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Burma, China Ignoring Environmental Warnings for Dam

Burma, China Ignoring Environmental Warnings for Dam

The hugely controversial Myitsone dam in northern Burma, currently under construction by the China Power Investment Corporation, was the subject of a 2009 internal report by the company, which called for the project to be scrapped.
 
The Environmental Impact Assessment report has nevertheless been ignored, and work is proceeding on the project, the Democratic Voice of Burma Online reported.
 
The EIA report stated that, "If the Burmese and Chinese sides were really concerned about environmental issues and aimed at sustainable development of the country, there is no need for such a big dam to be constructed at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River," urging instead for two smaller, but equally efficient, dams to be built above Myitsone.

Upon its completion in 2017, the $4 billion Myitsone dam will become the world's fifteenth biggest hydropower structure.

According to the Burma Rivers Network, which closely monitors the social and environmental impacts of the various energy initiatives on Burma's waterways, around 15,000 people will be displaced around the dam site, while the sizeable changes in the Irrawaddy river's flow will "impact millions of people downstream who depend on the Irrawaddy for agriculture, fishing, and transportation."
 
China has faced strong international criticism for its business links with Burma, whose ruling junta is subject to a number of international sanctions.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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