In a separate development, Sinohydro agreed to work together with the Global Environmental Institute, a Chinese NGO, in an effort to address the social and environmental impacts of the Nam Ngum 5 Dam in Laos.
We will not let our guards down. There are serious problems in many ongoing projects. Sinohydro has expressed an interest in extremely problematic projects, such as the Gibe 4 Dam in Ethiopia and the Paklay Dam on the . And while the biggest actors have begun a process of environmental reform, other Chinese companies disregard social and environmental concerns completely, and are building rogue dams in Burma under horrific conditions. , which is building several dams in the Mekong Basin, has so far ignored all inquiries from civil society.
Even so, the most important institutions in China’s hydropower sector have expressed an interest in following international environmental standards, and are open for civil society concerns.
We are happy to acknowledge their progress. We will work to ensure that their policy principles translate into changes on the ground, and that the environmental stragglers fall in line.
(Republished with permission of )
(Photos: Dam: /; Meeting and map: International Rivers)
Peter Bosshard is the policy director of International Rivers.