BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) will cooperate with the World Wide Fund for Nature to limit the negative impact of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze's ecosystem.
According to the memoranda of understanding signed in Beijing Sunday, the two sides will use international standards for sustainable hydropower generation, promote the sustainable operation of the project, and boost research on Yangtze basin water resource management.
The two sides will also strengthen exchanges and cooperation, raise public awareness of the environmental protection features of the Three Gorges Project, and promote information sharing, capacity building and environmental protection.
More than 60 percent of the world's longest rivers have been fragmented by dams, leading to the destruction of wetlands and a decline in freshwater species. The impact of dams can be reduced by improved location, design and operation, said James Leape, director general of the WWF International.
The Three Gorges Project is the world's largest water infrastructure facility. Its eco-friendly operation contributes to a healthy ecosystem downstream from the Yangtze river basin, he said.
The WWF has identified the Yangtze as one of its 35 global priority protection areas. It has a long history of work focusing on bio-diversity, river-lake linkages, as well as freshwater and wetlands conservation. The WWF also has experts on environmental flows who can provide technical support for the cooperation on Yangtze research, he said.
The World Expo in Shanghai is a good opportunity to co-organize some campaigns to educate the public, he added.
Cao Guangjing, CTGC board chairman, said the company is ready to play a leading role in sustainable hydropower development.
"As a company understanding its social responsibilities, we are open to establish a long-term, friendly and deep cooperation relationship with the WWF, which is an influential non-governmental organization that works to realize good social, economic and environmental outcomes."
The nearly-finished Three Gorges Project makes flood control its priority. The project is expected to raise flood control capacity from a 10-year frequency to a 100-year frequency.
The project is also applauded as a renewable, carbon-free source of energy. It generates 84.7 billion kwh of electricity annually, or the equivalent of 50 million tons of coal.