China's 2003 Environmental Impact Assessment law and dams: How effective is it?

Zhang, Qian
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University of Guelph

This paper seeks to assess the effectiveness of Chinese current Environmental Impact Assessment law in preventing and mitigating the impacts of dams. In 1992, the Three Gorges Dan (TGD) project was approved and completed in 2006 in China, as the world's largest dam; resulting in both benefits and negative impacts. In 2003 China passed new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) law. This paper asks the question: could China's 2003 EIA law have minimized the negative consequences of the TGD project were it in force in 1992? And then to identify what changes would need to be made to the 2003 Chinese EIA Law to prevent or minimize such consequences, and finally reflect on potential mitigation measures.

Environmental Impact Assessment, law, dam, Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze Reservoir, China, mitigation measures, ecological environment, geological disasters, relocation