International Rivers

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International Rivers

Since 1985, International Rivers has protected rivers and defended the rights of communities that depend on them.

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International Rivers is a global non-profit, non-governmental, environmental, and human rights organization. Founded in 1985 by social and environmental activists, International Rivers works with policy and financial analysts, scientists, journalists, development specialists, and volunteers to combat the adverse effects of dams and their legacies in over 60 countries.

International Rivers has regional offices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The group works so that riparian communities and people affected by dams have their voices heard and their rights respected. International Rivers helps create active and well-instrumented networks of civil society groups and conducts independent, investigative research to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them.

The organization has staff in South Africa, Thailand, Brazil, China, India, and the United States, who have expertise in a range of issues and who use research, education, and advocacy to achieve the organization’s mission.

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Associated Authors
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For more than two decades, Darryl Knudsen has channeled the power of civil society movements to create enduring, positive change toward social and environmental justice for the underrepresented. Darryl holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College. He served as the executive director of International Rivers.
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Alessandra Korap Munduruku is a Munduruku Indigenous woman leader from Indigenous Reserve Praia do Índio in the Brazilian Amazon. She is a member of Pariri, a local Munduruku association, as well as the Munduruku Wakoborûn Women’s Association. In 2020, Alessandra won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her work defending the culture, livelihoods and rights of Indigenous peoples in Brazil.
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Josh Klemm is co-director of International Rivers.
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Irikefe V. Dafe has advocated for river protections in Nigeria and throughout Africa for three decades. Much of his work has focused on protecting the River Ethiope and the rights of communities who rely upon the river for food, water and their livelihoods. He is a lead organizer of the First National Dialogue on Rights of Nature in Nigeria. He is also the founder and CEO of River Ethiope Trust Foundation and an expert member of the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative.
International Rivers |

March 14 will be the 27th International Day of Action for Rivers. Events are already planned in over 35 countries from Japan to Brazil. The 2024 map of activities is available here.

The International Day of Action for Rivers is a day dedicated to solidarity – when diverse communities worldwide come together with one voice to affirm that rivers are vital and need our protection. It underscores the significance of ensuring communities' access to clean, free-flowing water and emphasizes the fundamental right for all to participate in decisions concerning their water and lives. Now, more than ever, it is our collective duty to advocate for these rights and protect our rivers.

This year’s theme, "Water for All," underscores the critical importance of equitable access to water resources and the urgent need to address water-related challenges facing communities worldwide. Whether communities are tackling clean water access, fighting against dams, water grabs or privatization, or removing dams and restoring rivers and fish migration, water is life and is meant for all.

"Rivers are critical for human life—they provide water, food, crop irrigation, cultural identity—and they need to be healthy and unobstructed. Today, only a small fraction of rivers flow freely, and the impact of climate change and pollution is rapidly growing worse. For more than two decades, the Day of Action for Rivers has turned the world’s attention to rivers and the dedicated defenders who protect them for their communities and all of us. The need has only become more urgent for a global movement to mobilize to protect, restore, and cherish rivers as the lifeblood of our planet,” says Isabella Winkler, Co-Executive Director of International Rivers.

The International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water and Life was adopted by the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), International Rivers, and the other participants of the first International Meeting of People Affected by Dams in March 1997 in Curitiba, Brazil. Representatives from 20 countries agreed that the International Day of Action would take place on March 14 – Brazil’s Day of Action Against Large Dams. Since then, activities protecting and celebrating rivers have taken place every year worldwide. Last year’s International Day of Action for Rivers saw over 70 events in over 30 countries.

International Rivers, a global NGO that has been protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them for over 35 years. Alongside partners worldwide, International Rivers has been coordinating the International Day of Action for River since 1997 as an annual event that has served as a global platform for communities, organizations, and individuals to come together in solidarity to advocate for the protection and preservation of our world's rivers.

How to join the International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14th, 2024:

  1. Planning an action? Register it here (forms also in Français, Português, and Español) to get it on the 2024 Global Actions Map. Need some inspiration? Check out what happened on Day of Action for Rivers 2023!

  2. Tell local and national media about your action. Let the world see the river movement’s strength!

  3. Raise your voice for rivers and freshwater on March 14! Post on social media, stream your action live, and share photos! Use the hashtag #DayofActionForRivers and #WaterforAll
  4. Share photos and report back from your actions with dayofaction@internationalrivers.org! If you have any questions or support requests, please email.
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