Keyword: Environment

App allows users to plant trees in Inner Mongolia

App allows users to plant trees in Inner Mongolia

A televised charity show called “Looking at trees in Alashan” has attracted much attention over the last few days. It does not feature a television anchor or a talk show, but rather eight ordinary people who travel to Inner Mongolia to look at the trees that they planted through an app. Since the show has an audience of about 200 million, it may become the world’s largest charity broadcast. The popularity of the show points to a larger trend, which is the creation of new fundraising methods that utilize the internet to solve various social issues. The background to the show is as follows: in August 2016, Alipay released a …read more

Buddhist delegates to the National People's Congress hope to appoint National Vegetarian Day

Buddhist delegates to the National People’s Congress hope to appoint National Vegetarian Day

The deputy director of the Chinese Buddhist Society, the director of the Guangdong Buddhist Society and the Abbott of Guangzhou’s Guangxiaosi Temple have proposed to appoint China’s traditional Tomb Sweeping Festival as a “National Vegetarian Day.” Advocates hope that in addition to worshipping their ancestors, those celebrating the festival can give up meat in order to promote benevolence, environmentalism and the equality of all living creatures. In recent years the diets of the Chinese have been slowly changing, with people not only saying no to meat for religious reasons, but also for environmental, health and moral factors. Vegetarians in China have been increasingly rapidly, even though the current 50 million …read more

How does one Wrap up a 370 Million Yuan Environmental Public Interest Lawsuit?

How does one Wrap up a 370 Million Yuan Environmental Public Interest Lawsuit?

This article discusses the recent failure of an environmental public interest lawsuit initiated by two Chinese NGOs against some polluting companies in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. There are fears that the ruling against the two NGOs, that will now be forced to pay heavy legal expenses, may discourage other such lawsuits in the future.

Weibo post sparks national inquiry into illegal pangolin smuggling

Weibo post sparks national inquiry into illegal pangolin smuggling

Indigenous to Africa and most of Southern and Eastern Asia, pangolins are a species of scale-covered mammals that resemble anteaters. The scaly critters are prized in Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine for their supposed healing qualities. In addition, their scaly hides are sought after as decorations and ornamental objects. Due to overhunting and global climate change however, pangolins have become one of the most threatened species on the planet. In 2014, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature categorized all species of pangolin as being threatened with extinction, with two species critically endangered. Killing, consuming, or selling pangolins in China is illegal and punishable by up to ten years …read more

How one dirty Chinese city went green

This article was originally published by the Paulson Institute. You can see the original here. The Paulson Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit “think and do” tank grounded in the principle that today’s most pressing economic and environmental challenges can be solved only if the United States and China work in complementary ways. Its mission is to strengthen U.S.-China relations and to advance sustainable economic growth and environmental protection in both countries. Founded in 2011 by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., the 74th Secretary of the Treasury and former Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, the Institute is based in Chicago and has offices in Washington, San Francisco, and Beijing. Learn more at www.paulsoninstitute.org   …read more

China’s ministries set goals on social issues for 2017

China’s central ministries recently held meetings to set their work plans for 2017 on social issues including environmental protection, housing, health and food safety. What will the focal points of their work be in 2017? Let’s take a look.   Environmental Protection Ministry The ministry revealed its plans to tackle Chinese cities’ notorious winter pollution, tightening the regulations on pollution in the winter season in the following six ways: clamping down on coal-fired boilers; intensifying supervision on bulk coal control in urban villages, mixed urban-rural areas and rural communities; staggering some business operations to non-peak periods during the winter; improving industrial emission standards; standardizing businesses that are low-cost, scattered, disordered …read more

Five public interest litigation precedents published by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Five public interest litigation precedents published by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Public interest litigation initiated by procuratorates has become a new frontier for procuratorates to exercise their judicial supervision authority, and this issue has received heightened attention from all sections of society. After one and a half years’ piloting, on January 4 the Supreme Procuratorate published five public interest litigation guiding precedents. Exploring the establishment of a public interest litigation system by the procuratorates was proposed during the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. On July 1 2015, a resolution was passed by the 15th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress that authorized the Supreme Procuratorate to spearhead a two-year program piloting public interest litigation in the …read more

China’s first environmental protection tax law expected to take effect in 2018

The PRC Environmental Protection Tax Law was passed during the 25th session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on December 25, and will come into effect on January 1, 2018. The environmental protection tax law is the first single category tax law passed by the NPC’s Standing Committee. It is also China’s first “green tax law”, with the expressed purpose of promoting environmental protection. The Law contains five chapters and 28 articles, including general provisions, taxation basis and payable tax rates, tax relief, taxation management and supplementary provisions. The general concept of the tax law is to shift from “fees” towards “taxes”, that is to turn the system of …read more

Report released on environmental litigations in 2015

2015 has been described as the first year for environmental public welfare litigation in China. Over the course of the year, there were a total of 44 cases of environmental litigations filed by environmental organizations and procuratorial organs acting as plaintiffs. Friends of Nature, the China Environmental Protection Federation and other organizations have now jointly compiled and published the first <Environmental Public Welfare Litigation Report>, which takes environmental public interest lawsuits in 2015 as its subject. The report collects data from the year’s 44 environmental public welfare litigation cases, reviews the overall situation regarding environmental public welfare litigation from 1995 to 2015, and also carries out targeted research on a …read more

