Wednesday, January 19, 2005

China minding the environment

Over the past few years China has gotten a pretty bad rep for not being mindful of environmental impacts in the rush to modernize the country's infrastructure.

So it's interesting to see this report about Chinese megaprojects being halted out of concern for environmental regulations. It's sounds almost too good to believe, but in the end, I think it makes sense for the central government to keep close tabs on this. Even though the government has a horrible human right record, they seem to be pretty mindful of moving the general population forward. With respect to the Three Gorges Dam this meant negatively impacting a lot of people and they definitely made a lot of mistakes there. Maybe this is the Chinese way of showing they've learned some lessons and are looking at some of the local impacts. While the overall benefit to the population may still be good, if there are gross imbalances in the negative impacts, then project need to be re-thought.

I'm sure these projects will be re-started soon enough. I highly doubt the Chinese Govt will leave these alone to protect the environment from any damage. This is prolly just a self-check to ensure that the cons do not severely outweight the pros both on a national and a local level.

In any case, it's good to see this happen...even if the end result is still that these mega projects get built, if even a little more concern is given to local & environmental impacts, then the people have won in some small way.

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