Архив за месяц: Август 2010

Development bank threatens Dauria wetlands again

ADB  follows WB path — will it result in wetland and grassland destruction?


Asian Development Bank Loan

ADB East Asia Department is now developing a concept of 200 million loan  «Inner Mongolia Road Development»( Project Number 43029- 01 ).

The project plans to upgrade to international standards a rural road that spans Dalai Lake National Nature Reserve, crosses its core area at Wuerxun River bridge and also crosses lower Kherlen River. Although official concept paper talks about upgrading path for «tractors of rural residents» and «tourism development», it also raises concern that transportation of ore and coal from growing number of mines will be the main use of the new highway.

Fig 1. Poor quality road project map from ADB concept paper.

Fig 1. Poor quality road project map from ADB concept paper (click picture to enlarge).

There is little doubt that increased traffic and pavement will worsen environmental conditions and add human pressure to national nature reserve territory. There is serious difference in environmental effects between rural road that is in place now and proposed high-class highway. Of course it is only one of several major assaults on Dalai Lake Biosphere Reserve that happen now, and is likely less detrimental than, for example, transfer of polluted water of Hailaer River into Dalai Lake. Besides road construction, opening of new mines and processing plants, as well as water infrastructure projects —are all parts of one development plan of Hulunbeier Prefecture, that leads to multiple detrimental impacts on steppe and wetlands.

Currently available project concept fails to mention that the planned road transects national level protected area, biosphere reserve and wetland listed under Ramsar Convention; it does not clearly outline types of potential impacts on wetland and grasslands to be assessed, despite the fact that the road crosses two major watercourses of the region; finally it does not set an aim to assess environmental and social soundness of the development strategy in the realm of which the proposed road renovation is supposed to happen.

World Bank footprint

The ADB stated that new project builds on achievements of WB-funded «Inner Mongolia Transportation and Trade Corridor Project». In 2006-2007 renovation of the Hailar-Manzhouli Section of Shuifenhe-Manzhouli Highway (National Road #301) included a shortcut across Hailaer River, which led to fragmentation and degradation of the Erka wetland near Zhalainuoer. Mammoth-size embankment  supporting the international-class highway transected  one of the most precious floodplains in Dauria for 11-13 kilometers….

Due to poor project planning monitoring of breeding bird and migrating numbers and human activities before and after the construction have not been incorporated into the process, but still several simple observations show huge environmental changes  in the Erka wetland:

—The road divided the core zone of then planned Erka Nature reserve in two almost even halves. Previously the site was known both as a stop-over for many endangered species (including Siberian crane) and as a good breeding habitat for waterfowl, in particularly geese. Of, course, as soon as project was conceived, authorities adjusted the border of the nature reserve , so it does not «conflict» with the road. However, it does not make impacts on wetland less detrimental.

Fig.2. Erka Nature Reserve location.

Fig.2. Erka Nature Reserve location. Yellow lines show borders of Erka Nature Reserve and green polygons show extent of core area with a road corridor cut through. (click picture to enlarge).
Also see map of nature reserves in Argun-Erguna River Valley

— Analysis of 2000-2010 satellite imagery shows abrupt change in habitat distribution (most clearly due to man-made inundation along the road). New bridge stands in the way of water exchange between Dalai Lake and Argun River ( now happening through Xinkaihe Canal). Of course it has many pathways for water beneath, but imagery shows a sort of artificial impoundment, with increased water levels upstream and, likely, decreased inundation in downstream wetland.

Fig.3. Erka wetland before road construction.

Fig.3. Erka wetland before road construction(click picture to enlarge)

Erka wetland in 2006

Fig 4. Erka wetland in 2006, inundation is clearly seen south of the road line.(click picture to enlarge)

Fig 5. Erka wetland in 2010.

Fig 5. Erka wetland in 2010. Difference in inundation north and south of the road is very pronounced. New auxillary roads stretch from the Road 301 to Hailaer River bank.(click picture to enlarge)


Fig 6.Road #301 stands in the way of flood in 2009

— From field observations and interviews with local people of the area in 2007, done by student expedition supported by Conservation Leadership Programme, we know that the road provided easy access to previously hardly accessible parts of wetland (for fishing, grazing, poaching and egg collection, etc) and we must assume road as such also  works as harassment factor. And 2010 satellite image clearly shows several new roads, leading to new farms and fishermen houses originating from the bridge and leading to previously inaccessible wetlands along the  Hailaer River.

