DAM TO FLOOD NATURE RESERVE ON YANGTZE
China's Three Gorges Dam Corp. began preparations last week on a dam that will flood the last free-flowing portion of the middle section of the Yangtze, the nation's longest river. The dam, which will turn the middle of the Yangtze into a series of reservoirs, will leave "no space for fish," said environmentalist Ma Jun, as the dam will flood a nature reserve meant to protect about 40 species of river fish."This is the last one, the last section in 2,000 kilometers along the Yangtze that was left for endangered or local fish species," said Ma. The Xiaonanhai dam will be the last of 12 dams along the Yangtze and will produce an estimated 1.76 gigawatts of power. The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top planning agency, issued preliminary approval for the dam, and Zhu Guangming, news department director at Three Gorges Corp., said that the government would "give due consideration to all aspects including environment impact before issuing a permit." The Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world and the source of about two percent of China's power, has resulted in landslides and destruction of wildlife habitats, and many of the flooded communities were allegedly never properly resettled. Earlier this year, China's environmental minister said that hydropower developers must "put ecology first." For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/us-china-dam-idUSBRE82S0GG20120329.