protection. Evaluate the feasibility of legal protections in river basins in regions where we work. Build a diverse political constituency
to support river protection.

217
Number of dam projects we have delayed, prevented, or stopped in collaboration with our
partners around the world.

24
Number of river basins we’ve worked in, covering 17% of the earth’s total land area.

$174b
Amount of USD channeled away from destructive dams and needless financial risk.

859
Number of NGO partners around the world.

277
Number of grassroots organizations supported financially to protect rivers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

1
International Rivers was voted the most influential NGO by the hydropower industry in a 2015 survey by the International Hydropower Association.

Financials

International Rivers Network dba International Rivers
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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International Rivers Network dba International Rivers

Board of directors
as of 7/6/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Spann

Innate Strategies

Term: 2012 -

Deborah Moore

Executive Director, Green Schools Initiative

Robert Hass

Poet; Professor of English, University of California Berkeley

Brent Blackwelder

President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth

Gary Cook

Senior Energy Analyst, Greenpeace International

Scott Spann

Founder & Strategist, Innate Strategies

Virali Modhi-Parekh

Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros

Juan Pablo Orrego

Susanne Wong

Melina Selverston

Patrick Mccully

Leslie Leslie

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/24/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/24/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.