China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nu River champion wins prestigious environmental award

Via Three George Probe News

Yu Xiaogang, founder of the Kunming-based group Green Watershed, has won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in recognition of his work on watershed management and the social impacts of dam building in China. (See the Goldman Prize site for a profile of Yu Xiaogang, photos and video.)

Below is an abridged version of an account of the eye-opening field trip Mr. Yu led two years ago when he took a group of Nu valley residents to visit the Manwan dam on the Lancang (Mekong) River, to see how people resettled a decade earlier for that project were faring.

The Nu valley visitors, themselves facing possible resettlement due to dam development on their own river, were shocked at the destitution they found. "Only idiots would want to follow the path the Manwan migrants were forced to take," one said.

"But we also cannot confront the government. If it decides to go ahead with the Nu River dams, it also has the responsibility to protect the interests of ordinary people. We don't like to see a situation where dams make power companies and governments richer, and poor people only poorer."

(The original story ran in South Wind Window (Nanfeng chuang) on June 6, 2004. Translation by Three Gorges Probe.)


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