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
60th anniversary of the initiation of nature reserves highlighted in Beijing
May 22 marks both International Day for Biological Diversity and the 60th anniversary of the initiation of nature reserves in China. These two occasions were highlighted by a conference held in Beijing by seven government departments, including China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). 600 representatives from the state and local governments participated in the conference. A document released by the MEP during the conference shows that there are currently 2740 nature reserves in China, covering 1,470,000 square kilometers. They occupy 14.83% of China’s total land area, which is higher than the world average. Over 90% of the different kinds of land ecosystem in the country, 89% of endangered species of …read more
Local action on International Day for Biological Diversity
May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity, whose aim is to promote biodiversity around the world. The 2016 theme is “2016 Theme: Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”. In order to further advance the protection of China’s biological diversity, especially in the South China Sea, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF 中国生物多样性保护与绿色发展基金会) will launch a theme forum entitled “Focus on Biodiversity Protection in the South China Sea” to mark the occasion. The activity is geared to appeal to all sectors of society and encourage them to value the biodiversity of marine organisms and the protection of China’s marine ecosystem. As a civil environmental protection organization, …read more
New Season of “ Nature is Speaking” launched in Chinese
From April 20th until the end of June, the Conservation International Foundation (CI) will be releasing five new episodes of “Nature is Speaking” in Chinese. In an effort to invite the human race to listen to nature, the second season in Chinese will feature the themes of ice, homes, the coral reef, the sky and the mountains. Renowned Chinese actors and actresses Tony Leung, Chiu Wai, Sylvia Chang, Donnie Yen, Joan Chen and Feng Xiaogang have lent their voices to these natural elements as part of this campaign for the protection of the ecosystem. All the episodes will debut in the Parkview Green Mall in the city center of Beijing. Instead …read more
China’s five-year plan for Environmental Advocacy and Education released
The “National Environmental Advocacy and Education Work Outline 2016-2020” (《全国环境宣传教育工作纲要（2016-2020年）》 was recently released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, the Civilization Office of the Central Communist Party Committee, the Ministry of Education, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the All China Women’s Federation. The Outline will be the base for the relevant governmental departments and social organizations to conduct advocacy and education related to environmental protection during the 13th five-year plan. The document is significant for raising public awareness of the environment and solidifying the concept of green development, and it is supposed to serve as an engine for …read more
Chinese Supreme Court releases ten environmental protection cases
A news briefing was held by the Supreme Court of People’s Republic of China on March 31st, releasing the second set of the ten administrative cases relating to environmental protection.
World Meteorology Day: “hotter, drier, wetter. Face the future.”
The 23h of March is the World Meteorological Day. This year’s theme is “hotter, drier, wetter. Face the Future”.
Xinhua News: China’s seven-year plastic bag ban has saved 8.4 million tons of oil
China’s plastic bag ban launched in 2008 has successfully cut 1.4 million tons of plastic bag production, which equals to saving 8.4 million tons of oil