Federal prosecutors say the Norte Energia consortium behind the $11-billion Belo Monte dam, the world’s third largest, has violated 55 previously agreed-to items that are endangering locals’ means of survival. Efforts to move residents should be suspended, they say.
This Huffington Post blog, by Peter Neill, founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, looks at the global love affair with big dams and the perils of forcing water to acquiesce to political ambitions and national pride, and the sometimes dangerous results of doing so.
China’s massive South-to-North Water Diversion project, created to relieve a water crisis in the country’s parched north by tapping its more water-rich south, has produced an unexpected outcome: many cities in north China aren’t using the water. The Wall Street Journal looks at why.
China orders the closure of small plants in 10 polluting industries and a curb on the tapping of aquifers in an effort to reign in contamination of its water supply. Probe International Fellow, activist and journalist Dai Qing is quoted for this article by the Financial Times.
On March 30, China’s National Development and Reform Commission ordered the immediate closure of 66 golf courses across the country — the first sign of follow-up on a 10-year moratorium on new courses that a report by Beijing Today describes as “an admission of the failure” of that ban. During the past decade, instead of declining, the number of golf courses on the Chinese mainland exploded from 178 in 2004 to 528 in 2013. How did that happen in the face of a government crackdown?
According to Beijing’s bid to hold the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the environmental impact of the Games will be “ecofriendly” and “sustainable”. Experts say otherwise: providing snow for events will be tough in a city where “it just doesn’t snow” and “a Martian-like plan” will be needed to create artificial cover. Conservationists worry about moves to build Olympic ski resorts in national parks and protected nature reserves. Ski resorts, meanwhile, require water and lots of it but Beijing doesn’t have water.
A Chinese court has agreed to hear a lawsuit filed by an environmental NGO seeking $US4.8-million in damages from an industrial polluter in Shandong province — thought to be the first public interest litigation for air pollution under China’s new environmental law. ChinaFile reports.
Is the ultimate dome preventing China’s skies from clearing a political one?
One year after Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution, the central government seems to be refraining from making any new promises on the matter this year, focusing instead on following through on all its previously set targets. South China Morning Post reports.
A smog documentary that went viral in China over the weekend and riveted the nation with its TED Talks meets Al Gore blend of compelling data and engaging instruction, managed to both survive China’s censors and get “the chop”.
Low water levels and stranded boats on the upper Mekong River — although, nothing new for a February in recent years — are once again stirring concerns over China’s dam-building program to the north. What is new is the apparent readiness of Chinese authorities to give an account of their actions to rectify the situation. The Lowy Interpreter reports.
Late last year, Mu Lan, the editor of Probe International’s Three Gorges Probe news service in Chinese, followed the central leg of China’s massive South-to-North Water Diversion Project with his camera as it made its way from Hubei Province to Beijing, the project’s ultimate destination.
It will now be the turn of Germany — more likely, individual German taxpayers — to take on the role of suckers.
The constant stream of news coverage on China’s water crisis hasn’t dampened Beijing’s bid to host the 2022 winter Olympics and the production of a key, water-guzzling component of that bid: snow. The Economist reports.
China’s new environmental protection law is not enough without robust implementation mechanisms, accountability regimes and institutional arrangements. This report for the science journal Nature identifies four gaps that will cause challenges for the new law.