In Western China, abundant but fragile natural resources are juxtaposed against lagging economic development. Citizens now can apply for micro-loans to get started in farming, provided they operate in ways that are not damaging to the environment.  These new sustainable models are quickly catching on, NGO leaders said at a panel hosted Monday by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. 

Chinese NGOs say they are realizing the importance of giving residents a sense of ownership, and encouraging them to seek alternatives to relying solely on natural resources in the region. From beekeeping to growing crops that won’t hurt the soil, the drive is on to help the Chinese in the vast western farmlands live in harmony with their environment.

CEF Director, Jennifer Turner was quoted in the report for the linkage between China's environmental deterioration and U.S. investment. “Americans have a stake in China’s many environmental issues, said Jennifer Turner, director of the China environment forum at the Wilson Center. “[Americans] are linked to their pollution,” Ms. Turner said.

“A lot of our companies have gone over to China to build factories and then we consume many of the products that are made in China. Products are cheap because local government hasn’t been enforcing pollution control laws,” she said. “Our stuff is cheap here at the cost of China’s environment.”

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Photo Credit: Reuters