March 20, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
China is home to some of the most polluted rivers and lakes in the world. Through stricter water pollution control laws and new targets in the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has intensified pressure on cities and industries to curb water pollution and wastage. Enforcement of such top-down initiatives remains challenging, but the Chinese environmental NGO community has been pursuing a broader range of tactics to improve water protection efforts—ranging from increasing transparency and information disclosure and conducting third party audits, to public interest law cases and public education campaigns. At this March 20th CEF meeting, Kristen McDonald from Pacific Environment will introduce the diverse and increasingly effective strategies being used by Chinese NGOs in to protect water and communities from pollution. Then Susan Keane from NRDC will discuss NRDC’s innovative Clean by Design program, which is designed to use the buying power of multinational apparel retailers and brands as a lever to reduce the environmental impacts of their suppliers abroad.
March 14, 2012 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Please join us for an insightful conversation with two researchers, Hu Tao and Mao Xianqiang, who will discuss how these co-control methods serve MEP in implementing the current 12th Five-Year Plan targets and the new air quality standards and the understand the prospects of some on-the-ground pilot projects in cities and the power sector in China.
March 07, 2012 // 9:30am — 11:30am
The premier’s prioritization of land reforms stems from the fact that as China’s urban and industrial sectors continue to grow, China is now suffering one of the worst rural-urban income gaps in the world. At least 120 million people still live under the international poverty line, with the vast majority residing in the countryside. Moreover, more than 4 million rural people every year lose their most important assets – land – due to government takings. On March 7th, Roy Prosterman and Zhu Keliang from Landesa will give a presentation based on a unique field study produced collaboratively by Landesa (formerly known as the Rural Development Institute), China Renmin University, and Michigan State University. And Megan Kram from The Nature Conservancy will discuss highlights from the book she authored: Protecting China’s Biodiversity – A Guide to Land Use, Land Tenure, and Land Protection Tools.
Stepping Lighter? Environmental and Social Impacts of China’s Overseas Oil, Mineral, and Gas Investments
January 13, 2012 // 10:00am — 12:00pm
To get the New Year rolling here at the Wilson Center, we start off with a CEF meeting on Friday January 13th (10:00-12:00) discussing the drivers and ecological impacts of China’s overseas investments in the oil and mining sectors. Our three speakers—Erica Downs (Brookings); Adina Matisoff (Friends of Earth); and Derek Scissors (The Heritage Foundation)—will share case studies and insights into Chinese investments in oil and minerals, as well as trends in China Development Bank loans and the financing of energy projects overseas.
China’s Threatened Waters: Video Series Screening and Discussion on Wetland Destruction and Other Vulnerable Waterways in China
November 07, 2011 // 3:00pm — 5:00pm
As a result of China’s rapid economic growth in recent decades, coupled with climate change, vast swathes of China’s wetlands have now disappeared. These changes are having serious consequences for the millions of people who rely on these sources of water and also severely affecting the flora and fauna of these regions, pushing many to the brink of extinction. Photographer and videographer Sean Gallagher spent 2010 traveling thousands of kilometers across China for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Asia Society’s China Green, to document the diverse impacts of wetlands disappearance across the breadth of the country. We will screen some of Sean’s wetland videos. Following the screening of the short wetland videos and Sean’s comments, Zhao Zhong will talk about some of the successes and challenges to the campaigns and programs his NGO have conducted in northern China to protect wetlands and rivers from pollution.
September 26, 2011 // 9:00am — 11:00am
The Third Pole – an area of the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau and home to the largest reserve of fresh water outside the Arctic and Antarctic – is a region familiar to both earthquakes and dam projects. This irreconcilable reality is at the center of an emerging debate, raising environmental and security concerns as regional governments scramble for clean energy resources and control over a precious water source.
August 11, 2011 // 10:30am — 11:30am
Come join the Wilson Center's China Environment Forum and Asia Program for a conversation with Taiwan's Minister of Environmental Protection, Dr. Stephen Shu-Hung Shen, to learn about work the EPA and Taiwan have been doing since 2010 to engage regional partners to advance global capacity in the remediation of contaminated sites, e-waste recycling and management, and reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ports.
July 26, 2011 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Dams, dams, and more dams! China is home to roughly half the world's large dams, and hydropower is set to play a key role in helping China meet its 2020 carbon intensity reduction commitments. Dozens of new large hydro projects are underway across the southwestern part of the country, where steep mountains and big rivers mean great hydro potential. Yet many of those projects are in culturally or ecologically sensitive areas that are home to large concentrations of ethnic minorities, and may involve trans-boundary rivers – all of which bring the long-term sustainability of the projects to the fore.
June 23, 2011 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Over the past several years, the Chinese news media has been more active in reporting on lead poisoning cases and cadmium contamination in food. Overall, however, the magnitude of China's toxic pollution problems is not very well understood, which hinders the search for solutions. For example, China uses and releases more mercury than any other country in the world.
June 09, 2011 // 9:00am — 11:00am
Enforcement of environmental laws has long been a major challenge in China, where severe water, air, and soil pollution problems are causing increasing health problems across the country. A new tool that lawyers and NGOs in China have begun to explore is the use of public interest law cases to push for better enforcement of pollution control regulations.