— clearly indicate that road construction lead to major influx of outsiders in the road-zone and now they engage in various activities along the road ( fishing, grazing, poaching and egg collection, etc).

— the Road#301 should not be viewed as stand alone assault on Erka wetland but in the context of surrounding mine, railroad and old highway, 2 canals, 2 groundwater pumping stations, sewage pond of Zhalainor town and several other structures. Their impacts on hydrology, fauna and spread of human activities into the wetland are cumulative and should have been assessed as such. As a result Erka wetland is the most modified large wetland in the whole Argun River basin.

— By crossing  Erka wetlands eastwards the road also improved access to even more valuable wetlands along Erguna-Argun River, previously not very accessible, especially if we take into consideration the project of renovation of road along the border from Erka to Erguna Town. Now this fragile area containing 4 nature reserves is open for accelerated development.
The only benefit from the road shortcut across wetland known to us is shortening of the thousand-kilometer way between Harbin and Manzhouli by 10 kilometers — actually less than 13 -kilometer stretch that crosses the wetland….

Unfortunately it is not the only environmental loss brought by renovation of the highway #301, since there is evidence that the same road negatively affects Red-crowned crane habitat in Zhalong National Nature Reserve in adjacent Heilongjiang Province. Other losses undocumented, because there is little independent environmental control out there in Northeast China.

 Who will be the worst: ADB or WB?

It is very alarming that in Inner Mongolia both the World Bank and ADB support very questionable projects with far-reaching negative environmental consequences. Meanwhile the only rationale to continue supporting development projects in the rather affluent PRC, would be to bring better environmental and social standards into current mode of development planning. But as we see that is exactly what is consistently does not happen, because of irresponsible behavior of both Banks.

However  ADB still may learn from previous mistakes of the World Bank in the same region and sector and before providing any funding makes a conscious attempt to:

—         assess environmental consequences of development policies in the area and advise Inner Mongolia Government on necessary adjustments;

—         introduce mitigation measures to gurantee overall positive impact of the project activities on Dalai Lake Biosphere Reserve;

—         improve wetland conservation measures along the project route and especially near river crossings, taking into consideration highly variable flow of local watercourses during 30-year climate cycle.

—         Support long-term scientifically rigorous monitoring of  the road impacts on species and ecosystems and make results available to the public

ADB project management could be contacted at caili@adb.org

All these issues have not been addressed by the World Bank when implementing «Inner Mongolia Transportation and Trade Corridor Project», which resulted in serious alteration of the habitat of globally endangered species and fragmentation of important wetland.

Eugene Simonov

Rivers without Boundaries.

Canadian Khan Files Formal Claim Against Russian companies

Khan Resources Inc., which owns mining rights to uranium deposits in Dornod,  announced Aug 20, 2010 that it has filed a statement of claim against Atomredmetzoloto JSC («ARMZ») and its affiliate JSC Priargunsky Industry Mining and Chemical Union («JSC PIMCU») with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Immediately before that Khan Resources has won 2 cases in Mongolian courts against decision of

Mongolian Nuclear Energy Agency that deprived Khan Resources of license and certain other legitimate rights.

In April, both CAUC and Khan’s 100%-owned Mongolian subsidiary Khan Mongolia received notices from the NEA, which said that their respective licences had been invalidated as of October 2009, based on unspecified violations of Mongolian law.

The statement of claim alleges, among other things, that the harmful conduct of ARMZ and it affiliates, namely in seeking to establish a joint venture with the Government of Mongolia over the Dornod uranium region without regard to Khan’s rights and interests, impugning the legitimacy of Khan’s interests in Mongolia,  and interfering with the competing and superior take-over bid by CNNC Overseas Uranium Holding Ltd., all with the goal of eliminating Khan’s interests in Mongolia, has caused Khan, its subsidiaries and its shareholders substantial damage.

From herdsman to farmer, a journey in Inner Mongolia

 The article in central Chinese newspaper gives interesting example of «ecological mirgantion» policy.

Hagenna lowered his head slowly while being asked whether he missed his hometown where he herded his sheep.

«It’s where I was born. Of course, I miss it,» said the 51-year-old Mongolian.

