Continuously supported by the Caterpillar Foundation, the Yangtze River Protection Project, as the China part of the Great River Partnership (GRP) initiated by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), has achieved fruitful results. These results laid a solid foundation for scientifically carrying out environmental protection planning, policy research, environmental flow practice and aquatic life monitoring standardization along the Yangtze River.
Since 2005, the Yangtze River Protection Project has completed the identification of 19 biodiversity conservation priority areas which enables limited protection resources to be centrally invested in the areas with the highest protection value, maximizing the efficiency of the protection.
The project also made tremendous efforts to build up an aquatic life monitoring network by collaborating with related government departments. The network benefits from the collection of comprehensive aquatic life data, which compares the data from upstream and downstream to support the environmental protection of the river.
In particular, the project introduced and promoted the environmental flow concept. The concept of environmental flow takes the required hydrological environment for aquatic life into consideration at phases of designing dams and operation, which ensures the discharged water flow meets the needs of downstream ecological requirements. Furthermore, the project completed a research and report on a dam hydropower sustainable fund which emphasizes balancing the needs of power generation, flood control and ecological protection.
Qihua Chen, vice president of Caterpillar Inc. and chairman of Caterpillar (China) Investment Co., Ltd. , said, "Since rooted in the land 40 years ago, while developing its own business, Caterpillar has always cared about the harmonious development of communities and nature. Not only have we leveraged advanced technologies and environmental protection measures to reduce the impact of business development to the natural environment, but we have also collaborated with professional organizations, such as TNC, to specifically carry out environmental protection projects. By supporting the GRP, we hope to make contributions to exploring new sustainable development models which benefit both people and natural resources. "
In the next phase of the project, TNC will work with partners in the areas of mitigating dam impact, further promoting and practicing the sustainable hydropower concept, enhancing the fish monitoring and protection capability, reducing overfishing and others related to river development.
Zhu Le, The Nature Conservancy executive director of the Freshwater Project, said, "The successful implementation is benefited from Caterpillar Foundation's long term support. Protecting the Yangtze River is a long-lasting responsibility, and we hope to gather funding, knowledge, policy and attentions from all sectors of society, jointly promoting the Yangtze River's protection."
Caterpillar supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/foundation.