China Clears Path for Controversial Dam

To the ire of environmental critics, the Chinese State Council has moved some bureaucratic roadblocks to likely enable the building of a $3.8 billion dam.
January 3, 2012, 5am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"In a little-noticed ruling made public on Dec. 14, 2011 the council approved changes to shrink the boundaries of a Yangtze River preserve that is home to many of the river's rare and endangered fish species. The effect of the decision is likely to clear the way for construction of the Xiaonanhai Dam, a $3.8 billion project that environmental experts say will flood much of the preserve anyway and probably wipe out many species.

'This is almost the last reserve for the whole river basin, especially after the construction of Three Gorges,' the world's largest hydroelectric project, said Qiaoyu Guo, Yangtze River Project manager for The Nature Conservancy in Beijing. 'There will be very dramatic damage to these kinds of species.'"

It's one of 19 dams proposed on the Yangtze, all of which have come up against environmental opposition. The project, located in Chongqing, is being aggressively pursued by officials to maintain the province's upward growth curve. It's seen a roughly 16% increase in its GDP in recent years, outperforming the rest of the country.

Thanks to Nate Berg

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, December 29, 2011 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email