POLICY BRIEF: From Hydropower to Sustainable Ecotourism: The Future of Development in the Nu River Valley, Yunnan, China

Publication date: September 2017

Author: Hannah Nakkady

Download the policy brief here.

Visit our MK31 Salween Fellowship project page on water governance here.


Following concerns raised by a coalition of Chinese environmental groups, scientists and policy makers including the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the 13 proposed mainstream dams on the Nu/Salween River have been under suspension since 2004. It is now very likely that the dam project will be cancelled given the plan’s lack of inclusion in China’s 13th five-year development plan and the announcement of a project to build national parks in the area in 2016. This is a positive development for those concerned about sustainable development in the Mekong Region, as well as an opportunity for concerned citizens, environmentalists and the Chinese authorities to work closer together to build a sustainable future for the Nu River in China as well as its residents upstream and downstream.