China’s pollution hotline received more than a hundred complaints in November
There were 141 complaints filed in November, 2014 via the tip-off hotline 12369, 114 of which were verified, said China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in a circular Wednesday. According to the ministry’s tally, the chemical industry received the most complaints of any sector, 39 tip-offs in total. It was followed by manufacturing and processing with 24 tip-offs and non-metal mineral product with 19 tip-offs. The four provinces received the most complaints were: Hubei(16), Guangdong(14), Shangdong(13), Henan(13). Air pollution was the number one cause of complaints, followed by sound and water pollution. Even though all the verified cases have been dealt with by local departments of environmental protection according to …read more
Zhou Qiang: threshold for environmental lawsuits will be lowered
The Supreme Court encourages environmental organizations to bring public interest lawsuits, and it will lower the threshold for such lawsuits, Zhou Qiang, chief justice and president of China’s highest court, said during the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia. Zhou also said that the Supreme Court will try its best to put an end to government intervention in environmental protection lawsuits. “The inclusion of public interest lawsuits in the environmental law was a great breakthrough in terms of environmental protection legislation. Bringing public interest lawsuits is not only a great way for the public to participate in the cause of environmental protection, it’s also beneficial to the advancement of judicial democracy” …read more
Environmental lawsuits still too expensive
Although the new environmental protection law, enacted on January 1, 2015, gave more than 700 environmental protection organizations the authorization to bring environmental lawsuits, only two organizations – the All-China Environment Federation(ACEF) and Friends of Nature(FON) – have thus far exercised their rights. The ACEF is responsible for three public interest lawsuits while FON has brought one such lawsuit since the implementation of the new law. The Associate Director of ACEF, Lv Keqin explained that lack of funding is the major reason why the new law hasn’t become a big incentive for the qualified organizations to bring environmental lawsuits. “The costs of an environmental lawsuit, including investigation expenses, court costs …read more
EU-China NGO twinning programs agree to merge
Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator have agreed to combine their existing exchange programs into a joint initiative. The joint initiative will be named “EU-China NGO Twinning Program”. It will comprise the Stiftung Asienhaus “EU-China NGO Twinning Program”, which is funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Stiftung Mercator’s “China-EU NGO Exchange Program on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development”. Previously, Stiftung Mercator ran its program together with the Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-E) and the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) and will now continue this good cooperation with both project partners in the joint initiative. In future, up to 24 employees from Chinese and European organizations will take part in …read more
More than 700 CSOs now able to bring environmental lawsuits
The recent Interpretation of the Supreme People’s Court on Certain Issues Concerning the Application of laws in Environmental Civil Public Interest Cases (最高人民法院关于审理环境民事公益诉讼案件适用法律若干问题的解释), made public on Jan. 6, 2015, stipulates that social organizations, private non-enterprise units, foundations, and other organizations registered with local departments of civil affairs at or above city(with districts) levels may bring lawsuits against activities causing environmental pollution, disrupting the ecological system or harming public interests. According to Sun Jun, the spokesman for the Supreme People’s Court, the three traditional types of civil society organization are not the only ones qualified to bring such lawsuits, the Interpretation leaves room for “other organizations” in order to give similar …read more
Zhu Xiao: the compensation mechanism of environmental lawsuit to be perfected
In December 2014, the Jiangsu Province High Court ruled that the the companies were to pay a restoration fee of 160 million RMB. This ruling is unprecedented in China, this is the first environmental lawsuit to receive such a high compensation.
NGO: Pesticide residue in Beijing and Guangzhou vegetables surpasses Shanghai’s
This article concerns a new Greenpeace report on pesticide residue in vegetables based on research in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The report states that of the sample of vegetables sold in Beijing, 40% contained more than 5 kinds of pesticides.
Public interest lawsuits: spring for environmental protection
The Supreme People’s Court published an «Interpretation of issues related to the laws applicable to an environmental civil litigation case hearing» (hereafter: «Interpretation»). The Interpretation allows more public interest organizations to participate in environmental civil litigations.
Two NGOs initiate first environment public interest lawsuit
On January 1st 2015, two NGOs received a notice from the Nanping city intermediate people’s court stating it had accepted to file their lawsuit. This is the first occurence of a public interest lawsuit being filed since the new “Environment Protection Law” has been enforced.
The 10 Public Welfare Keywords of 2014
This article highlights 10 keywords from China Philanthropy Times’ reporting on the public welfare industry in 2014.
Need for faster implementation of prevention plan against heavy metal pollution
The 12th five year Plan against heavy metal pollution has been implemented for four years and has been overall efficient but is still facing “problems not to be ignored” according to the Ministry of the Environment.
ConocoPhillips damage claim case: first court hearing concluded
Zhang Fuqiu, lawyer of the 21 plaintiffs in the ConocoPhillips case, released an interview to Caixin, explaining the circumstances of the Bohai Bay incident, and its consequences for the local environment and communities.
PGS in China – A Development Tool for Local Organic Agriculture?
Cornelia Kirchner discusses the use of Participatory Guarantee Systems as a way to promote organic agriculture in China in light of her experience working with the Beijing Farmers Market.