Lessons Learned from the Three Gorges Dam
Letter of Invitation

5th Floor, Hycastle House
58 Loop Street
PO Box 16002
Vlaeberg, Cape Town

From: Dr. Kader Asmal, Chair WCD and Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry
Re: Serving as a Member for the World Commission on Dams

After extensive consultations, I am delighted to invite you to serve as one of the members of the World Commission on Dams (WCD). We were very impressed with your extensive expertise and experience, as well as your integrity and the ability to be objective.

As you know, the World Commission on Dams was created as an independent, international, multi-stakeholder commission to address the controversial issues associated with large dams. This commission will provide a unique opportunity to bring into focus the issues of economic growth, social equity, environmental conservation and political participation in a changing global context.

Our central goal is to “evaluate the effectiveness of large dams” in the world as part of the 2-year project of the World Commission on Dams. The purpose of the dam studies is to obtain information and elicit views on the performance and effectiveness of a select number of large dams in different regions of the world. Conclusions about the past performance and development experience with large dams will be summarized as “lessons-learned” case study with all its convergent or divergent views.

Should you decide to serve on the Commission, you major assignment will be to develop the “Case Study Report” for the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. To structure the information collection of the dam project provided in your report, two central questions have been identified that form a key component of the WCD work and methodology. They are:

I am enclosing a Resource Pack for you, so that you can familiarize yourself with some background to the Project - see the itemized list. I’m also sending you a selection of photos, which will give you a feel for the Three Gorges Dam.

Best wishes,

Dr. Kader Asmal, Chair, World Commission on Dams
Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry
South Africa