Essay on The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China

Essay on The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China

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Traditionally, environmental management has been considered in the light of knowing the best technological solution. A significant case study representing a technological solution to environmental management is the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on the Yangtze River in China. The dam has two principal management purposes. These are; to provide energy sourced by more renewable means than coal burning alternatives, to meet rising demands, as well as reduce flooding of the Yangtze River. Following a deeper introduction of the TGD case study, four primary perspectives will be used to assess the environmental management outcomes and approaches. First the social implications and any gains of the project, including the issues of social injustice and lack of intra-generational equity, will be analysed. Secondly, the environmental detriments and issues, including loss of biodiversity and erosion, will be similarly analysed and critically weighed against environmental gains of the project. Thirdly, alternative solutions to the technological TGD for China, along the lines of people and societal management, will be assessed in terms of management outcomes and compared. Limits to technical solutions such as the TGD will also be assessed. Lastly, the societal management concept of the ‘bottom-up’ approach will be analysed and contrasted to the more technical top-down approach as used in the TGD case study. It is argued, in assessing the case study from these social and environmental perspectives alongside alternative people management solutions and decision making concepts, that managing the environment well is more so about managing the people and society than knowing the best technological solution.
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