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Help Protect China’s Nu River for Future Generations

Nu River, Yunnan Province
Wang Yongchen

Help Protect China’s Nu River for Future Generations

Your help is needed to keep the Nu (Salween) River in China flowing freely. The river is one of only two undammed rivers in China. The Yunnan Provincial government plans to construct a series of up to thirteen dams on the Nu River. The river forms part of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site, which is known to be one of the ecologically richest temperate regions of the world. The area contains over 6,000 different plant species and is believed to support over 25% of the world’s and 50% of China’s animal species. The dams will threaten the rich biodiversity of the area, affecting many rare and endangered species. Despite concerns about the dam impacts, the Chinese government plans to approve construction of the projects without releasing the environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the public.

We need your help to send a message () to Zhou Wenshong, the Chinese Ambassador to the US, asking him to relay the message to Premier Wen Jiabao that the Nu River should be protected for future generations, and that the EIA should be immediately released to the public.

Resources

  • Nu River Fact Sheet
    Known as the Salween River in Burma and Thailand, the Nu River stretches over 3,200 kilometers from its origins on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta at the Andaman Sea in Burma. It is the second longest river in Southeast Asia and is one of only two undammed rivers in China. Yet the Chinese government has plans to build up to thirteen dams on one of China’s last free–flowing rivers.

Take Action!

1. Compose a Message

Recipient:

Zhou Wenzhong
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China

Message text:

The fax will contain the following message.

August 13, 2007

His Excellency
Zhou Wenzhong
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008 USA

Your Excellency,

I am writing to request that the Nu River, which forms part of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site, be protected for future generations.

The plan to build up to thirteen dams on the Nu River will have adverse impacts on one of the ecologically richest temperate regions of the world. This area is a treasure for the whole world, and should be protected for future generations, including those who will want to visit your country in the future. I am concerned that the dam projects will negatively affect the ecological integrity of the Nu River ecosystem and the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site.

I am also concerned about the way in which the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for these projects is being withheld. I understand that Chinese law requires the government to organize public hearings, expert panels or other means to solicit comments before approving a major project such as a dam. The release of the project's EIA is critical to assisting citizens in their right to participate in the decision-making process around building a major dam. I urge your government to release the EIA to the public before any further work is approved.

I call upon the Chinese Government to take the necessary steps to protect the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site by permanently suspending all hydropower projects on the Nu River. As the Ambassador of China to the United States, I hope you will convey my message to Premier Wen Jiabao and the proper authorities.

Respectfully yours,

[The Undersigned]

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