Free toilet paper project to improve sanitation in schools

Free toilet paper project to improve sanitation in schools

Although the toilet is a small place that can be easily ignored, it is a key factor in the creation of a culture of health and closely related to people’s living conditions. A “Toilet Culture Forum” was held at the Loujiang Experimental School in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, on November 6th. The forum was hosted by the Shenzhen International Philanthropy Institute and the Kunshan Yuting Foundation, and also gained support from Tsinghua University’s Ecological Design Centre and Beijing Normal University’s Toilet Culture Research Centre. Guests could not only visit an exhibition on “toilet culture”, but also participate in a discussion on students’ health and the Foundation’s free toilet paper project. The …read more

French and Chinese foundations sign strategic cooperation agreement

French and Chinese foundations sign strategic cooperation agreement

The signing ceremony for the strategic cooperation agreement between France’s Expectation and Innovation Foundation and the Beijing Qiaonu Foundation was held on October 20th. During the ceremony the former French prime minister and chairman of the Expectation and Innovation Foundation Jean-Pierre Raffarin and the president of the Orient Landscape Industry Group and chairwoman of the Beijing Qiaonu Foundation He Qiaonu signed the cooperation agreement and discussed future cooperation. It is reported that the two foundations are going to film a documentary with a French television institute in order to let the world know more about China, encourage people to think about human progress and inspire environmental protection activities. The aim …read more

“Green Long March, Walking for Charity” activity raises donations for reforestation

The second “Green Long March, Walking for Charity” activity, lasting two months, came to a successful end on October 23rd. The aim of the activity was to mark the eightieth anniversary of the Red Army’s Long March and to promote its spirit of bravery, determination, unity and loyalty. More than 120,000 people were involved in the 72-day activity. If they had travelled the same distance by car, this would have produced 1.2 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. The charitable activity was organized by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the General Administration of Sport. During the event, whenever a person achieved a personal …read more

Public meeting marks International Snow Leopard Day in Beijing

Public meeting marks International Snow Leopard Day in Beijing

An organization known as the “Snow Leopard Guardians” organized a public meeting in Beijing’s 798 Art District to mark International Snow Leopard Day on October 23rd. Experts on snow leopard research and protection, staff from foundations and social organizations and even a few artists working on installations related to the snow leopard attended and discussed creative ways to protect snow leopards from extinction. The activity helped the audience learn more about the snow leopard and become more aware of the significance of environmental conservation. A charity bazaar was also held at the scene, in which a great number of works of art, books and paintings of snow leopards were on …read more

Alibaba Group: China’s online green consumers reach 65 million

Alibaba Group: China’s online green consumers reach 65 million

On August 3rd, the Ali Research and Alibaba Foundation unveiled a Report on China’s Green Consumers in 2016. According to the report, the Internet has become the paramount arena for green consumption. By the end of 2015, the number of green consumers online had reached 65 million, increasing by 14 times over the previous four years. Consequently, the Alibaba retail platforms achieved 30 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduction during 2015. The report defines ‘Green Consumers’ as those who are mindful of the ecosystem and the environment and are willing and capable of purchasing green products. As China’s first big data analysis on the subject, the report draws on the …read more

Chinese Civil Society: A Half Year Summary

Chinese Civil Society: A Half Year Summary

Five topics that provide a quick grasp of the crucial developments in philanthropic legislation and legal practice in China during the first half of 2016.

Milestone for public interest lawsuits as Chinese company fined for causing air pollution

On July 20, the Intermediate People’s Court in the city of Dezhou, Shandong Province, ordered the Jinghua Group Zhenhua Decoration Glass Limited Company to pay nearly 3.3 million dollars for its excessive emission of pollutants. More than a hundred tonnes of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and smoke dust were emitted, exceeding the maximum stipulated by regulations. The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), which brought up the lawsuit in March 2015, based the potential amount of damages on the offending company’s operating costs, with the hope that the case can provide a route to successful public interest litigation in the future. Ma Yong, the former deputy head of ACEF’s Environmental Legal Services …read more

Amendment passed to China’s Environmental Impact Assessment Law

An amendment to China’s Environmental Impact Assessment Law was passed in the beginning of July. The law originally went into effect in 2003, aiming to mitigate the damage that construction projects cause the environment and promote the coordinated development of the economy, society and nature. Although it has played a positive role in the prevention of pollution and ecological damage, some loopholes in the legislation have also made themselves evident over the 13 years it has been in place, and calls for a revision were longstanding. The amendment includes a couple of salient points. First of all, the administrative requirements for EIAs have been weakened. Before it was amended, the …read more

China's first dark-sky preservations to safeguard starry skies

China’s first dark-sky preservations to safeguard starry skies

According to statistics, light pollution has deprived two thirds of world’s city dwellers of the chance to see the constellations and the Milky Way. Excessive artificial lighting also affects the physical and psychological health of human and animals alike, and disturbs ecosystems. In response to these emerging issues, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) has given birth to a pilot project to build China’s first dark-sky preservations in Tibet. The plan is to build two Dark-sky parks in two locations within the Tibetan plateau, called Ngari and Nagqu, in order to preserve the view of the night sky and conduct astronomical research, as well as educate visitors …read more