Guodian fined $600,000 for contructing wind farm in bird sanctuary

CHINA: Guodian subsidiary Hefeng Wind Power Development, has been fined CNY 3.8 million ($603,174) for constructing a 20-turbine wind farm in a wetland that threatens the safety of birds.

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The company has been fined by the forestry administration of Linghai city, in northeast China’s Liaoning province. In March, a swan was killed at the wind farm, which was constructed in 2007.

The wetland, a municipal level natural reserve stretching 80,000 hectares, is home to 1,024 species of wild fauna and flora, including 32 species under national key protection. The representative birds are red-crowned cranes, white cranes, oriental white storks, and saunders gulls.

However, local government does not support the action of the forestry commission. Wang Yingchao, deputy mayor of Linghai municipal government, said "The wind farm is built in a wasteland, and we do not support the fine."

Guodian Corporation said it donated CNY 1.5 million in 2008 to China Environmental Protection Foundation for establishing a bird monitoring station in the wetland to protect birds. But the local forestry administration said it did not receive the money.

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