A Way Toward a Super Ministry? A Case Study of Environmental Protection Administrative System Reform in China - Co-Sponsored with the World Bank

March 27, 2012 // 12:30pm2:00pm

The environmental administration system consists of many components and activities at all levels of the governments, ranging from legislation to organization and from oversight to permitting/licensing to public participation.  It is constantly evolving to adapt with the new challenges of environmental management in a country.  This seminar will presents a case study on how to strengthen the environmental protection administrative system in China.  

China has made significant progress in building an administrative system for environmental protection from nil over the past 40 years. The most recent reform of the government organization at the national level in 2008 was guided by the concept of establishing a system of “super-ministries” with comprehensive functions so as to trim the size of the government and improve efficiency.  As part of this, the then-State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) was upgraded to the level of a full ministry with a cabinet position on the State Council, renamed the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). But the nation still is confronted by serious and growing environmental problems that require further significant advances.

Based on the results of a World Bank Technical Assistance, the presentation will examine the current situation and problems with the administrative system for environmental protection, review past government administrative reforms and international experience, and set out a series of recommendations for the future reform of the national-level administrative system for environmental protection in six main areas - roles and responsibility of government agencies, environmental laws, a national coordination and decision making body, MEP organizational structure, supervision of local governments, and capacity building.

Chair: Magda Lovei, Sector Manager, Social, Environment and Rural Development (EASER) (tbc)


Zhong Ma, Dean and Professor, School of Environment, Renmin University, China

Jian Xie, Senior Environmental Specialist, Sustainable Development Department, East Asia and Pacific Region, the World Bank


Cheryl Wasserman, Associate Director for Policy Analysis, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Office of Federal Activities, U.S. EPA

Jennifer Turner, Director, the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Event Location: Venue: MC 8- 100, The World Bank Main Complex, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington, DC

Speakers Bio:

Zhong Ma is the Dean and Professor at the School of Environment and Natural Resources, Renmin University of China.  He is the leading scholar in China in researching and implementing environmental economics and policies. Prof Ma has been working extensively with the governments and international agencies on a variety of researches in China, and engaged in the national and international environmental policy making including environmental finance and taxation, institutional reform of environmental administration, Montreal Protocol for ODS, SO2 emission trading, and water pricing.  Prof. Ma serves as senior advisor to the China Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) as well as the provincial governments, and the member of the China Council for International Cooperation of Environment and Development (CCICED). In 2009 Ma Zhong received China’s Annual Green Person Award.

Jian Xie is currently a senior environmental specialist at Sustainable Development Department, East Asia and Pacific Region, the World Bank.  He is responsible for a number of AAA and lending projects. Jian has been working at the World Bank since 1996.  He published over 20 books or journal articles in the areas of policy analysis, economic valuation, water resources management, and urban environmental management. Jian also has consulting and research experiences with IMF, the Harvard Institute for International Development, Resources for the Future, and Cornell University.  Jian holds his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Cornell University in 1995.  He received a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science from Peking University (Beijing, China) in 1984 and 1987, respectively.  Jian was a faculty member at the Center for Environmental Sciences in Peking University from 1987 to 1989.

This event is jointly organized with the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

For RSVP please send your full name and affiliation to Nina Queen at


Event Speakers List: 
  • Jennifer L. Turner // Director, China Environment Forum & Manager, Global Choke Point Initiative
  • Dean and Professor, School of Environment, Renmin University, China
  • Senior Environmental Specialist, Sustainable Development Department, East Asia and Pacific Region, the World Bank
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