Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnana major hub for hydropower development in Chinawhich encompasses one of the world's most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China's most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan's rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world's most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.
About the Author
Table of ContentsList of Illustrations
1. The Moral Economy of Water and Power
2. Crisis and Opportunity: Water Resources and Dams in Contemporary China
3. The Lancang River: Coping with Resettlement and Agricultural Change
4. The Nu River: Anticipating Development and Displacement
5. Experts, Assessments, and Models: The Science of Decision Making
6. People in the Way: Resettlement in Policy and Practice
7. A Broader Confluence: Conservation Initiatives and China's Global Dam Industry
Conclusion: The Moral Economy Revisited
List of Chinese Terms
What People are Saying About This
Tilt presents an even-handed discussion of dam development in China that clearly describes the governance structure and challenges behind how and why the dams are being built at a breakneck pace. It is quite refreshing to have someone clearly describe not only the complexity of this decision making but also the various stakeholders involved (or left out) of the process.