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Mishmi hills snow trekking dibang valley Arjun Kamdar

URGENT: Stop the Etalin Dam in the Mishmi Hills

The draft of the email that you can send – and the list of email id’s of the forest advisory committee members.

Email id’s to send the email to:

adgfc-mef@nic.in
dgfindia@nic.in
igfc-mef@nic.in
kaushalrajesh1@rediffmail.com
suramya.vora@gmail.com

Draft text:

Subject: Reject Forest Clearance for the Etalin Project

Respected member of the Forest Advisory Committee,
I write to you as a concerned citizen of India and implore you to reject the forest clearance for the Etalin Hydropower project. The project should not be viewed as a clean energy project as it involves the destruction of a minimum of 2,70,000 trees in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. The Dibang Valley lies in a global biodiversity hotspot and its old-growth forests are irreplaceable. They harbour rich species diversity, including a unique high-altitude population of tigers.

Such forests are also crucial to public health and our fight against the climate crisis. In a letter by the Ministry of Environment Forests, Climate Change to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Environment Secretary CK Mishra acknowledges that there is a consensus amongst scientists that a rise in zoonotic diseases like Nipah, avian influenza, Zika, and Coronavirus is linked to loss of biodiversity and forests. Once lost, such complex ecosystems are irreplaceable. the Dibang multipurpose project has already been approved on the same Dibang river. It would be a tragedy if the Etalin project is approved too.

I urge you to unanimously reject clearances for the Etalin Project.

Yours truly,

Mishmi hills snow trekking dibang valley Arjun Kamdar
The Mishmi Hills in the winter

Additional links:

The science behind opposing this dam – penned by four top wildlife scientists and social scientists who have been working in the region: https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/conservation-scientists-oppose-etalin-hydro-electric-project

https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/public-pressure-to-scrap-destructive-etalin-project-mounts

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2-7-lakh-trees-to-be-felled-for-hydropower-project-in-arunachal-s-dibang-valley/story-i0GVuHt8nHF4JbxeM4birM.html

On the unique conservation story of the Mishmi Hills by an ecologist – anthropologist: https://www.sanctuaryasia.com/magazines/cover-story/10911-tribal-tigers-how-a-shamanic-community-has-saved-tigers-in-the-dibang-valley-of-arunachal-pradesh.html

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/more-scientists-write-to-fac-about-treading-carefully-on-hydropower-projects-in-dibang-valley/story-ikGnHIt843sVrLI1aAtmlJ.html

Article in Mongabay on the issue
A short-video of the Dibang Valley ecosystem
This resistance has not been new; this video is 10 years old – and was in protest to the Dibang Multipurpose dam (2880 MW) which is to be built on the SAME river. This protest was stifled and clamped down on by a series of human rights violations; as pointed out in the Scroll article below.

Scroll article by Manju Menon on how ‘consent’ was threatened and obtained for the Dibang Dam- https://scroll.in/article/931504/how-consent-for-dibang-dam-was-manufactured-by-terrorising-the-people-of-arunachal-pradesh

How making this dam could exacerbate natural disasters in the region: https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/climate-change-and-seismic-hazards-in-the-dibang-valley
With the full technical report here: https://github.com/monsoonforest/dibang-glaciers/raw/master/Sheth-2020-Dibang-Natural-Hazards-full-report.pdf

Article on how due process was not followed (4th May, 2020) https://indianexpress.com/article/india/north-east-hydroelectric-project-study-tigers-wii-6392556/?fbclid=IwAR38Ny9Jbm9vQTyqGblRIRgvOuDwPGrWhXkSqdwSRFNCkq4NuBrxCeLw8j0

A local grassroots NGO writes a strong 20-point letter asking for the project to be rejected. https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/dibang-based-ngo-appeals-to-fac-to-reject-etalin-project

Shashank Dalvi, an ornithologist par excellence writes to the FAC showing that 430 species (of India’s 1346 species) are found in the region. https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/ornithologist-underscores-bird-diversity-in-dibang-valley

A comprehensive toolkit by Sanctuary Asia that compiles a list of all available literature on the dam. https://www.sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/etalin-campaign-tool-kit

Our peer-reviewed report by 26 scientists from 16 different institutions highlighting the deficiencies in the wildlife conservation plan (pdf download here): https://www.conservationindia.org/wp-content/files_mf/Updated-Peer-Review-of-the-Wildlife-Conservation-Plan-of-the-WII-Etalin-Hydropower-Project-Dibang-Valley-Arunachal-Pradesh-5-May-2020.pdf

An executive summary of the same (with lovely illustrations by Poorva Goel) can be found here: link to 7 page summary download pdf

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