Hagenna used to live as a herdsman behind the Erlang Mountain in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which is less than 200 km from the China-Mongolia border.

The mountain divides the Wulatehou Banner into two parts, and the part behind it has become increasingly barren due to poor traffic and a minimal infrastructure.

«We have no electricity there, and many families have to use windmills, which could hardly power a TV,» said Hagenna.

Also, the grassland could barely support the herds that once grazed there.

«I had about 200 sheep then, and sometimes 300 if the rainfall was heavier. I had to buy some feed 160 km away in front of the mountain at a cost of almost two yuan per kilo, if the grass was too scarce due to a lack of rain,» he said.

In fact, the annual rainfall practically determined Hagenna’s income, either from several thousand yuan per year to nothing.

«The grassland was good in the late 1960s, but the price of sheep was only 60 cents per jin (half kilo),» he said.

In the 1980s, after the reforms and open policy was carried out, herders received their own grassland to graze on and the price of sheep skyrocketed to almost 400 yuan per sheep. Therefore, the number of sheep being grazed became increasingly larger.

According to statistics from the Wulatehou Banner Government, the number of livestock in 1999 surged 312 percent to 601,000, compared to 1973, causing the shrinking of the grasslands from 30 to 13 percent.

However, in 2002 the central government began a policy of returning grazing land to once again revert grassland, and many herders like Hagenna were relocated to preserve the ecological environment.

Hagenna moved out of his hometown in 2007 to Bayantala Gacha, or village, where he was granted 25 mu of farmland and began his farming life.

«Farming is much harder than herding for me, and I didn’t know how to farm in the beginning,» he said.

He received training organized free of charge by his village and county, and he learned from scratch.

He now grows sunflowers, corn, and also some grass to feed his 20 sheep, making a stable income of more than 10,000 yuan per year.

As the Wulatehou Banner Government granted him 20,000 yuan for a settlement and another 30,000 per person as a life subsidy, he can now live in a 72-sq-m house with a yard to grow vegetables.

Also, the subsidy for his five-member family was more than enough for him to pay 19,000 yuan for his house.

In addition, his wife also receives nearly 600 yuan per month as a pension, which all men over 60 and women over 50 of the banner, or county, are entitled to.

Bayantala Gacha was built in 2006 as a new village for the purpose of ecological migration. More than 100 households from three former gachas behind the mountain have moved there, said Xu Fuhu, secretary of the gacha committee of the Communist Party of China.


Hagenna is among the 450,000 people who were transferred over the past ten years in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and 100,000 of them were herders, said Ji Dacai, deputy chief of the region’s bureau of agriculture and animal husbandry.

The government had spent more than 2 billion yuan to help these people in their becoming settled and learning a new livelihood, including housing subsidies, pensions to seniors, free training for the young, free education for children, and other assistance, she said.

The payments for the herders’ settlement would be further increased, Liu Xinle, deputy governor of Inner Mongolia said, during a news conference in Beijing in early July.

Although the new village seems attractive, Hagenna still keeps his hometown-Qiandamen Gacha-in mind.

Half of his family from the gacha still live there, either waiting or refusing to move.

«They often visit us. Some of them envy our new life and are eager to move here, but some still insist on staying,» said Hagenna.

«For better or for worse, it’s our hometown after all,» he said.

Xu said the government would further arrange the migration, gradually, but would not force unwilling residents to move.

«If the ecology improves, I still want to move back where I was born, but I won’t put any pressure on my children to be like me,» Hagenna said.

Hagennan has two sons and both of them are working in town.

«Being a herdsmen is dull. They don’t like it,» he said.

His younger son trained to repair appliances, in a program organized by the local government.

Xu said the village and county governments often organized job trainings to help the young find jobs, and the salaries of drivers, cooks and repairmen were much higher than herdsmen or farmers.

Source: Xinhua

July 25, 2010  


How green were my pastures

This  article by Li Xiaoshu in Xilinhot shows consequences of wetland and grassland destruction by industrial development in southern Dauria. It is not only a powerful warning to those who want to do the same in the Argun River Basin, but also a direct threat to Khalkh River, which could be soon diverted to Wulagai Reservoir described here.

As Hugejiletu’s car entered a sandy basin, its GPS navigation screen turned completely blue, indicating it was driving in a river.

