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[11 Mar 2019 | Topics: ]

The Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition (RwB) shared with the UNECSO its deep concerns with  spurred development of Egiin Gol Hydro Project and cancellation of basin-wide Regional environmental assessment (REA) of hydropower by the World Bank MINIS Project in Mongolia.  Later in a separate letter, the Coalition together with Greenpeace will submit observations and suggestions on the Lake Baikal World Heritage site protection and management by the State Party of Russian Federation .

 
To: UNESCO World Heritage Center and
CC: IUCN World Heritage Department.
 
The Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition (RwB) …

Baikal Lake, Greening Silk Road »

[11 Mar 2019 | Topics: ]

 
A review of reactions of Russian press and public to “Chinese business expansion” at Lake Baikal World Heritage Site, published by  Eurasia Daily Monitor, captures  several important topics discussed today and highlights one of major underlying reasons – deep corruption of Russian officialdom all  he way down to local “self-government” administrations.
Photo: Chinese bottled water plant being built on Lake Baikal (Source: Regnum)
China is rapidly expanding its presence and control in Russia’s Trans-Baikal region. This drive is, in part, being driven by Beijing’s economic interests in Siberia and the Russian Far …

Featured, Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[4 Mar 2019 | Topics: ]

Activists in Indonesia and abroad staged a coordinated protest on March 1 to draw attention to a controversial hydroelectric project in Sumatra funded by China that threatens the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan.
The activists protested out Chinese diplomatic missions and branches of state-owned Bank of China, which is funding the planned dam through loans, in cities including Jakarta, New York, Hong Kong, Manila and Johannesburg.
In Indonesia, where the $1.6 billion project is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, activists from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[4 Mar 2019 | Topics: ]

 
Around 10,000 members of the Kachin community on Thursday, Feb 7,  staged a protest march in Kachin State’s Myitkyina calling for termination of dam projects both upstream and downstream on the Irrawaddy River. While Myanmar is bound to suffer serious environmental impacts if the Myitsone Dam project goes ahead, China will take 90 percent of the electricity produced, lead protester Steven Naw Awng said, explaining the reason behind the rally. “The mega dam is not for us. But we will lose our lives and property …

Greening Silk Road »

[20 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

 
The International Hydropower Association published a cheerful blog entry showing almost exponential increase in hydropower capacity:

Source: IHA 
“Not long after the turn of the century, hydropower development gained a renewed momentum, particularly across Asia and South America. Between 2000 and 2017, nearly 500 GW in hydropower installed capacity was added worldwide, with growth since 2010 already outstripping that recorded in the first decade of the century.
Developing countries, including Brazil and China, needed an affordable, reliable and a sustainable source of electricity to support rapid economic growth. Since 2000, China has more …

Greening Silk Road, Solidarity »

[17 Jan 2019 | Topics: ]

Nepal’s hydropower boom needs strategic assessment and public oversight

Children crossing a bridge across Budhi Gandaki River in Arughat, Nepal (Photo by Eugene Sim0nov)
Prologue: A tale of two dams
In 2017, I visited 1,200 MW Budhi Gandaki hydropower project, 70 kilometers from Kathmandu, and found many similarities with the Egiin Gol hydropower project in Mongolia, long monitored by our RwB Coalition. 
Both projects were designed in the 1970s Soviet-school mega-hydropower planning style, both have not progressed in 40 years. In both cases, the international consultancy Tractebel Engineering proposed to increase dam height …