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Book Launch:The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future

While the China Environment Forum has since 1997 held meetings and produced articles highlighting the myriad domestic and international efforts to resolve China's acute pollution and energy problems, few books have taken a comprehensive look at the historical and current causes of China's growing environmental crisis.

A Roundtable Discussion with SEPA Minister Xie Zhenhua

To be heard among a sea of voices advocating economic development before ecological concerns, environmental activists and academics in China generally must be hardworking and possess dynamic personalities. Dynamism and commitment to protecting the environment also is increasingly evident in some officials of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA)—most notably in SEPA's minister Xie Zhenhua. Minister Xie sparked a candid and lively discussion at a December 9th meeting of the China Environment Forum.

A Land on Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom

Over the past two decades, Southeast Asia has been on fire, both figuratively and literally. Economies throughout the region have exploded, taking advantage of small production costs and a low-paid, highly motivated workforce. At the same time, to fuel rapid growth, forests have been stripped for lumber and the land torched for new agricultural opportunities. Indeed, economic success has often come at the expense of the environment and with sixty percent of the world's population, environmental degradation in Southeast Asia has potential worldwide effect.

Harnessing the Waters: Nature Conquest in China's Past and Present

Perhaps no other issue in China today receives more news media attention than construction of the Three Gorges Dam. On billboards and in state-run media, the Chinese government trumpets the dam as a sign of the country's ability to achieve advanced engineering feats on par with the West; while concerned scientists, scholars, and activists around the world condemn the project as an ecological and social catastrophe. On 1 June 2003, the dam's reservoir officially began to take water.

Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor: The Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi, Pakistan and Density & Urban Form in Dakar, Senegal

According to the United Nations, over one billion people lack access to clean water and over two billion have no access to sanitation, the primary cause of diseases like cholera that take the lives of more than 6,000 children in poor countries every day. This seminar will examine the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) in Karachi, Pakistan. The OPP was established in 1980 with the purpose of overcoming the constraints faced by the government in regularizing and improving katchi abadis (squatter settlements on government land). Dr.

Water and Sanitation Services for the Urban Poor

Gordon McGranahan, head of the Human Settlements Group, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), discussed the importance of local and community engagement in the provision of water and sanitation services for the urban poor. Although the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) bring important attention to the problems of unserved urban populations, the international framework for monitoring has produced statistics that are meaningless and often misleading. What is needed, McGranahan argued, are statistics that drive local action and monitor local progress.

About

Since 1994, the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) has actively pursued the connections between the environment, health, population, development, conflict, and security. ECSP brings together scholars, policymakers, media, and practitioners through events, research, publications, multimedia content, and our award-winning blog, New Security Beat.

ECSP currently has three primary focus areas:

Helping Hands: An Integrated Approach

At the moment, the agendas of the growing population of people and the environment are too separate. People are thinking about one or the other," said Sir John Sulston, Nobel laureate and chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics, and Innovation at the University of Manchester, in an interview with the Environmental Change & Security Program(ECSP).

"People argue about, ‘Should we consume less or should we have fewer people?' The point is it's both. We need to draw it together. It's people and their activities."

Yemen Beyond the Headlines: Population, Health, Natural Resources, and Institutions

"Ultimately, whether Yemen is able to achieve its goals for social and economic development, will, to a large extent, depend on its future population growth and size," said Gary Cook, senior health advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, in his opening address at the Woodrow Wilson Center's all-day conference, "Yemen Behind the Headlines: Population, Health, Natural Resources, and Institutions."

Panel I: Population and Development Challenges

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