The 39-year-old nomadic herder was taking a shortcut with his wife and son to their former 320-acre pasture swallowed by dunes in Baiyinwula village of East Ujumqin Banner under the Xilin Gol league, a prefecture-level division of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They were forced to abandon it in 2003.

«Wow, this is really cool! We’re traveling across the bottom of the Ulagai River,» cried out his 5-year-old son Sunier, touching the screen curiously. «But why are we in a desert instead of the water? Is it a dream?»

It’s no miracle to drive in the Ulagai River after a dam built for industrial use blocked it in 2004. Downstream ran dry.

The 360-kilometer-long interior river flows from the Greater Hinggan Mountains in the northern border of China to the west of the 80 million-hectare Ujumqin grassland, claimed as the «the largest contiguous grassland on Earth» by local authorities and one of the important belts protecting North China from sandstorms.

But a wetland fertile for thousands of years along the river has suffered tremendous degradation, particularly, in the lower reaches, leaving the Ujumqin grassland increasingly vulnerable.

«Our homeland is dying,» Hugejiletu said, as he looked desperately at the direction of his old house lying on the wetland near Yihenoer, a 42-square kilometer lake located at the end of the Ulagai River and frequently lashed by violent sandstorms.

Increased rainfalls this year, however, brought the family a glimpse of hope to return.»If the water comes back one day, my grassland can be revived,» said Hugejiletu.

All of a sudden, his car stalled, stopped and started sinking slowly into the sand.

The three spent an agonizing hour pulling out their stuck vehicle and finally abandoned their plan to visit their old homeland, now a sandy wasteland.

When the river ran free

Hugejiletu said he can’t forget the breathtaking beauty of the wetland some 10 years ago: a shallow rivulet meandering in lazy curves and reeds swaying in the breeze, the green grass opened to the horizon, unfurling like a great waving sea, where horses galloped and herds of sheep and cattle moved beneath the sky.

The Ulagai water system, formed by various rivers and lakes, looks like blood vessels. With an annual runoff of 145 million cubic meters taking up 58.4 percent of the system, the Ulagai River serves as the artery. As a result, the huge wetland was formed.

Cut to the present. The soil has become saline and alkaline with little vegetation. Species of birds, including swans, wild geese and red-crowned cranes, are absent and the homes of the herders are gone in the towering blasts of sand and dust. Only camels and needlegrass are seen.

«This is how nature goes. I can blame nobody but my fate,» said the man who witnessed all the changes.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection zoned an area of 130,000-hectares of the river upstream as a national-level wetland reserve in 2002, but did not include the wetland downstream, which gradually disappeared.

Still officially ‘wet’

Ironically, the Global Times discovered that the area remained blue on a wall map hanging in the Bureau of Water Resources of Xilin Gol league. «The East Ujumqin banner has been short of water due to decreasing rainfall,» said Han Gang, director of the bureau’s general affairs office.

East Ujumqini ranks fifth among six banners in the league in terms of water resources, according to the latest research by the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University (IMAU).

However, it is said that climate change didn’t necessarily lead to the vanishing wetland, because annual precipitation reached 300 micrometers in 2008 and 255 micrometers in 2009, the two highest peaks in the past decade, according the Meteorology Bureau of East Ujumqin banner.

Rainfall records show no significant decline compared to historical figures, said Yi Jin, a professor at IMAU. «The water cycle was destroyed as more and more reservoirs, coal mines, railways, and manufacturing plants were built at the cost of environmental losses,» she said.

Industrialization blamed

The ultimate cause for the fading wetland is industrialization, said Chen Jiqun, founder of Echoing Steppe, an NGO that advocates the protection of natural grasslands in Inner Mongolia and traditional nomadic culture. Chen is also a prominent artist.

Statistics by local bureau of agriculture and animal husbandry showed that some 46.5 percent of the banner’s 436- hectare grassland available was eroded, 5.4 percent undergoing salinization and 0.78 percent is becoming desert land.

«The phenomenon was specifically represented by the construction of the Ulagai reservoir and other projects that wrested away limited water resources that had supported an ecologically balanced wetland,» said Chen.

Stinging sand

Dust and swirling sand erupted miles beyond Hugejiletu’s summer home, a yurt set up on a piece of grassland some 10 kilometers southeast of Yihenoer.

