The Nature Conservancy and China Three Gorges Corporation—the operator of the largest dam in the world—announced today a new collaboration agreement for the next five years aimed at making hydropower more sustainable.
The agreement highlights the significance of a U.S.-China EcoPartnership initiated through the Conservancy's Great Rivers Partnership (GRP) in 2012. Likewise, it follows many years of work focused on research and information sharing between scientists on the Yangtze and Mississippi rivers in efforts to achieve healthier freshwater systems for people and nature.
With this agreement, the Conservancy and China Three Gorges Corporation are looking to expand their collaboration on the Yangtze River, and also transport their work together to other places China Three Gorges Corporation works around the world.
The next five to 10 years will be critical for hydropower decisions being made in river basins from the Magdalena and Tapajós in Latin America, to the Yangtze and Mekong in Asia (basins where the GRP works). These decisions will determine the long-term health and structure of those river basins and affect many millions of people.
As the leading form of renewable energy globally, hydropower investments are increasing, and it is likely to be the largest single force for change in rivers around the world. This new collaboration agreement aims to:
“Our goal is to transform how the world uses and manages its water resources,” said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “China Three Gorges Corporation will be a great partner as we demonstrate that water infrastructure like dams can be more sustainable. Our work together aims to prove that hydropower and flood protection can go hand in hand with protecting the vital freshwater systems that people and nature depend on. By combining our different skills and experience, we can get more done together than we can on our own.”
“Environmental protection is one of the most important factors to be considered during the dam plan, design, construction and operation in CTG’s projects. Through the cooperation with The Nature Conservancy, China Three Gorges Corporation can improve the protection of the environment and improve the benefits of the people living along the river,” said Mr. Cao Guangjing, Board Chairman, China Three Gorges Corporation. “We look forward to working with The Nature Conservancy not only inside China but also globally. We share the same vision and have built a trust that is the solid foundation for the cooperation.”