(June 22, 2009)
Environmental advocates are warning that a planned dam on China’s Yangtze River could lead to the extinction of a number of rare fish species, casting a fresh spotlight on the potential environmental costs of the country’s huge hydroelectric building program.
The proposed Xiaonanhai Dam would be located 30 kilometers upstream from the center of Chongqing, a rapidly expanding metropolis in southwestern China that hopes to use electricity from the dam to meet its growing energy needs. Chinese officials are currently reviewing the project, and critics believe that preliminary approval could come as soon as the end of this month, although the timing couldn’t be confirmed.
Chinese and foreign scientists are concerned that the dam would encroach on the only rare-fish reserve on the Yangtze, China’s longest river. The reserve is home to 180 different fish species, including the already endangered Chinese sturgeon and the finless porpoise. It covers roughly 400 kilometers on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, which has a greater concentration of biodiversity than the river’s middle and lower regions.
Read also Stop over-development of hydropower is the only way to save rare fish in the Yangtze from Probe International.
Click here to read the original story
Jeremy Chan, Wall Street Journal, China Digital Times, June 22, 2009
Categories: Three Gorges Probe