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 Chinaï¿½s
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
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
To read the full assessment please visit www.burmariversnetwork.org
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