Hushan Dam Petition - your help is needed!

The Hushan dam project threatens to submerge 228 hectares of beautiful forested land, and with that the homes of hundreds of plant and animal species in this biologically rich area in Yunlin County, Taiwan. Although it was originally claimed that the dam was necessary to solve Yunlin's water shortage and land subsidence problems, it is now certain that this was untrue, and that the water will actually go to two new factories that will greatly increase the already serious pollution of the surrounding water, soil and air. (Click here for more details.)

You can help us save Hushan by emailing this petition to the politicians listed within. Just copy and paste the letter onto an email or word file, delete the names of all of the recipients except the one you want to send it to (this can be repeated for all names on the list), and email it to the addresses provided. In order that we can record the number of petitions sent, please CC your letter or send a copy to comment@wildatheart.org.tw.


You-cing Valley, Hushan (Photo: EEC)

We also need help to keep funding this campaign, which is a joint effort between many groups and individuals in Taiwan. Any donations would be gratefully received and carefully allocated. Please click here to donate online (the best way to avoid large bank charges), and send us an email at comment@wildatheart.org.tw if you have any questions or wish to specify the project you would like to support.

 

How to send:

Send an email to President Chen Shui-bian at oop62@mail.oop.gov.tw, abian@mail.oop.gov.tw

and cc to the following:

eyemail@eyemail.gio.gov.tw,chairman@pfp.org.tw,
ylhga001@mail.yunlin.gov.tw,ly10998a@ly.gov.tw,
comment@wildatheart.org.tw,hushan@wildatheart.org.tw

cc recipients: Premier Su-Tseng-chang (Confirmation email will be sent--respond by clicking the left icon) , People First Party Chairman James Soong, Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen,Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Yin Ling-ying, Wild at Heart

 


Petition:


Re: The Hushan Dam Project
The President of the Republic of China,
President Chen Shui-bian.

Cc: Premier Su-Tseng-chang, People First Party Chairman James Soong, Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen,Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Yin Ling-ying, Wild at Heart.
Dear Sir

I am writing to urge the cancellation of the proposed dam project at Hushan Village, Yunlin County, Taiwan.

If the dam is built, and the valley flooded, 422 hectares of rich evergreen forest will be submerged, destroying the breeding grounds of countless animal species, including the Fairy Pitta (Pitta Nympha), which is listed as a vulnerable bird by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and listed as an endangered species in Taiwan. The failure by developers to include in their Environmental Impact Assessment important geological factors highlighted by the September 1999 earthquake also demonstrates serious noncompliance with Taiwan's environmental laws. Meanwhile, the project is designed to promote a form of industrial development that offers little to the ordinary people of Taiwan other than inequality in resource pricing and distribution, and enormous greenhouse gas emissions.

The Hushan area is the world's most densely populated habitat of the migratory Fairy Pitta, as well as home to dozens of endangered and endemic wild birds, 21 of Taiwan's 31 known frog species, and innumerable mammals, fish, reptiles and insects. The loss of this area will therefore not only threaten populations of animals permanently resident in Taiwan, it will also have a negative impact on bird species using Hushan as a vital breeding location along international flyways.

The Hushan Dam site is also geologically unstable and subject to landslides and infiltration. The hillside areas around the reservoir are particularly vulnerable. Several active fault lines lie close to the dam, including the Chelongpu Fault, which caused the magnitude 7.3 earthquake in September 1999 and passes through the site of a weir only 5-6 km from the Hushan Dam. Also, sediment deposited after the earthquake is carried downstream in stormy weather, degrading water quality and vastly decreasing the potential lifespan of the dam. The failure to take into account geological changes resulting from this earthquake in the 2000 EIA not only violates Taiwan's EIA law, which requires analysis of local earthquake risks, it also makes this costly project a waste of public money and a potentially lethal structural hazard.

Although Taiwan has not yet become a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, with annual CO2 emissions of over 276 million tons (22nd highest in the world) this is no excuse for more of the country's scarce water and forest resources to be sacrificed for such immense future greenhouse gas emitters as the Formosa Plastics steel plant and the Kuokuang Petrochemical oil refinery, which are to be supplied with water from the Hushan reservoir. This is also unacceptable as long as farmers and households in the same county continue to suffer from water pollution and shortages.

We would like to respectfully propose that the Government of Taiwan put an immediate stop to this project, in respect of national and international laws and principles of social and environmental justice. We suggest a thorough review of Taiwan's water resources policy, as well as a repeat EIA giving appropriate consideration to the issues mentioned above. We also advise careful analysis of the impacts on the Taiwan environment and society from such notorious polluters as those industries planned to benefit from this dam project.

Yours sincerely,

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