Chinese apathetic about environmental protection
Updated: 2007-01-18 16:47
Beijing -- While 86 percent of Chinese think
environmental pollution has had a negative impact on their health, a national
report released Monday showed that most of them are apathetic about
The annual national
report on environmental awareness, released by the State Environmental
Protection Administration, surveyed 4,482 residents from 28 cities nationwide.
The report comes amid mounting concern about the
environmental cost of China's breakneck economic growth.
"Chinese people are dissatisfied with the state of the
environment but they seldom take part in environmental protection activities,"
said the report, adding that food safety, drinking water and air pollution are
the environmental issues that worry people most.
More than 10 percent of metropolitan residents and 7.5
percent of rural dwellers think their living environment is "unfit for
habitation". Both urban and rural residents are unsatisfied about garbage
treatment, and 52 percent rural respondents consider garbage disposal "a big
About 61 percent of the people surveyed
said the Chinese government "pays a lot of attention" to environmental
protection and 70 percent applauded the government's "environmental impact
evaluation" carried out before each industrial or construction project.
But the survey failed to ask respondees about how to
resolve the Chinese dilemmas: how to reconcile the desire to limit the
environmental cost of growth with the need to keep the economy humming in order
to provide jobs, and how to wean local officials away from their
Local environmental departments received
about 600,000 pollution reports from the public in 2006, up 30 percent over
2005. But 76 percent of respondees did not know the national environmental
protection hotline number "12369".
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