RWB appeal to China Yangtze Power Co on Social and Environmental Impacts of of Sino-Russian Hydropower Development

RWB appeal to China Yangtze Power Co on Social and Environmental Impacts of of Sino-Russian Hydropower Development

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To: Mr. Zhang Cheng, General Manager

China Yangtze Power Co., Ltd.

CC: Mr. Cao Guangjing, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Subject: Controversial side-effects of Sino-Russian hydropower trade:

Social and Environmental Impacts of Trans-Sibirskaya

and Nizhne-Angarskaya Hydropower Projects

Date: 14.03.2013

Dear Mr. Zhang,

Rivers without Boundaries is a coalition of NGOs dedicated to protecting transboundary rivers. Today, on the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against the Large Dams, we write to you to express our serious concern regarding China Yangtze Power Co.’s plans to develop hydro projects in the Eastern Siberia. We were informed by the media that China Yangtze Power Co. in cooperation with Eurosibenergo, a Russian energy company, have proposed at least two highly controversial hydropower projects in Eastern Siberia: the Trans-Sibirskaya HPP on the Shilka River and the Nizhne-Angarskaya (Motiginskaya) HPP on the Angara River. It would be prudent for China Yangtze Power Co. to address public concerns before it enters into contracts to finance or develop these hydropower dams.

Below are our key concerns regarding two abovementioned hydropower projects:

· Trans-Sibirskaya HPP: Located in the upper reaches of the Amur River, this project would block important migration corridor between Amur River and northern Dauria region, destroy unique Dauria floodplain ecosystems, and inundate many important historic sites and settlements. The 500 km2 reservoir would be contaminated by rotting wood and toxic substances from upstream mining complexes, decimate local fish populations, including a few endemic to the transboundary Amur-Heilong River. There has been significant opposition to this project raised by citizen groups, scientists, conservation professionals and authorities in both Russia and China. On March 12, Mr. Ilkovsky (acting governor of Zabaikalsky region in Rusia) has publically opposed the construction of Trans-Sibirskaya HPP on the Shilka River. According to him, this project will not help the region to solve existing energy and economic issues, but will only pose an additional risk on the local environment.

· Nizhne-Angarskaya HPP: The proposed project would be fifth large dam built on the Angara River, the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the integrity of the World Heritage Area continues to be a key focus of the UNESCO committee). The project threatens to destroy the habitats of valuable, endangered fish species in the Yenisei–Angara River basin. In addition, the project would prevent development of the timber industry in the Lower Angara region.

We believe that these projects listed above do not comply with important policy documents of the People’s Republic of China such as the State Council’s “Nine Principles on Encouraging and Standardizing Foreign Investment”, SASAC’s “Guidelines on Fulfilling Social Responsibility by Central Enterprises”, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Green Credit Policy.

China Yangtze Power is included in the Shanghai Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Index and therefore must disclose its CSR practices in the annual reporting. Yet, in its annual CSR report the company failed to disclose potential negative consequences of the construction of the two abovementioned hydropower projects in the East Siberia.

We believe the company’s decision to develop these dams was based on a lack of environmental and social impact assessment. The law of the People’s Republic of China requires that detailed environmental impact studies are made public. Chinese laws also require companies to take public opinion into account prior to making a decision by examining and verifying comments submitted by the local population.

It is therefore unclear why, despite the risk of increased public scrutiny and criticism that would surely ensue, China Yangtze Power intends to support environmentally and socially harmful HPP construction project without having first conducted an adequate risk assessment or examined alternatives.

With this letter we hope to convince China Yangtze Power to abide by Chinese laws, stick to the sustainable development values proclaimed by the government, and suspend its support to the abovementioned hydropower projects until a sustainable alternative is found. We also hope this will convey a strong message regarding the importance of adhering to high corporate social responsibility standards for all joint Sino-Russian projects, – especially hydropower projects.

We would be glad to discuss with you how China Yangtze Power’s corporate social responsibility performance could be strengthened and project-specific concerns addressed either through further correspondence or in a personal meeting.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Rivers without Boundaries

Aliona Zenkova, Financial advocacy coordinator

Alexander Kolotov, Russian projects coordinator

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· Trans-Sibirskaya ???: ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????500?????????????????????????????????/?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????3?12??Ilkovsky????????????????????????Shilka???Trans-Sibirskaya?????????????????????????????????????????????????

· Nizhne-Angarskaya ???: ??????????????????????????????????????,????????????????????(??????????????????????????????)?????????????-??????????????,?????????????,?????????????????????

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Aliona Zenkova????????

Alexander Kolotov?????????

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