Global Insights: China – Part II

By Marcelo Kawanami

China indeed attracts a lot of attention from around the world. A prove of this is the number of visitors that we received from our latest article on China. The country is fast emerging as a global economic power but is still failing in managing sustainable growth.

China Pollution

The lack of reliable information due to banned and controlled media and social networksavailable in the country can sometimes misinform the population and the global community. Nevertheless, this reality is changing. China’s new leaders, including President Xi Jinping, haven’t embraced environmental protection by choice. They’ve been compelled by a new political reality: an informed Chinese public. Throughout 2011 and 2012, American Embassy officials in Beijing measured and tweeted the true levels of hazardous pollutants in the capital.

Today I selected some organizations that are fighting for the environmental protection in China. It is no surprise that many of China’s NGOs try to avoid tackling sensitive issues: not only their legal status but also their channels for funding rely directly on authorization from the government. As long as it remains risky for NGOs to contradict the official stance on environmental problems, the amount of pressure they can put on the government to implement environment-friendly policies will be seriously limited.

Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.cn/english/E_index.php
WWF China: http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/china/wwf_china_conservation/
Greenpeace East Asia: http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/
Wilson Center: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/china-environment-forum

And we reached over 200 fans!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Like!

Last week, the Facebook page of Gamiing Nature Centre achieved over 200 fans! This is a milestone to celebrate. Through the effort of Gamiing’s staff and volunteers who are constantly posting news and relevant information, we reached a significant and loyal base of fans who are constantly following our posts. Social media platforms are key nowadays in order to communicate with communities and interact with other organizations.

Gamiing has already shared its social media content with global organizations such as WWF, David Suzuki Foundation, China Environmental Forum, among others. And we cannot forget to mention the great organizations that are always liking and following our posts such as Ontario Trails, Discover Play and Stay, The Green Party of Haliburton, and many many others!

We would like to thank all fans that already like and follow Gamiing’s Facebook page. Please share our page with your family and friends as well! Let’s spread our words and leverage a bigger and better community focused on a better future to our planet.

Global Insights: China

By Marcelo Kawanami

China has rapidly emerged as a global super economic power. Nevertheless, the country’s environment is significantly suffering with this fast development. Without proper environmental policies and regulations, China has accumulated huge environmental debts that will have to be paid back.

Fishermen row a boat in the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, Anhui province

Lack of waste removal and proper processing has exacerbated the problem; almost 90% of underground water in cities and 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are now polluted. Combined with negligent farming practices, the water crisis has turned China’s arable land into desert, which today claims around 27.5% of China’s total land mass.

Some 400 million Chinese lives are affected by desertification, according to the government, and the World Bank estimates that the overall cost of water scarcity associated with pollution is around 147 billion RMB, or roughly 1 percent of GDP. exacerbated the problem; almost 90%of underground water in cities and 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are now polluted. Combined with negligent farming practices, the water crisis has turned China’s arable land into desert, which today claims around 27.5% of China’s total land mass.

Pond filled with dead fish on the outskirts of Wuhan, central China's Hubei provinceThe water pollution of rivers and lakes in China is critical and is severely affecting villagers that rely on these natural sources to survive. Just to have an idea, a recent report conducted by WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that nearly 100,000 people die annually from water pollution-related illnesses in China.

The lack of environmental regulations coupled with economic development of emerging countries is significantly impacting the nature. Increasing the awareness towards this topic is the first step to take the first action!