China Environment

Ma Jun: Finding Solutions for China’s Environmental Problems

Ma Jun, a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum from September 2013 to December 2017, is a Director at the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), an environmental NGO focused on promoting transparency in China’s pollution issues. IPE developed the China Water Pollution Map, the first public database of water pollution information in China. From 1993 to 2000, Ma worked as an investigative journalist at the South China Morning Post. His work centered on environmental subjects and he eventually became the Chief Representative of in Beijing.

New Wave of Partnerships to Protect China’s Rivers

China’s rivers are in crisis. Less than 20 years ago, the country boasted 50,000 rivers, but now China has lost more than half due to over-extraction, climate change, and contamination. Many sections of the Yangtze, China’s largest river basin, have become foul and black as nearly 45% of the country’s sewage and industrial discharge flow into it.  To protect the country’s rivers and lakes, the Chinese government issued the Water Pollution Action Plan in 2015, creating more comprehensive and stricter regulations for water conservation and larger penalties for polluters.