Wang Yongchen, A Warrior for China’s Free Flowing Rivers

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“>Five-Year Plan, due to be published in March, calls for ramping up large hydro projects like those on the Nu River, which have lain dormant for several years. The government proposes to approve 140 GW of new hydropower capacity – almost twice what the US, Brazil or Canada have built in their entire histories.

According to Wang, “A deteriorating environment makes economic development a ‘mission impossible.’ It is just like when people sacrifice health to make money and then have to spend that money to recover their health.”

The new push for massive damming has her concerned, but she has not given up hope. “China’s rivers are facing a huge challenge,” she says. “We are now pushing for information disclosure and public participation so that China’s rivers can have further protections.” Her group and others will continue fighting to keep these rivers free flowing for generations to come.