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China's Last Wild River Could Remain Free of Dams

Plans to dam China's last wild river have been circulating since 2003, but now it seems that conservationists could emerge victorious
May 14, 2016, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Stuart Leavenworth reports: "Conservationists have had little to celebrate amid China’s dam-building boom of the last half century. In the Nu River gorge, they appear to be on the cusp of a rare victory." Leavenworth also explains the reasons for the optimism:

Yunnan’s provincial secretary recently announced a halt to small hydroelectric projects on tributaries of the Nu. He also advocated the creation of a national park in the region. Many think that announcement signals the shelving of plans for the Nu dams, which would displace thousands of villagers and forever alter the gorge’s natural scenery.

A combination of factors has contributed to the change of momentum: geologists have uncovered the threat of earthquakes in the area and "China’s anti-corruption campaign has swept up Yunnan officials supportive of the China Huadian Corp., the company planning the dams," explains Leavenworth. China is also reported to have an energy glut.

The article offers maps and many pictures, to offer more context and insight into the people and places found along the Nu River—described by some as the Grand Canyon of the East.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, May 12, 2016 in National Geographic
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