China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Monday, December 05, 2005

Environmental forum urges green nation

BEIJING, Dec. 5 China Daily-- The major environmental pollution accident that occured in Songhua River impelled the country to improve its information publicity and the public to take more participation in environmental issues, experts and officials said on the ninth Green China Forum held on Saturday in Beijing.

Currently, environmental problems are abundant in China and one of the main factors behind these problems is the lack of effective public involvement, experts said.

"Now China's environmental issues are not solely domestic issues, but of international concern," said Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress. "More and more environmentalists from around the world are making an effort to help the country to protect its environment."

"The government should pay more attention to establishing a platform for the public to take part in environmental causes," Xu said. "Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a useful way to increase the public's involvement."

"China's environmental NGOs should play a bigger role," said Liang Congjie, the founder of Friends of Nature, one of the country's most influential organizations in this field.

"Due to its independence, this NGO can link different social organizations together to urge them to make a combined contribution to improve the country's environment," Liang said.

Lu Zhi, professor of conservation biology of Peking University, called on the media to promote the public's participation.

"The media should not just focus on reporting environmental cases, but should also urge people to engage in the cause," she said.

"China should carry on a green environmental reform," said Hu Angang, a well-known economist. "The country should develop policies to promote environmentally friendly behaviour, in areas such as food consumption, energy use, transportation and real estate construction. An information system for consumers to identify environmentally friendly products from harmful ones would certainly be useful."

"And preferential policies should go to environment friendly enterprises, for example tax exemption.

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