Would the Gate be Possibly Built with Opposition from Nearly Half of the Representatives? |Public Hearing of EIA of Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project
2022/6/28 10:58:00 本站

On the morning of June 18, 2022, the public hearing of environmental impact assessment of Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project convened by relevant office in Jiangxi was held in Poyang Lake Model Experimental Research Base in Gongqingcheng City, Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province.


According to the organizers, the 20 hearing representatives have been selected from 162 application forms. Geographically, there are 6 representatives from within the province and 14 from outside the province. In terms of composition, there are representatives of the township where the construction project is located, representatives of the Yangtze River Basin, representatives of democratic parties, representatives of domestic & international environmental organizations and of environmental public interest, and media reporters.




Especially, representatives of CBCGDF, who has been concerned about Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project for a long time, summarized the opinions of many expert seminars and clearly pointed out in the speech that Poyang Lake is the most important “lucid waters and lush mountains”, and the construction of the gate at Poyang Lake is the biggest disturbance and destruction to the invaluable “lucid waters and lush mountains”. “The Yangtze River Protection Law of the PRC” and Convention on Wetlands are violated by this water conservancy hub project, and the EIA report is lack of rigor and scientificity. And the focus is to put forward the different opinions on the operation of Three Gorges Project as the only or the most important factor of the low water of Poyang Lake in the EIA report, and make a detailed analysis, as follows.


(1) It is obviously not true to attribute the problem to Three Gorges Project due to the fact that the Three Gorges Project started to store water from June 1, 2003, which was a gradual and slow process, and the completion and acceptance of Three Gorges Project as a whole were not completed until November 1, 2020; while the construction of dam at Poyang Lake has been proposed as early as 1980s and submitted to the Congress as the No.1 Proposal” of Jiangxi delegation during the National People's Congress in 2002.

(2) The statement that “The low water level of Poyang Lake during 1950-2020 is mainly due to the effect of reservoir group storage such as Three Gorges of Yangtze River” on page P225 of the EIA report, which artificially and rigidly overlaps the time space of 70 years with the aforementioned 17-year gradual storage process of Three Gorges Project, which is unscientific.

(3) The problem that the rampant sand mining of Poyang Lake for a long time has caused great damage to the bottom of the lake, which has not been repaired by Jiangxi Province, was not involved in the EIA report of the contribution to the low water of Poyang Lake.

(4) Yangtze River Delta is located in the downstream of Poyang Lake and the Yangtze River, which is the most economically developed area in China. The EIA report does not analyze the situation of high-speed development and rapid increase of water utilization in Yangtze River Delta, and does not respond to the relationship between water level change of rivers & lakes and water utilization.

(5) We need to seriously study whether the development and utilization of the five rivers that converge into Poyang Lake are related to the low water level of Poyang Lake in winter, and how to control and coordinate the water resources of these five rivers.

(6) There is no corresponding analysis or response in the EIA report about the impact of climate change on the water quantity of Poyang Lake in global scale. In fact, the extreme drought has spread globally due to the influence of climate change. Meanwhile, the construction of Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project will further restrict the natural flow and exchange of water resources between Poyang Lake and the main stream of Yangtze River, which will further aggravate the water shortage in the downstream of Yangtze River during the dry period, and also make the water which is naturally flowing under the artificial control in the state of no flow, so that the fine particles are gradually deposited as riverbed sediment, and then inhibit the water exchange between lake water and groundwater, and disrupt the water equilibrium state of the lake.


The representative of Friends of Nature spoke at the hearing that the Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project has significant risks of negative ecological impacts and should not be built. Ms. Qiu, the hearing agent of Green Camp, submitted a detailed written report to the organizer with the extremely pious idea of speaking up for biodiversity, nature and also human beings, and made relevant recommendations. The hearing representatives of WWF cited the serious environmental consequences that might be caused by this water conservancy project hub, including endangering the survival of Yangtze finless porpoise, a national-level protected animal in China; and hundreds of thousands of transboundary waterbirds, as well as damaging two wetlands of international importance within Poyang Lake and threatening the drinking water safety of Yangtze estuary urban areas, and considered the necessity of constructing Poyang Lake water conservancy hub project insufficient. Some hearing representatives suggested to seek alternative solutions to solve the low water problem in dry season of Poyang Lake, such as joint scheduling of five rivers, etc.


Of course, there are also voices in the hearing, represented by Wang Hao, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and honorary director of Department of Water Resources, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), who expressed clear support for Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project. He believed that China has a typical continental monsoon climate, with abundant water in the rainy season and little water in the dry season, so it is necessary to build a reservoir to solve this problem. Ms. Feng Fan, a deputy of NPC, vice president of Jiangxi Lawyers Association, thought that the Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project did not violate “The Yangtze River Protection Law of the PRC” and “Wetland Protection Law”, and its impact on wetland was not significant. Tian Biaochun, the head of Shunde People's Government in Hukou County, where the Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project was located, discussed the necessity of building Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project from the problems of local drought, the problems of fish fry for the people and the needs of economic and social development. On the other hand, Zheng Zhongjie, vice president of Jiangxi Bird-lovers Association and public welfare photographer, discussed the impact of the changes of Poyang Lake on migratory birds in recent ten years from his personal experience of following up & photographing Siberian White Cranes for 21 years and going to Poyang Lake more than thousands of times, and illustrated the changes of Poyang Lake wetland by saying that migratory birds no longer inhabit the wetland but the paddy field.

At the hearing, representatives of the project design unit and the EIA unit made remarks from the necessity of the project construction, the basic situation, the process of carrying out the EIA work and the overall conclusion of the EIA. The last speaker, Xia Qing, a special member of the Academic Committee of Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), gave two suggestions to the EIA unit for the EIA report: 1. The EIA report should be clear about the positive impacts (including the necessity and reasonableness of building the gate at Poyang Lake). 2. The EIA report should be thorough about the negative impacts.

As Cao Lei, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in his reasons for opposing to the construction of a gate at Poyang Lake: Poyang Lake is not only Chinas lake, but also a lake that belongs to the world.

Nearly half of the representatives attending the hearing have been clearly against the construction of Poyang Lake Water Conservancy Hub Project. Moreover, it is obvious that many issues raised by the representatives in the hearing have not been fully studied and deeply verified in the current EIA report. Would it be possibly built as expected with so many potential risks of the project to the whole ecology?


Original Chinese Article: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Ohu4fDMQYrPpaAXzgciXeg 

Translator: Samantha



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