China Environment | Wilson Center

China Environment

Promoting a Green Voice in China: New Initiatives for Environmental Public Participation

Chinese citizens are increasingly taking to the streets to protest existing or potential environmental threats—such as toxic water, smoggy air, excessive noise, and dam building. China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) reported that 51,000 environmental disputes—some peaceful and some violent—occurred in 2005. The numbers of such disputes are most likely growing in number and size, strikingly illustrated by the nearly 20,000 urbanites who protested on June 1, 2007 in Xiamen (Fujian) against a planned chemical factory in the city's suburbs.

Greening the Courts: China's Legal Advocates Giving Voice to Pollution Victims and the Environment

The Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (CLAPV), founded by Wang Canfa in 1998, is a Chinese nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Beijing, but actively assisting in class action cases in almost every province. CLAPV is the only environmental litigation NGO in China, and its legal advocacy has successfully empowered pollution victims, providing an important check on Chinese industries that pollute indiscriminately. Since opening a public hotline for pollution victims in 1999, CLAPV has provided legal aid for 98 cases, 35 of these involved damages to human health.

Health and Environmental Challenges: China's Biggest Risks or Opportunities for Collaboration?

Environmental degradation and communicable disease, perhaps surprisingly, rank among China's top risks. China's successful economic reforms have, in great part, been built on environmental destruction and growing social inequalities. These inequalities have resulted in a failing rural health care system and have placed China at 187 out of 191 countries in a recent World Health Organization survey of health care inequality.

China Exim Bank in Africa

China Export-Import Bank

China's trade, investment and aid activities in Africa have been growing rapidly over the past decade. Chinese aid to Africa totaled $5.75 billion in 2006, and China the world's third largest food aid contributor. Trade between China and Africa has grown tenfold since 1999, reaching $56 billion in 2006. China's export credit and guarantee agencies—China Exim Bank in particular—have played an important role in fostering the rapid expansion of Chinese trade and investment in Africa.

Air Pollution and Environmental Health Threats in Southern China

Paralleling the booming economies in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) has been a growing air pollution problem that seriously threatens human health and the region's economy. Speaking at a 13 February 2007 CHINA ENVIRONMENT FORUM meeting, Christine Loh, founder of the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, suggested that Hong Kong could lose its status as the economic hub of Asia if the city does not clean up its skies—a task that can only be accomplished in collaboration with Guangdong.

Urban Transport Development in China - Trends and Challenges

Although China's overall personal vehicle sales and ownership rates are low when compared to the United States, the roads in China's largest cities are already clogged with cars and their emissions are the leading source of urban pollution. The wave of car purchases increases monthly—one recent survey showed that 13 percent of urbanites in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong intend to buy a car within the next 12 months.

Environmental Health Crises in Southwest China

Millions of rural and urban citizens in China suffer from health problems and limits to economic development due to contamination or shortages of water and air pollution from coal. In southwest China, water challenges are particularly acute due to that region's karst geology, where much of the water flows underground through caves rather than on the surface. These health problems are yet another burden on tens of millions of subsistence farmers.

The Double Edge of Legal Advocacy in Environmental Public Participation in China: Raising the Stakes and Strengthening Stakeholders

Drawing on the feature article they wrote for the China Environment Series 8, Allison Moore, American Bar Association and Adria Warren, Foley and Lardner, LLP, discussed the political and legal dynamics of the development of public participation in the environmental sphere in China.

Film Screening: China's Sorrow - Earth's Hope

Initiated in 1994 with funding and expertise provided by the World Bank and the International Development Association (IDA) , the Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project successfully broke the cycle of environmental degradation and poverty in an area that had become known as the most eroded place on earth.

Partnership for Clean Indoor Air in Guizhou Province: Promoting Environmental Health in Rural China

The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 in Johannesburg to address the increased environmental health risk faced by billons of people across the developing world who burn traditional biomass fuels and coal indoors for cooking and heating. More than 1.6 million people, mainly women and children, die prematurely each year from breathing elevated levels of indoor smoke. In an attempt to address this environmental health issue, the U.S.

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