It reminded him of heavier sandstorms that threatened the livelihoods of the 56,500 banner residents. Driven by up to 80 mile-per-hour winds, the fury of the sands usually lasted two to three days, obscuring the bright yellow sun and stinging exposed skin.

«The sand whipped our doors and windows, it was rather frightening,» recalled Wuyuntana, Hugejiletu’s wife.

Forced to leave their native land in 2003, the family rented a pasture with more than 10,000 yuan ($2,950), almost half of their annual income.

Since the entire grassland was degenerating, they also spent another 10,000 yuan on extra grass to feed some 500 sheep, each sold at a maximum price of 500 yuan, while the annual rural per capita net income of some 30,000 local herders was merely 18,000 yuan on average in 2009, according to the Xilin Gol league government.

But like many other herders who couldn’t maintain a steady cash flow, the family relied on loan sharks, sometimes with an interest rate of up to 200 percent.

«The cost of herding rose sharply and now we can hardly afford to survive,» said Jin Yu, 49, another herder who lost a 294-hectare grassland to desertification.

The situation worsened after a paper factory illegally discharged toxic wastewater into the wetland in early 2000. Though authorities closed down the factory after outraged herders sued its owner in 2002, local vegetation and drinking water were already severely polluted.

«The water smelled terrible,» said Damulinzhabu, a herder whose sheep were poisoned by the ruined water. «The reeds are extinct now.»

Choking off the Ulagai River

A giant reservoir with a storage capacity of 248 million cubic meters at the upper stream of Ulagai River started retaining water after it was rebuilt in 2004. The reservoir dam was originally built in 1977, but collapsed in 1998 after it was damaged in a flood.

With a State investment of more than 40 million yuan, the new dam is some 700 meters long and 14 meters tall, blocking the entire channel of the Ulagai River.

At a normal water level of 911.2 meters, it can supply some 4,760 cubic meters of water annually to plants in the Ulagai Management Zone, including the Hesigewula Coalmine, the Xilinhe Chemical Plant and several electricity factories, said Li Ming, director of the Ulagai Reservoir Administration.

When asked whether the reservoir brings about drought in the downstream wetland, he said that none of the industrial plants were in operation.

«Even if we removed the reservoir, there won’t be enough water flowing downstream. It is the hotter and drier weather that prevents precipitation and accelerates evaporation,» he argued.

However, he said that the reservoir hasn’t discharged water for six years. «Since we prioritize economic growth, local governments are unlikely to demolish controversial reservoirs,» he said. «It’s a problem of the system and the principal of development.»

The projected profit of the reservoir’s industrial water supply was 11 million yuan, according to the Development and Reform Commission of Xilin Gol league.

In March, the East Ujumqin banner government announced that the proved reserve of coal reached 30 billion tons, up 38 percent from the previous year.

As a consequence, four railway projects connecting the banner with the Hesigewula coalmine were authorized by the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission and began construction on May 1.

A 2010 document said the local government seized some 1,046 hectares of grassland owned by 246 households — allocating 30 million yuan as compensation- a figure three times the actual fee of 128 yuan per hectare received by the herders.

«The government persuaded us to give up the grazing land to meet their desire for industrial expansion and urbanization, contrary to the nomadic culture,» said Batujirigela, 31, a former professional wrestler in the banner and now a herder living on some 400 hectares of grassland.

More than 10 coalmines were developed in the region and supporting industries boomed, said Batar, director of the banner’s Grassland Monitoring and Supervision Bureau.

«The deteriorating wetland, in short, is partly due to industrial goals that the nation fights for daily, sometimes irrationally,» he said.

Policies trying to contain the spreading desert — what the government calls the «household responsibility system» and «enclosure policy» to divide grasslands by fence and allocate them to herders based on the number of household members — were disputed, by many such as Batar.

Reining in the nomads

Another contentious policy, dubbed the «ecological migration» program to reduce pressure on the grasslands from overgrazing, requires removing herders from the grasslands into towns and cities.

More recently, the local government blamed overpopulation and overgrazing for accelerating the desertification of Inner Mongolia and began controlling the number of animals per hectare.

«The government didn’t blame industrialization,» said Se Leng, a former deputy director of the banner’s Political Consultative Conference. «In essence, they forced the nomadic herders and their grass-consuming animals to stop wandering. Such decisions are really biting the people.»

