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The implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015/2016 will have drastic impacts on the socio-economic development and democratization of the ten member countries. This dossier and the lecture series seek to explain current political developments, societal changes and economic trends in the region. Our next focus will be on gender politics.

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Voices of Asian Climate Activists
Berlin

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Infrastructure in Fragile Ecosystems: A Case of Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Discussion paper
This discussion paper assesses the socio-economic and environmental hazards that may occur due to the proposed diversion of Shatung river, situated at Deosai plains of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. A plan to divert Shatung river into Satpara Dam already exists; the plan is to increase the latter’s power generation capacity and to satisfy the increasing domestic, industrial and public water needs of Skardu Town and the adjacent villages during the low flow/winter season. However, no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been conducted so far. Only the locally-active environmental protection bodies have put up some resistance against this plan arguing that the diversion would primarily violate the Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Protection, Preservation and Management Act, 1975. During the investigation for this discussion paper, it was learnt that the diversion may result in serious damages to the ecology of the Deosai National Park (DNP) and its existing flora and fauna fed by Shatung river. Moreover, the requirements of Satpara Dam and expected outcomes of the diversion might not be achieved when the river water level decreases in winter season. If the diversion takes place, it would have serious implications for the fragile alpine ecosystem of Deosai plateau, and its biodiversity.