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Sustainable funding mechanism in a Regional Basin AuthoritySustainable funding mechanism in a Regional Basin Authority

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The NBA has launched an initiative to identify and mobilize self-sustainable financial resources to complement donors and member states funding and carry out new missions. The mechanism chosen is a small fee based on the user-pays principle enshrined in the Niger Basin Water Charter that entered into force in 2010: this entails obtaining from the producers of hydropower of the basin, financial contribution in exchange for hydrological services that only the NBA is able to provide basin-wide (flow forecasting, etc).

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Establishment of conventions on “sustainable hydropower”

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It consists in the writing and establishment (in each voluntary country involved in the Europe region preparatory process) of conventions similar to the French « Agreement of commitments for the development of a sustainable hydropower consistent with the restoration of aquatic environments, following the “Grenelle Environment Round Table”».
This convention aims to conciliate the development of hydropower generation with the conservation and restoration of aquatic environments. It provides a set of rules and guidelines to achieve this goal, including but not limited to:
– fostering research in order to strengthen knowledge on species, and  impacts of infrastructures
– strengthening the follow-up and monitoring of hydropower infrastructures’ impacts on hydromorphology, hydrology and the functioning of aquatic environments
– upgrading existing infrastructures in order to bring them up to the new regulations (environmental flow, fish passes, etc)
– integrating the cost of reducing environmental impacts in refurbishment and upgrading investments
– conciliating energy and environmental goals & optimizing hydropower generation through call for competition on concessions and common ownership of concessions located in the same basin
– supervising the removal of infrastructures
– identifing hydropower potentials in sectors where environmental stakes are limited, and develop the potential of existing infrastructures
– avoiding as much as possible discontinuities, reduce their impacts, or, in last resort, compensate them. Develop standards for impact assessment.
– simplifying and rationalizing administrative procedures
– establishing and perpetuating dialogue on the convention through a follow-up committee, meeting at least twice yearly.

Such an instrument could usefully be replicated in other countries

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