In contrast, authorities promoted the idea that «industrialization was the only choice to develop minority areas,» a concept continually echoed by officials.

«We have to adopt the principal of ‘small area developed, larger grassland protected,’ a compromise measure weighing both development and conservation,» said Ha Si, deputy director of the publicity office of Xilin Gol league.

Yao Zhongsheng, director of the Press Office of Ulagai Management Zone, said it’s inevitable to sacrifice individual benefits while pursuing collective interest.

Chen Jiqun, strongly opposed to the assertions.

«Those changing the pastures are not victims of the desertification,» he said.

Meanwhile, Nangejiletu would continue to survive, hard as it may be.

«I’m a man. I will struggle with my own hands,» he said, who prefers a traditional nomadic life marked by wind, herding and the search for water.

But he expected his son, Sunier to study in a big city and perhaps settle there.

«It might be slightly better than attending a flock of sheep on the dried-out ground where grass once grew.»

Source: Global Times . June 16 2010

Hulunbeier City Information Office said the rivers and not directly related to coal mining

July 26, Hulunbeier City Information Office held a press conference on July 18 Renmin Ribao web site contains «severe desertification in Inner Mongolia grassland Hulunbeier all the seven rivers drying up,» the article said: «open-pit mining is not only the destruction of grassland vegetation, more serious is the destruction of the groundwater resources. In recent years, large rivers, all appear Hulunbeier 7 stop» to respond to say, and that all the drying river Hulunbeier-7 reference not accurate enough; rivers and not directly related to coal mining; protecting grassland effective measures taken.

city government spokesman, the Secretary Yang Wensheng Water Conservancy first proposed at the conference, all the big rivers drying Hulunbeier 7 reference is not accurate enough. According to reports, a total size of the river Hulunbeir 3000, of which the drainage area of more than 1000 square kilometers with 63. In so many rivers due to extremely dry weather led to occurrence of individual small and medium rivers drying up, entirely normal. According to hydrological data records, in 2007, Wuerxun River, herlen and mergel River occurred in the smooth flow of drying; Yimin River, Root River, a Finnish river and chaor other four rivers in the frozen period as conversion of surface water underground undercurrent, hydrological observation recorded as «zero», but not known as a smooth flow of drying occurred. Hulunbeier located in high latitudes because the winter cold, the river occurred in the winter, «ice-type» stop is normal. Special needs explanation is that since 2008, due to increased rainfall has occurred in the smooth flow of drying Wuerxun River, herlen and mergel River has been in 2008 when the full restoration of run-off cover breakup. July 2010 18 — 22 hydrological observation data, these three river runoff were 6.57 m3 / s, 12.2 m3 / s and 1.34 cubic meters / second.

In fact, water resources development and utilization Hulunbeir very low, especially in the development and utilization of surface water volume is only 715 million cubic meters in 2009 (including the Hulun ecological water), only the total surface water resources and 2.4% (the average utilization rate of water resources in China currently 25%). Development and utilization of such low volume enough to cause rivers. So due to human factors in 7 rivers all stop Hulunbeier reference both in theory and practice are unscientific and inaccurate.

News conference also stressed the Hulunbeier rivers and not directly related to coal mining.

It is reported that occurred in the smooth flow of drying up the river basin, the water is not large industrial and mining enterprises, especially Wuerxun River in Dalai Lake National Nature Protection Area in the core area, there is no industry production project, took place in the smooth flow of drying up completely and even the Mongolian plateau grasslands because Hulunbeier continuous drought in recent years due. Decrease in precipitation (based on meteorological data recorded, herlen, Wuerxun River and mergel River Basin over the years 2000-2008 the average annual precipitation and relatively few compared to 30%, evaporation has increased by 10%), resulting in reduce the flow of rivers, causing some rivers drying up local river occurred.

herlen due to continuous drought, significant reduction in runoff ,2002-2008 annual average runoff of only 127 million cubic meters, only mean annual runoff of 522 million cubic meters of 24.33%, on September 8, 2007 dried up; Wuerxun Creek also due to continuous drought runoff has been significantly reduced ,2002-2008 annual average runoff of only 128 million cubic meters, only 688 million years of average runoff cubic meters of 18.60%, and in November 13, 2007 dried up.

mergel River Basin for the longer period 2000-2008 dry year group, in particular the 2007 precipitation only 119.9mm, the equivalent of the annual precipitation of 40% for the hundred years of drought year, drought is the result mergel River on July 31, 2007 the main reason for disconnection occurred.

