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Reject the ill-planned proposed Etalin Hydro Project in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.



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Studies have found that the unclassified, community-managed forests of the Dibang Valley host a higher diversity of mammals than the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary. Species found here include tigers such as this one. Photo: Sahil Nijhawan


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Across the world, big dams are being dismantled because of the social and ecological devastation they cause. Hydro projects are no longer considered renewable energy projects. It is India's National Tiger Conservation Authority's duty to protect and conserve the country's tiger populations, habitats and dispersal corridors. Studies have found that the unclassified, community-managed forests of the Dibang Valley host a higher diversity of mammals than the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary. Help us protect them.

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Reject the ill-planned proposed Etalin Hydro Project in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh.




To whom it may concern,
 
I am aware that the Forest Advisory Committee has sought the input of the NTCA on the proposed Etalin Hydro Project in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. As a concerned citizen of India, I urge you to reject this ill-planned project. 
 
If the project is approved it will cause the destruction of nearly 2,80,000 trees in the rich community-owned forests of the Dibang Valley. As you are aware, these community-owned forests harbour a genetically unique population of wild tigers, as well as a multitude of other threatened flora and fauna. This biodiversity has been undermined in the WII report submitted to the FAC. A peer review by 29 reputed scientists found gaping deficiencies in the WII report and stated that “incomplete and inaccurate data lead to an erroneous and inadequate assessment of the impact potential of the proposed HEP on biodiversity”. 
It is also a fact that the WII itself has found camera trap evidence of tigers in the same community-owned forests within 10 km. of the proposed project site. Ten km. is a negligible distance for a tiger; individual tigers have been known to travel distances in excess of 400 km. Furthermore, young, dispersing tigers in search of new territories are known to travel many times such a distance. There is no doubt that these prey-rich, low-lying community forests are vital to the long-term survival of Dibang's unique tigers. Scientists from WII have stated that the “Mishmi Hill ranges are now documented to have more tigers than other designated tiger reserves in Arunachal Pradesh”.
 
Biodiversity concerns aside, experts have warned that the Etalin Project is proposed in a seismically active zone that is at risk of earthquakes and landslides. It has also been noted that rapid glacial melt caused by climate change is likely to stall the production capacity of the hydro project. The Dibang Valley is the ancestral home of the Idu Mishmi community, and if approved, this project will forever change the ecology, geography, demography and cultural traditions of this region.
 
Across the world, big dams are being dismantled because of the social and ecological devastation they cause. Hydro projects are no longer considered renewable energy projects. As a member of India's National Tiger Conservation Authority it is your duty to protect and conserve the country's tiger populations, habitats and dispersal corridors. I count on you to uphold the integrity of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change by rejecting this destructive mega dam project in the interest of tigers, people, and the nation's ecological security.
 
Yours truly
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