China's Assessment Calls for Burma's Myitsone Dam to Be Scrapped

Burma Rivers Network
Thursday, July 14, 2011

China Power Investment Corporation is forging ahead with its controversial Myitsone dam in northern Burma despite its own assessment calling for the project to be cancelled.

The 945-page "environmental impact assessment," fully funded by China's CPI Corporation and conducted by a team of Burmese and Chinese scientists, recommends that the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam not proceed. "There is no need for such a big dam to be constructed at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River" says the assessment.

CPI is planning to build and operate seven mega dams on the Irrawaddy and its tributaries. According to the assessment the dams will impact millions that depend on the river and threaten biodiverse ecosystems: "The fragmentation of the Irrawaddy River by a series of dams will have serious social and environmental problems not only at upstream of dams but also very far downstream to the coastal area."

Last month fighting broke out between the Kachin Independence Organization and the Burma Army near China's Dapein Dams, also in Burma's northern Kachin State. An estimated 30,000 people have been displaced.

Mega dams in Kachin State and Burma are deeply unpopular and numerous appeals to Chinese companies and government to stop the dams have gone unanswered. CPI's own assessment warned that "the majority of local races oppose construction of the dams" and called for consultation with and consent of affected peoples.

Although finished in late 2009, the assessment has never been made public.

"Chinese companies are increasing their investments in Burma yet they are not following their own standards" said Sai Sai, coordinator of the Burma Rivers Network. "While CPI Corporation is hiding its assessment from the people of Burma, construction of the dams is speeding ahead."

The study also recommends a full social impact assessment be conducted along the length of the whole river but this has not happened.

Contact: Sai Sai (+66) 884154386, Ah Nan (+66) 848854154

More information: 

To read the full assessment please visit