China's Dams

Minister criticizes ‘predatory development’ of Nu River

Terry Wang, Interfax
September 26, 2006

Shanghai: The proposal to build 13 hydropower plants on the Nu (Salween) River in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province constitutes a form of “predatory development”, said Wang Shucheng, China’s Minister of Water Resources. Wang said in a speech in the University of Hong Kong that one or two “uncontroversial” hydropower plants could be developed during the first phase, according to a report in Hong Kong’s Takungpao newspaper. “As far I know, the government has chosen to refrain from developing in the ‘Three Parallel Rivers’ World Heritage Area, and has turned to other sections of the Nu River,” Zhang Junfeng, an official with the environmental NGO Green Earth Volunteers, told Interfax. … In April, several Chinese environmental activists, including Zhang Junfeng, sued the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) for its disregard for laws and regulations during the preparations for the development of hydropower on the Nu. Zhang said that the two sides eventually reached an out-of-court settlement. “Some of the decisions were not directly made by SEPA,” Zhang said. “We did not have any great expectations about the lawsuit, but just wanted to raise public awareness.” Jin Jiaman, an official with the NGO Global Environmental Institute (GEI) and also a participant in the lawsuit, told Interfax that development is still likely to happen, but would be scaled back significantly. He said that it was probable that the authorities would give the go-ahead for four plants, rather than the original 13. … Read the full story.

Categories: China's Dams

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