Yimin Yimin River Basin coal mine is located, open pit mining area of 6.7 square kilometers, accounting for only Yimin River Basin area of 0.03%; dewatering water annual average of about 17 million cubic meters, only Yimin River Basin accounts for the total 1.886 billion cubic meters of 0.9%. Regionally or in terms of dewatering and water view, are manageable and will not be affected.

Yimin Coal and Electricity Company is a national environmental-friendly enterprises attach great importance to environmental protection and recycling economy. Closed open pit coal output delivered to the plant for power generation, dewatering water for power plant cooling cycle, solid waste backfill of mined areas, the surface humus for the restoration of vegetation, new building materials of fly ash used as raw material for many years to plant trees and grass and other companies invested a total eco-funds nearly 100 million yuan. Meanwhile, the Yimin Coal and Electricity Company to attract more than 1,400 local farmers employment, a corresponding reduction in more than ten million head of livestock breeding capacity, greatly reducing the pressure on local pastures, ecological benefits be discounted.

Finally, Yang Wensheng that for the protection of grassland Hulunbeir the effective measures taken, results significantly. According to reports, Hulunbeir the guidance of scientific outlook on development, properly handle economic and social development and ecological environmental protection between the «city status» was established as the first of five strategies to make a strategic plan to create state-level ecological city, adhere to the » point-like layout, focus, depth of development, recycling «the principle of the development of new industries. While maintaining point of development, surface protection, «the development of nodes with 1% release 99% of the forest steppe.» Make unremitting efforts to take the ecological civilization construction of the road and sound and fast development path to achieve «advance and retreat, beauty, and the development of win-win» strategic vision.

To strengthen ecological protection and construction, fully activated Hulunbeir farmland to forest, pasture, water resources and a series of projects, and formulated a «plan of Hulunbeier Ecological Demonstration Area» and «Hulunbeier green grassland protection and ecological development plan «to protect the ecological environment, control pollution, develop green economy into the overall planning of the city’s economic development. Main measures are: 1, the implementation of farmland to forests and grasslands from grazing project, and continuously improve the grassland ecological environment. Ended in 2009, the implementation of national and regional Hulunbeir level grassland ecological protection and construction projects total investment of 750 million yuan. Pasture grazing area of 3200 mu, the project area through five years of grazing, grazing, the so serious desertification and deterioration of grassland vegetation recovery and improvement are obvious. 500 mu of farmland a few years to complete. 2, the implementation of artificial grass and strategies to mitigate the pressure on natural grassland. Currently, the city and development of artificial grasslands in pastoral areas of nearly 60 million mu, the effective protection of the natural grassland. 3, compression pastoral livestock, restore the grassland ecological environment. Pastoral livestock from 2007’s 600 million head just fell to less than 4 million now only effectively reduce the pressure on natural grassland. 4, invested heavily in desertified grassland. Hulunbeir from 2009 to invest 650 million yuan in 5 years, 500 million mu of sand control. 5, actively support policies introduced to increase the level of transfer payments finance support to farmers. 6, vigorously promote water ecological construction. To curb the ongoing drought-induced decline in Hulun water, water quality degradation and desertification and degradation of grassland along the lake surrounding the phenomenon, improve and protect the grassland ecology, optimal allocation of the Hailar River Basin Water Resources, July 2008, started construction of the Hulun Hulunbeir water resources and water environment engineering, project put into operation, the Hulun Lake’s water quality and quantity and its surrounding areas has significantly improved the ecological environment; ulan nur waters to restore ecological functions and Hulunbeier City in September 1997 started construction of the Uganda Lan Nuoer water diversion project. After the project put into operation to restore the wetland area of 30 square kilometers, ulan nur ecology and wetland function was fully restored. (Mao Lulu) (Source: Inner Mongolia News)

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RwB assumes that such «overreaction» of the local government in response to criticism in mass-media shows that Hulunbeier City feels that its policies on mining and water protection are very vulnerable to impartial analysis.