採訪/陳漢 編輯/張天宇 後製/李勇
Environmental Survey: Yangtze River Ecosystem Collapsing
A press release of a 2013 survey on upstream ecosystems
in the Yangtze River was recently held in Shanghai.
The researchers sent a most serious warning.
The report shows intensive hydropower
projects in the Yangtze River delta have
made local biological species go extinct.
This has led to the collapse of the
Yangtze River’s ecological environment.
Experts say that vigorous promotion of hydroelectric
construction by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),
has caused serious pollution, endangered people.
Analysts warn that the CCP has sacrificed the environment
for excessive economic pursuits, and will pay a heavy price.
A launch event of the 2013 joint scientific research report
on the upstream Yangtze River was held on August 15.
Zhao Yimin, an official from the Agriculture Ministry,
said the Yangtze River’s ecosystem is now in collapse.
This is the result of local intensive construction, including
hydropower projects, mining, and waterway excavations.
Hydrological expert Zhang Junfeng, comments.
Large rivers such as Yangtze River and the Yellow
River play crucial roles within the entire ecosystem.
They can transfer and balance energy
coming in and out for the global climate.
Also, river flow supports the ecosystems
within the scope of the river basins.
Zhang Junfeng: “Damming up a river, building
hydroelectric stations, or similar initiatives
can upset the balance of the rivers energy.
This will trigger further destruction of the
overall climate and ecological system.
Its destructive influence depends
on human exploitation of the rivers.”
Zhao Yimin adds that fish species in the Jinsha River,
a tributary of the Yangtze River, are now near extinction.
The river now only has 17 fish species,
compared with the original 143 species.
The official research institutions reports show a sharp
drop of four major fish species in the Yangtze River.
The amount of fish is down to less than
100 Million, from over 30 Billion in the 1950s.
Zhang Junfeng: “Construction of reservoirs and dams
have greatly changed the original water situation.
Damming up the water has changed the type
and quantity of organic or inorganic matter
carried in the water, which includes sands.
This has led to a huge ecological change, directly
affecting species that originally lived in these waters.
The CCP authorities’ vigorous push in hydroelectric
construction has fatally affected local aquatic organisms.
It has also given rise to serious pollution of local waters.
Residents living along the Yangtze River have been
affected, and have been complaining for many years.
Wu Lihong, environmental activist, Yixing, Jiangsu Province:
“Lake Tai now looks like porridge.
It emits a terrible odor, like feces.”
Ms. Wu lives near the Lake Tai,
downstream of the Yangtze River.
She tells NTD that the CCP authorities have always
disregarded the pollution, no matter how serious it is.
The CCP-led Ministry of Environmental Protection
has never performed its duties, she says.
Wu Lihong: “It’s useless, even after our 20 year
efforts, to let them know about the problem. Why?
China’s current Environmental Protection Law has
severe penalties, from jail terms to the death penalty.
But local officials have made the law a mere figurehead.
It is common for officials to collude with businessmen,
with some superior authorities standing by without acting.
The Environmental Protection Ministry
cannot escape these responsibilities.”
Experts believe that large reservoirs and
hydropower construction have contributed
to currently frequent disasters in China.
Wu Lihong: “These constructions
have deteriorated the overall climate.
This is what we’ve seen, incessant
occurrence of extreme weather events.
Also, floods and droughts become inevitable
results, and we can expect more in the future.”
In 2009, Fan Xiao, the Chief Engineer at the Geology and
Mineral Administration in Sichuan Province, sent a warning.
He warned the CCP to not pursue the economic
benefits of hydroelectric power at the expense of
the ecological environment, and cultural heritage.
He said that hydroelectric power development
is like draining the pond to catch all the fish.
It is non-sustainable.
It will cause tremendous damage and hidden
dangers to China’s ecological and social environment.
Currently, more facts indicate that the CCP
authorities still continue on track with their plans.
This road has created irreparable damage for China.