Chinese experts warn against dam projects in unstable areas

Chinese experts, activists and environmental groups have issued an open letter calling for risk assessments for planned hydropower projects in Sichuan province and neighbouring Yunnan. They urge the government to conduct a review before building more dams in geologically unstable areas.

The letter, which was reported in the South China Morning Post, came
after the Ministry of Water Resources said 2,380 dams had been
destroyed or damaged by the May 12 earthquake.

Ma Jun, an expert on water pollution and chinadialogue contributor,
said the letter hoped to voice public concern about the potential
dangers of dam construction in the area. "We felt obliged to raise
our concerns in the hope that similar tragic mistakes could be avoided
in the future," the South China Morning Post quoted Ma as saying.

The authors argued that if the dams had burst, they could have caused
more damage than the earthquake itself.

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