Development Reduces Gender Impacts of Hydropower – a Perspective in China

Written by Dr. Yanbo Li and Dr. Xuezhong Yu, project team from MK22 Balancing River Health and Hydropower Development in the Lancang River Basin

Social impacts are a major consequence of hydropower development.  In many cases, women may be more adversely impacted than men because women have different societal roles, and therefore different needs and priorities of water, sanitation and livelihoods. Women usually need to be deliberately considered in hydropower development.

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Did hydropower kill the Lancang River?

By Dr. Xuezhong Yu, project lead for MK22:balancing river health and hydropower requirements in the Lancang River Basin.


The CEO of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Dr Phan Pham Tuan, recently stated that “hydropower won’t kill the Mekong River”, prompting rapid rebuttal from around the Mekong Region. In this blog, I set out to examine this question based on experience from the Chinese part of the Mekong River, the Lancang River. Hydropower development began three decades ago and there are six large dams in operation on the Lancang mainstream, and lessons derived from this hydropower implementation may have relevance to downstream countries. Since 2015, researchers from Canada, China, and Laos have been working on a project entitled ‘Balancing River Health and Hydropower Requirements in the Lancang River Basin”, and initial results are now emerging.


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China says will keep talking to Myanmar over stalled dam scheme

China said on Wednesday it will continue to talk to Myanmar about a controversial stalled dam project, after Myanmar’s new energy minister cast doubt over the scheme. Valued at $3.6 billion, the Myitsone dam project in the north of the former Burma has been a sticking point between the two countries since the previous military-backed government suspended work following extensive unrest in 2011.

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