Damming Our World Heritage

Nu River, China
Nu River, China The list of World Heritage Sites is the ultimate “bucket list,” comprised of more than 900 of the world’s most amazing natural and man-made wonders on earth. From the Great Wall of China to Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef to the Grand Canyon, these are places of “outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity,” according to UNESCO, the keeper of the list. They are, in a word, irreplaceable. When the World Heritage Committee holds its annual meeting next week in Paris , its members will consider conferring “endangered” status t

China's Nu River Hangs in the Balance, Part 1

The Nu River's first bend in northern Yunnan Province, China
This is part one of a three-part blog describing my recent trip to the Nu River valley in April 2011. All names have been changed to protect the identity of the interviewees. Part 2 introduces the voices from the ground and Part 3 discusses the Nu River's future. The Nu River's first bend in northern Yunnan Province, China Green Watershed As a Chinese American growing up in the US, I saw China's mountains, rivers and valleys through my mom's traditional scroll paintings. Idyllic villages and small cottages dot green mountainsides of bamboo, pine, and palm. My recent journey

India’s Dam Building Abroad: Ignoring Lessons from Home?

A Day of Action protest against India’s plans to dam Burma’s rivers.
Friday, December 10, 2010
From December 2010 World Rivers Review Indian companies and state-owned enterprises have rapidly expanded their domestic and overseas investments in recent years. Not least motivated by the example of Chinese investors, they are trying to gain access to foreign resources, win international contracts, and strengthen their relations with trading blocks such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). They have long had a presence in neighboring countries such as Nepal and Bhutan, and are now also spreading to more distant countries in Asia and Africa. This article looks at the tra

Scientists Sound Alarm on State of the World’s Rivers

NASA Today, a team of international scientists published the first ever global review of human impacts (such as pollution, dam building and agriculture) on the world’s rivers. Their findings are not pretty: Rivers that serve nearly 80 percent of the world’s population suffer from serious threats to human water security and biodiversity. In spite of billions of dollars in investment, the threats to river ecosystems are particularly high in Europe and the United States. The good news is that smart and cost-effective solutions are available. The global review was led by professors Charles

Celebrate World Environment Day: Adopt a Planet

Kihansi Spray Toad
Kihansi Spray Toad What will the world be like for your grandchildren – and their grandchildren – if tigers disappear from the planet? Or sharks? What will their planet be like if Nectophrynoides asperginis goes the way of the dodo? That last was a trick question; N. asperginis - the Kihansi Spray Toad - is already extinct in the wild. Your kids can visit it in the Bronx Zoo.         The Kihansi Spray Toad was a victim of a large dam in East Africa. It joined a sadly long list of species that couldn't survive the huge hydrological changes to their riverine habitat brought by b

Dams and Extinction: Going, Going, Gone

In a reversal of the animated movie Madagascar, all of the world's Kihansi spray toads suddenly found themselves living in the Bronx Zoo, far from their home at the base of a waterfall in Tanzania. The tiny toads were no match for a dam that destroyed not only their life in the wild, but a beautiful waterfall too. "Maybe the story will have a happy ending," The New York Times wistfully mused. The UN has declared 2010 the Year of Biodiversity as a wake up call on the state of the planet's endangered plants and animals. "The latest data from scientists indicates to

Hidrelétrica de Pai Querê

Monday, October 29, 2007
Parecer da Amigos da Terra Brasil: "Aínda há tempo para impedir mais uma grande tragédia sobre a biodiversidade da bacia do rio Uruguai".

Dams Threaten Biodiversity and Indigenous People in Panama

Saturday, December 15, 2007
From December 2007 World Rivers Review This rainy season, a mushy mess is sliding down the Changuinola River Valley. Huge Volvo machines are tearing up old mountain roads, causing tons of chocolate-brown run-off to flow into nearby streams. The giant machines, operated by Panamanians and other Latinos, are opening new roads for the construction of the first of four large dams planned for this basin. About 100 new houses are being built for the dam's laborers, and a dozen finer homes for the project managers from Vattenfall, a Swedish construction company. The explosion of dam constr

Licença para usinas no rio Madeira pega Bolívia de surpresa

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
O governo boliviano foi pego de surpresa com a decisão do Ibama de conceder a licença prévia para a construção de duas usinas hidrelétricas no rio Madeira, que nasce com o nome de Mamoré, na Bolívia. Da confluência do Mamoré com o rio Beni, ainda na Bolívia, surge o rio Madeira, na fronteira entre os dois países. Nesta terça-feira, um dia depois do anúncio oficial do Brasil, autoridades do governo boliviano analisavam a possibilidade de divulgar uma nota de protesto, pedindo explicações pela conclusão do Ibama Outra alternativa em discussão era a divulgação de um

O maior tributário do rio Amazonas ameaçado

Friday, September 28, 2007
Documento por Amigos da Terra Brasil e outras resumindo os impactos dos projetos hidrelétricos no rio Madeira


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