Target: Bhutanese Hydropower Department
Goal: Stop the environmental and social devastation caused by large hydropower plants
Bhutan, a tiny landlocked country surrounded by China and India, has been aggressively producing hydropower as a lucrative export for the past several years. Policymakers in Bhutan are now planning to intensify damn construction despite rising environmental and social costs and sinking financial profit estimates. This negligent and desperate approach must be stopped. Please voice your condemnation of Bhutan’s destructive pursuit of hydropower.
Not surprisingly, Bhutan is not the primary driver behind this aggressive hydropower policy. Bhutan’s small population doesn’t require the amount of hydropower Bhutan is producing; hydropower exports accounted for 25% of Bhutan’s government revenue in 2012. Most of the hydropower produced, and the reason for the push for more dams, is to provide energy to Bhutan’s top customer: India.
As a large emerging market with rising energy needs, India pays Bhutan for energy and Bhutan is left with environmental and social disruption and financial uncertainty. In 2006, Bhutan was ranked as one of the happiest countries; however, displaced families, species and habitat loss, rising costs of construction, unfulfilled promises of small business and job opportunities, sinking riverbeds, increased risk of floods and mudslides, and shrinking glaciers will make happiness in the future unlikely for many citizens.
By signing the petition below you are urging the Bhutanese Hydropower Department to stop the environmental and social devastation caused by hydropower plants.
Dear Bhutanese Hydropower Department,
We, the undersigned, urge you to stop the environmental and social devastation caused by hydropower plants.
The short-term financial gains of aggressive hydroelectric production will likely never result in long-term economic success. Fragmentation of the river ecosystem necessitated by the pace and scale with which Bhutan is pursuing hydropower exports is negligent and reckless. The Bhutanese government cannot continue to gamble its environment and its human population’s safety, health, happiness, and future prosperity on something as notoriously uncertain as large scale and unrestrained dam construction.
We urge you to consider the long-term effects of your current actions and the well-documented failures of similar projects in other countries to provide lasting economic success. We urge you to consider the current realizations that profits were overestimated and costs were underestimated. Please consider environmentally and socially friendly alternatives to your current hydropower policy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mohamed Shoox via Wikimedia Commons