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Hushan Dam Letter of Concern- your help is needed!
The Hushan dam project threatens to submerge 422 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 most if not all the water will actually go to new industrial developments that will greatly increase the already serious pollution of the surrounding water, soil and air.You can help us save Hushan by e-mailing this letter of concern to the Taiwan President and other politicians listed within.
How to send:
Please feel free to write your own letter or cut and paste the following letter and add your name, location and organization (feel free to add your own comments), and email it to President Chen Shui-bian.
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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(For your information the cc recipients are: Premier Chang Chun-hsiung(Confirmation email will be sent--respond by clicking the left icon), DPP-Frank Hsieh, Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Yin Ling-ying, Department of Investment Services, Council of Agriculture, Forestry Bureau, Environmental Protection Administration, Central Region Water Resources Office, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan National Coalition Against the Hushan Dam.)
Letter of Concern
Re: The Hushan Dam Project
The President of the Republic of China,
President Chen Shui-bian.
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 species 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.
I am writing to urge the cancellation of the proposed dam project at Hushan Village, Yunlin County, Taiwan.
The Huben-Hushan area is the world's most densely populated habitat of the migratory Fairy Pitta, and has been identified by the Wild Bird Federation Taiwan and BirdLife International as one of Taiwan’s 53 IBAs or Important Bird Areas (Taiwan IBA: TW017). The area is also the permanent home to three other IUCN listed threatened wild bird species, namely, Taiwan Partridge Arborophila crudigularis, Swinhoe’s Pheasant Lophura swinhoii, and Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii ardens. 21 of Taiwan's 31 known frog species, and innumerable mammals, fish, reptiles and insects have all been recorded in the area. 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 migrant bird species using Hushan as a vital breeding location and an important rest area as the journey along international flyways.
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 development of highly polluting industries on the Yunlin Coast would threaten birds in the nearby Dacheng Wetland IBA (Taiwan IBA: TW016) and increase the threat to the resident endangered Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Sousa Chinensis.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.
(Organization, if applicable)