The Amazon Under Threat: Damming The Madeira

Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Amazon is under threat. The Brazilian government is planning to build two massive dams on one of the Amazon’s most important tributaries, the Madeira River. The projects would threaten the river’s unique biodiversity, destroying habitat for fish, dolphins, parrots and a range of mammal species, and would affect the land and livelihoods of thousands of river bank dwellers and indigenous people.

Our Unique Freshwater Treasures at Risk

Salmon returning to the Elwha River
According to a new WWF report, we are losing freshwater populations at an alarming rate. As you will find in our review, there are glimmers of hope.

China’s Xiaonanhai Dam Draws Ire from Scientists and NGOs

A dead sturgeon is found in the Yangtze River
China’s largest and the world’s third largest river, the Yangtze, is home to some of China's most important freshwater species. The Yangtze used to contribute to 70% of China’s freshwater catch annually. However, aggressive hydropower development has reduced the size and degraded the quality of this aquatic haven.

Thank You for Helping to Protect World Heritage Rivers

Thanks to every one of you who voted in our World Heritage photo contest and took action! Not only do we have the top three photos, but the World Heritage Centre has also issued a positive response to your more than 200 letters, along with publishing their recommended decisions for the 36th Committee meeting.

NGO Letter to the World Heritage Centre and Committee Members

Monday, June 18, 2012
Mr. Kishore Rao Director World Heritage Centre 7, Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris France June 18, 2012 Subject: Dam Construction Activities Continue to Threaten World Heritage Sites Dear Mr. Rao, Thank you for leading the World Heritage Centre in promoting strong protections for the world’s cultural and natural heritage sites. We appreciate the efforts of the Centre last year to heighten awareness around the most endangered sites, including those that are threatened by current or future dam construction. While the World Heritage Committee made a number of strong decisions last year, dam const

Keeping the Conservation Promise

Dassanach Elder Omo River Delta
What started as an international effort to save Ramesses II’s Abu Simbel temple from the waters of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt – by relocating the temple piece by piece – is now a UN convention that seeks to prevent the destruction of precious cultural and natural heritage sites before it starts. 40 years later, local groups are closely monitoring the World Heritage Convention, and how far its stakeholders are willing to go to address serious threats to these sites like large dam development.

The Salween River Basin Fact Sheet

Villagers at the Thai/Burma border gather to bless the Salween River and oppose construction of large dams.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Dam Cascades Threaten Biological and Cultural DiversityFrom its headwaters in the Tibetan Plateau to its estuary in Burma, the Salween River supports over ten million people. For many decades, it was the longest free-flowing river in Southeast Asia. It sustains rich fisheries and farmlands central to the lives of many indigenous communities living along its banks. However, large dam cascades in China and Burma are being planned in complete secrecy, with no participation from affected communities and no analysis of the cumulative impacts or seismic risks of these projects.The Salween River, kno

Rare Species of Snub-Nosed Monkey Found in China’s Nu River Valley

Snub-nosed monkeys
Scientists in China have discovered the world’s fifth species of snub-nosed monkey in the Nu River Valley. More widely known as the Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkey since it was first discovered in northeast Burma, this rare species has been dubbed the “Nu River snub-nosed monkey” in Chinese by scientists, who confirmed their relation to the Burmese species through a DNA analysis of their excrement collected near the Nu River in Yunnan province. However, only 300 individuals may be left. Among the threats to their habitats are poaching, logging, road construction, and other intrusive human acti

Green Groups' Hopes of Blocking Controversial Xiaonanhai Dam After Abrupt Leadership Change Fade

Thursday, April 26, 2012
One of the most controversial decisions that former Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai made during his four-year stay in the southwestern mega-city has been upheld, despite the princeling-politician's spectacular fall from grace. Plans for the Xiaonanhai dam, widely seen as Bo's pet project, have emerged unscathed and made significant headway in recent weeks amid much-rumoured scrutiny of major projects in the city that were allowed to proceed under Bo's stewardship. Although the plan to place a dam at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River has long been controversial due to concer

Ethiopia’s Omo Valley: a Global Heritage Under Threat

Cheetah cub
The national parks of the Lower Omo Valley in Southwest Ethiopia are among “the last unspoiled biodiversity hotspots in Africa” and constitute “resources of all people in the world.” These are not the words of tree-hugging foreign environmentalists, but of Ethiopian government officials who recently prepared a report about the region. The Gibe III Dam and the sugar plantations associated with it are now putting these unique biodiversity hotspots at risk. The remote Lower Omo Valley is home to eight different indigenous peoples, three national parks and a World Heritage Site. Accord


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