Tag Archive for 'China water supply'

China risks civil strife with support for foreign dams: activists

“Chinese support for controversial dam-building schemes around the world risks a backlash from affected communities and even violence due to a lack of transparency and the ignoring of residents’ wishes, activists said on Wednesday.

“Chinese companies and banks are becoming deeply involved in such projects in Africa and Asia, and despite a growing awareness they have to be more transparent and accountable, this frequently does not happen, the activists said.

“”We are dismayed to see a reckless role of many companies,” Peter Bosshard, policy director of California-based International Rivers, told the Foreign Correspondents Club of China.

“”There is still often a complete lack of transparency and consultation, particularly with civil society groups in the host countries,” he added.

“Beijing says that Chinese companies operating abroad have to comply with relevant national laws and that they must respect people there and the environment.

“Rights groups say this frequently does not happen.

“In Myanmar, Chinese companies are building or funding some particularly divisive dam schemes, Bosshard said.

“”If such huge infrastructure projects go forward, the (Myanmar) army takes over and occupies the villages,” he said.

“”There’s no question that the indigenous populations are very unhappy with these projects which they see as an extension of military rule in Burma, and that this will lead to serious conflict.”"

Read more: Reuter

Can China Save the Beleaguered Yangtze River?

Photo retrieved from: AlterNet.org

“Overfishing, pollution, and habitat fragmentation from dams — including the massive Three Gorges Dam — have brought the Yangtze to its current state. With more dams planned and Chinese officials intoxicated with unbridled economic growth, the future looks just as grim for the Yangtze’s vanishing species. Much of the river basin “will soon be a mere semblance of its natural state, offering few prospects for persistence of what remains of the river’s unique biodiversity,” says David Dudgeon, an aquatic ecologist at the University of Hong Kong.

“All is not yet lost, however. Seasonal fishing bans have given some species a breather. “We can save the remaining ecology of the Yangtze,” argues Xie Songguang, an ecologist at the Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan. The potential savior that he and others are counting on is a 10-year fishing moratorium. Such a ban may seem drastic, but it would have a tiny effect on fish markets, as the Yangtze supplies less than 1 percent of China’s freshwater fish production, including aquaculture. A ban is feasible — if the political willpower can be summoned to implement it. With the Yangtze’s ecological health in obvious decline and the economic toll of a ban manageable, the prospects for a moratorium are looking better and better, experts say.”

read more: AlterNet