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Über dieses Buch

Large dam construction has significant environmental and social impacts at different scales. As the largest developing country in the world, China has built about half of the world’s large dams, and more are expected to be built over the next two decades to meet the country’s rapidly growing demand for energy. This book summarizes and updates information about the history, distribution, functions, and impacts of large dams, both globally and at China’s national level. It then addresses the environmental and social-economic impacts of large dams in China with particular emphasis on the impacts of large dams on relocated people and associated compensation policies. Lastly, it introduces an integrated ecological and socio-economic study conducted in areas affected by dams along the Upper Mekong River, China. This book has the following three goals.

The first goal is to summarize and update information on large dams globally and at China’s national level (Ch. 2). We examine large dam problems from different perspectives, ranging from their spatial and temporal distributions and their environmental and social impacts, to discussions and debates centered on them. We also incorporate the results of an empirical investigation of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of large dams on the Upper Mekong River, China, and draw conclusions out of the analysis (Chs.3 & 4).

Our second goal is to provide an analysis framework to help understand the environmental and social-economic impacts of dam construction and the resulting environmental degradations and social inequities at different scales (Chs.3 & 4), as well as to offer recommendations for mitigating these impacts within China’s socio-political context (Ch. 5). The significant environmental effects resulting from dam construction include damage to ecological integrity and loss of biological diversity. The most significant social consequences brought by dam projects are their negative impacts on relocated people. Our analysis framework provides approaches to help comprehensively understand these impacts.

Our third goal is to provide clues and suggestions for further studies of large dam problems both globally and in China (Ch. 5). The construction of large dams is proceeding rapidly in different parts of the world despite the heated debates on whether they should be built at all. The decision-making process related to building large dams involves considerations of economic viability, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Therefore, interdisciplinary collaborations are required in large dam research and development projects in order to reconcile the interests of different stakeholders and avoid harming ecosystems, biodiversity, and human welfare. Overall, we hope our book facilitates future examinations of large dams by providing summaries of existing data and research related to large dams, and offering a framework for better understanding and analyzing their environmental and social impacts.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. A Global Review of Large Dam Construction

Abstract
Large dams have been used as a means of development for a long time, but they also have caused various environmental and social problems at different scales. This chapter provides a global perspective on large dams, including the history and distribution of large dams in the world, the multiple functions of large dams, and arguments from both sides of the on-going debate over their construction.
Pu Wang, Shikui Dong, James P. Lassoie

Chapter 2. Large Dams in China: An Overview of History, Distribution, and Case Studies

Abstract
As the most populous nation and the second largest and fast growing economy in the world, China has built more large dams than any other country. While the anti-dam movement is increasing in developed countries, China is still ambitiously developing hydropower as part of its long-term national plan. The environmental and social impacts of dams and the involvements of markets and civil society in the decision-making processes for dam construction in China also have different features. Hence, research on Chinese dam issues has both national and global significance. This chapter discusses the history, distribution, and important case studies of large dams in China.
Pu Wang, Shikui Dong, James P. Lassoie

Chapter 3. Environmental Impacts of Dams in China: Focusing on Biological Diversity and Ecological Integrity

Abstract
This chapter synthesizes the key environmental impacts caused by large dams constructed along eight major river basins in China, with particular focus on ecological impacts. It then specifically presents frameworks for assessing the impacts of dams on the biological diversity at watershed scale and impacts on ecological integrity of rivers at ecosystem scale, followed by case studies that assess the impacts of dams on the biological integrity and ecological integrity of the Upper-Mekong (Lancang) River.
Pu Wang, Shikui Dong, James P. Lassoie

Chapter 4. Socioeconomic Impacts of Dams in China: Focusing on Relocated People

Abstract
In this chapter, we provide a social impact analysis framework for large dams that has straightforward implications for improving the development of compensation policies in China. First, we classify the wealth of affected people into three dimensions and discuss the loss and compensation in each dimension. Then we use this framework to analyze the evolution of compensation policies for dam relocated people in China, as well as the institutional changes during the evolution. At last we discuss new coordination mechanisms to protect the rights of relocated people
Pu Wang, Shikui Dong, James P. Lassoie

Chapter 5. Conclusions: The Future of Large Dams in China

Abstract
This chapter provides conclusions drawn from previous four chapters. It first discusses the trends and debates of large dam construction in China; then it synthesizes the findings on the impacts of dams on the environment and society in China; a new decision making scheme for large dam construction is provided at last.
Pu Wang, Shikui Dong, James P. Lassoie

Backmatter

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