Non-profit

International Rivers

Website:

www.internationalrivers.org/

Location:

Oakland, CA

Tax ID:

94-3158295

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $2,080,391
Expenses: $2,123,844
Assets: $1,645,175

Formation:

1985

International Rivers is a nonprofit environmentalist organization. Founded in 1985, the organization has supported the concept of “environmental personhood” and has received funding from the Open Society Foundations, the private philanthropic enterprise of billionaire left-of-center financial-industry billionaire and political donor George Soros.

Background

International Rivers professes to be the only international organization that focuses primarily on protecting rivers. The organization opposes the building of dams and claims to have influence over the policies of private companies, governments, and financial institutions active in the dam sector. [1]

In 1985, a group of volunteers founded the organization, originally known as the International Rivers Network. [2] The International Rivers global headquarters is in Oakland, California, and the organization has regional offices in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. [3] The organization claims to work in more than 60 countries as of 2021. [4]

International Rivers has received recognition from several left-of-center organizations, including winning the 2013 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. [5]

Advocacy

International Rivers has argued for “environmental personhood,” a legal concept that entails granting rivers, trees and other environmental entities the same status as human beings in court proceedings. [6]

International Rivers claims to have stopped the construction of more than 2,000 dams across the world, and to have channeled $174 billion in U.S. investments away from dam projects. The organization says it has worked on 24 river basins covering 17% of the world’s total land area, and financially assisted 277 organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. International Rivers also lists 860 non-governmental organization (NGO) partners around the world. [7]

In Africa, International Rivers focuses on preserving the Nile River, which runs through Niger, the Congo, and Zambia, where dams have already been built. [8] International Rivers has also called for firms in South Africa to stop taking electricity from the Inga 3 hydropower project built in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [9]

In Asia, the organization has staff in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China to advocate for the reduction of pollution. In Asia, the organization focuses on protecting the Mekong, Salween, Indus, and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna rivers. [10]

The organization has been active since China began construction of 11 large dams in Southeast Asia. [11] International Rivers has also been critical of China for its construction of dams in the Mekong River. [12] In the Mekong region of Southeast Asia, International Rivers organized other nonprofit groups to fight the first of 11 proposed dams on the Mekong mainstream. International Rivers helped convince the governments of both Cambodia and Vietnam to oppose the Xayaburi Dam. [13] International River also did research and legal work to challenge the Lao government’s plan to build the first mainstream dam on the lower Mekong. [14]

In Latin America, the organization focuses on fighting against any dam construction in the Amazon, the world’s largest river basin; Colombia’s Magdalena River; Peru’s Marañon River; the Usumacinta River, which flows through the Mayan rainforests; and the waters of Patagonia. [15]

In the Peruvian Amazon, International Rivers worked with the Ashaninka indigenous people, who were facing the alleged threat of the Pakitzapango Dam on the Ene River. The group taught the Ashaninka how to organize against the dam and connected them with other Peruvian environmentalist groups. As a result, completion of the Pakitzapango Dam was put on hold in 2010. [16]

Finances

Donors to the group include the Global Green Grants Fund, the Soros-funded, Open Society Foundations, Fundo Casa Socioambiental – Casa Socio Environmental Fund and the Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund associated with the Tides Foundation. [17]

The MacArthur Foundation gave International Rivers $750,000 in prize money as part of its award in 2013. [18]

Leadership

Darryl Knudsen is the executive director of International Rivers. He has had more than 20 years experience in NGO advocacy in more than 30 countries. [19]

Maureen Harris is the director of programs for International Rivers. Previously, Harris worked as Mekong Legal Director for EarthRights International, an environmentalist organization based in Thailand, and with the Australian Human Rights Commission. [20]

Samir Mehta is the chief financial officer of International Rivers. He previously worked as the South Asia program director for the organization. [21]

Scott Spann is the chairman of the eight-member of board of directors for International Rivers. Spann is a trauma psychologist. He has been a left-of-center activist on issues of public housing and environmentalism and a member of the board since 2012. [22]

References

  1. International Rivers. LinkedIn. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/international-rivers/about/ ^
  2. History and Successes. International Rivers. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/history-and-successes/ ^
  3. About. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/ ^
  4. International Rivers. Charity Navigator. Accessed on February 24, 2021. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.programs&orgid=6440 ^
  5. History and Successes. International Rivers. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/history-and-successes/ ^
  6. Scheer, Roddy and Moss, Doug. “EarthTalk by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss — Giving a voice to the rivers.” February 19, 2021. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.myjournalcourier.com/opinion/article/Commentary-EarthTalk-by-Roddy-Scheer-and-Doug-15962286.php ^
  7. History and Successes. International Rivers. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/history-and-successes/ ^
  8. International Rivers. GuideStar. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3158295 ^
  9. Burger, Schalk. “NGO International Rivers calls on SA not to support Grand Inga scheme.” Engineering News. February 23, 2021. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/ngo-international-rivers-calls-on-sa-not-to-support-grand-inga-scheme-2021-02-23 ^
  10. International Rivers. GuideStar. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3158295 ^
  11. Markar, Marwaan Macan. “Mekong’s Falling Water Level Riles China’s Downstream Neighbors.” Nikkei Asia.. February 23, 2021. Accessed February 25, 2021. ^
  12. Jamal, Umir. “Water levels on the Mekong River are declining sharply: Who is to blame?” Asean Today. February 24, 2021. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.aseantoday.com/2021/02/water-levels-on-the-mekong-river-are-declining-sharply-who-is-to-blame/ ^
  13. International Rivers. MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/2013/international-rivers ^
  14. International Rivers. MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/2013/international-rivers ^
  15. International Rivers. GuideStar. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3158295 ^
  16. International Rivers. MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/2013/international-rivers  ^
  17. Partners and Allies. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/partners-allies/ ^
  18. International Rivers. MacArthur Foundation. Accessed February 25, 2021. https://www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/2013/international-rivers ^
  19. Staff and Board. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021.. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/staff-and-board/ ^
  20. Staff and Board. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021.. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/staff-and-board/ ^
  21. Staff and Board. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021.. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/staff-and-board/ ^
  22. Board of Directors. International Rivers. Accessed February 24, 2021. https://www.internationalrivers.org/about/staff-and-board/board-of-directors/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,080,391 $2,123,844 $1,645,175 $181,981 N $2,074,433 $0 $3,209 $110,000 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,802,201 $2,122,078 $1,655,754 $473,142 N $1,785,142 $7,750 $3,222 $143,870 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,557,079 $1,984,953 $1,753,360 $250,871 N $1,540,831 $21,673 $2,927 $114,781 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,726,529 $2,412,057 $2,224,287 $293,924 N $1,702,999 $12,326 $7,300 $98,831 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,963,455 $2,311,071 $2,761,803 $145,912 N $2,941,057 $8,475 $5,175 $187,416 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,280,203 $2,330,035 $2,165,531 $202,024 Y $1,261,468 $6,697 $2,556 $192,861 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $3,287,822 $2,134,386 $3,206,483 $193,144 N $3,257,065 $11,519 $10,020 $58,730 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    International Rivers

    1330 Broadway, Third Floor
    Oakland, CA 94612