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Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi calls for a halt to dam project on Irrawaddy river, saying its dangerous and divisive

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Article
12 August 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi: China's dam project in Burma is dangerous and divisive

Author: Jonathan Watts, Guardian [UK]

Aung San Suu Kyi...has called for a halt to a massive Chinese hydropower project on the Irrawaddy river that has alarmed environmentalists and added to a long-running conflict between tribal militias and the government in Rangoon. The Nobel laureate stepped into the fray on Thursday with a personal statement calling for greater protection for Burma's most important river, which is threatened by logging, pollution and the construction of a cascade of at least seven dams, a project managed by China Power Investment...

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Article
26 July 2011

[PDF] Environmental Impact Assessment (Special Investigation) on Hydropower Development of Ayeyawady River Basin above Myitkayina, Kachin State, Myanmar

Author: Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) [Burma]

...With experts, find an alternative option to avoid construction of Mytisone dam...[T]here is no need for such a big dam to be constructed at the confluence of the Ayeyawady River. Instead two smaller dams could be built above Myitsone to produce nearly the same amount of electricity. Hence respecting the Kachin cultural values which surpass any amount of the overall construction costs...The construction of the dam on the Irrawaddy should be avoided due to the changes in downriver hydrology which may affect navigation, riverine ecosystem and delta ecosystem and will lead to negative impacts on the economy...[T]here will be severe negative impacts on livelihoods and habitations of grassroots people of the region; disappearance of some wild rice varieties and their ancestors; disappearance and forever loss of the cultural heartland of Kachin people...Proper social impact assessment must be done before construction of each dam to know real impacts on livelihoods...

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Article
14 July 2011

Environmental Impact Study on Hydropower Development of Irrawaddy River: An Analysis from Burma Rivers Network

Author: Burma Rivers Network

What was the study?...Who was involved?...What does it say? The Myitsone dam should not be built...
The dams will have severe negative impacts, including on livelihoods, public health and safety...
“The fragmentation of the Ayeyawaddy River by a series of dams will have very serious social and environmental problems...” (p. 2) A social impact assessment must be conducted...“The main drawback of this study is the lack of Social Impact Assessment. Systematic social impact assessment must be carried out by competent social scientists….Before approving the construction, the decision-makers are strongly urged to fairly balance between the negative and positive aspects of dams.” (p. 62)...Affected people should be consulted and consent; local people are currently against the projects...“The public should be disclosed about the hydropower dams and resettlement programs by having public meetings.” (p. 26)

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