Home>News Center>China

Gov't to increase public role in ecology
By Wu Gang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-29 08:50

The Chinese Government will improve policy and legal systems to ensure the public take part and play an important role in environmental protection.

Addressing the Scientific Development Conference in Beijing, Pan Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, said the country's environment was getting worse.

"The pollution and ecosystem damage are more and more serious. Treatment never catches up with the destruction, and public discontent grows greater," Pan said.

Growing population, shrinking resources, inadequate environmental capacity and out-of-date production and consumption models are to blame

"But from a deeper perspective,lack of public participation is another serious problem," he said.

Different from Western countries, China started its environmental protection movement not from the ordinary citizens, but at the top.

The government has implemented a large number of laws and regulations on environmental protection since the 1970s when State leaders realized the lessons of developed countries.

A regulation in 1978 stipulated that places where pollution was serious, and where attitudes were resistant to change,would lead to the sacking or even legal punishment of local government officials.

"But how many officials have been punished for pollution? And how many wrong local policies were corrected? Not many," said Pan.

A series of practical, enforceable regulations and laws should be issued to encourage and protect participation of people from all walks of life in environmental protection. And democratic supervision of the implementation of the laws should be strengthened, he said.

To this end, the government should first make environmental information available to the public.

The government has been publicizing information of daily air condition, monthly river water quality and annual environment conditions, but it was still a problem for an individual to inquire relevant data from the government or an enterprise.

"We should begin to draft some regulations to ensure the transparency of environmental information," said Pan.

He also pointed out the absence of regulations detailing the public's participation in environment-related decision making, though a law put into effect last year has made it clear major projects that might affect the public environment should not be started until public hearings are held.

Friday's conference, the first of a series of events to celebrate the June 5 World Environment Day in Beijing, featured a number of domestic and world environmental gurus, including Denis Hayes, co-founder of Earth Day and Lester Brown, author of "Who Will Feed China?"

There were also Maurice Strong, under secretary general and special adviser to the Secretary General of the UN and Qu Geping, former director of the Chinese environmental authority.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

More funds to flow into agriculture technology



China joins nuclear group



New rules to ensure lab safety



Allawi nominated as transitional Iraqi PM



Economic crimes rise, disturb social order



China, Malaysia consolidate relations


  South African plane crashes in Hunan
  Economic crimes rise, disturb social order
  China joins nuclear group
  More funds to flow into agriculture technology
  Biocomplexity key to eco-challenges
  Three die, 15 missing in flooding
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?